HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Heightened in popularity following the movement to legalize medical and recreational marijuana (cannabis), CBD advertisements have recently been appearing around the country.
Short for cannabidiol, CBD-containing products are often being advertised as a tool enhance wellness and are found packaged as oils, lotions, balms, creams, shampoos, and other infused beauty products. In addition, product lines continue to expand and CBD can be delivered orally, in food and beverages, capsules, tinctures, and inhaled or vaped.
However, as public opinion and state legislation continue to move faster than scientific research, there are some important considerations for Airmen including federal law and the Air Force prohibition on the use of CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid that comes from the cannabis sativa plant, the same plant that produces marijuana and hemp. CBD can be sourced from both marijuana and hemp.
The psychoactive substance in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Although at a lower concentration, hemp also contains THC. CBD is not considered psychoactive; however, it does contain THC.
How is it regulated?
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, marijuana and its cannabinoids remains regulated under Schedule I, the most restrictive classification, in the Controlled Substance Act.
As a result, medical and therapeutic research on CBD is limited.
The World Health Organization in December 2017 stated, “WHO does not recommend cannabidiol for medical use.”
The Federal Drug Administration has released several warning letters to firms that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain CBD and stated, “It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.”
Currently, Epidiolex used to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy is the only CBD-derived drug approved by FDA.
Despite ongoing scientific research to explore the medical or therapeutic potential of CBD, the DEA maintains that, “CBD is a Schedule I controlled substance as defined by the CSA.”
What can Airmen do?
According to Air Force Manual 44-197, Military Drug Demand Reduction Program, effective July 30, 2019, military members are prohibited from using CBD (orally, inhaled, intravenously, or through other means), because of its Schedule I status and ability to interfere with the Air Force Drug Testing Program.
For protection, Airmen should be careful, cautious, and educated when purchasing some products. Read product labels, ask questions, and remain vigilant. Remember, using CBD can result in a positive drug test. Failure to comply with this order is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
For more information, contact the Hill AFB Drug Demand Reduction Office at 801-775-5515 or the ADAPT Clinic at 801-777-7909.