The 2018 Law of Agriculture Improvement Act officially removed CBD from the list of controlled substances listed in the Controlled Substances Act. This legislation made CBD products derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC legal under federal law.
At SUPA Naturals, we sell CBD oil, coffee additives, and other products to people nationwide to help with stress relief, insomnia, and more.
If you’re a member of the United States military or considering joining, you may wonder, is CBD federally legal for military service members? Keep reading to learn about CBD in the different branches of the military, including whether it’s legal and if drug tests can detect it.
This 2018 law applicable to civilians’ CBD use does not include members of the armed forces. Hemp-derived products remain illegal for all Department of Defense (DOD) personnel, including U.S. military members and civilian employees.
The DOD prohibits the purchase, possession, distribution, and consumption of CBD products within its workforce, in part due to the unregulated nature of the hemp product industry.
A memorandum released by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense in 2020 explains the DOD’s position. In summary, the memo states that the lack of regulation for hemp products makes it impossible for troops to determine a product’s THC concentration and for the DOD to reasonably differentiate between illicit marijuana consumption and the use of hemp products containing THC on military drug tests.
No military service members within any branch of the U.S. military may legally use hemp oil, CBD oil, or any other product derived from the hemp plant. Marijuana remains illegal as well, despite the increase in state-level legalization. Members of the military cannot legally consume products derived from the cannabis plant, even in areas where it is legal by local law.
The DOD forbids the use of hemp and cannabis products for military personnel to protect its troops’ health and mission readiness and prevent problems like positive drug tests, substance abuse, and drug use that could undermine soldiers’ abilities to perform their duties.
The different military branches each have official regulations prohibiting the use of CBD and other hemp-derived products.
The 2020 Army Substance Abuse Program and 2022 Army CBD Policy prohibit the consumption of hemp products, cannabis, and synthetic cannabis by Army soldiers. This includes hemp oil, CBD oil, hemp food products, topical CBD creams, shampoos, and soaps.
Army spokespeople remind armed forces members that these products remain forbidden despite their prevalence in the consumer market.
Military members in the Navy and Marine Corps are also prohibited from CBD use under the 2022 Navy CBD Policy and the Marine equivalent.
All military CBD policies define use as the introduction of a CBD or hemp product into the human body through inhalation, ingestion, injection, and absorption, so members of the U.S. military should avoid all CBD products, including seemingly harmless ones like topical products and bath bombs.
Military members who unknowingly consume a CBD product may not be held accountable, but a soldier, sailor, or another military member who tests positive can suffer disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The Air Force forbids hemp and CBD use under the Air Force CBD Policy of 2022. Airmen and other armed forces members, including soldiers, sailors, and Coast Guard personnel, may face dishonorable discharge after a failed drug test.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor the CBD industry, but the U.S. military does allow CBD use for personnel with a valid doctor’s prescription for FDA-approved products. Not many CBD products have FDA approval, but the ones that do help with seizures and cancer treatment-induced nausea.
To use CBD legally, armed forces members must have prescriptions for FDA-approved CBD products from authorized medical professionals. Examples of FDA-approved CBD prescription products include Epidiolex, Marinol, and Syndros.
Although the U.S. military does not technically test for CBD, its use may cause a soldier to test positive for THC. Due to the lack of regulation for some consumer CBD products, it can be challenging to determine how much THC one introduces into their body when using them.
Despite the DOD’s current stance, some policymakers recognize the potential therapeutic value of CBD for active military members and civilians alike.
The hemp industry experienced a small step in the direction of removing CBD from the list of illegal substances for military personnel in 2020 when the House of Representatives passed a bill that made it legal for people with one misdemeanor marijuana offense to apply for re-enlistment and allowed hemp product use by members of the armed forces.
Unfortunately, no news has surfaced regarding this measure’s cannabis policy reform provisions being introduced to the Senate.
The same can be said regarding the Hemp for Victory Act of 2019, which mandated many studies into the value of hemp-derived products.
Today, CBD remains illegal for the DOD workforce, but opinions on CBD for therapeutic uses seem generally optimistic. Many U.S. military veterans suffering from PTSD understand the benefits of CBD and use it to relieve their symptoms.
Other veterans have enthusiastically joined the cannabis and hemp industries, creating businesses that formulate and sell CBD oil, edibles, capsules, topicals, vapes, and other products that help consumers sleep better, contend with anxiety and depression, and relieve pain.
As medical studies into the benefits of CBD continue, the strict CBD regulations for the military may ease. For now, members of the military should avoid hemp-based products just as they do with products derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant to prevent the consequences of a positive drug test.
The current answer to the question, “Is CBD legal for the military?” is no. Whether you’re a member of the Coast Guard, the Army, or another military branch, you cannot legally purchase a CBD product using any method.
If you are not under any restrictions for CBD usage, such as those by the military or the DOD, you can shop for CBD oil, edibles, and other products online or in-store. Check out the selection of products available at SUPA Naturals. You can also take our CBD quiz to help determine the best CBD product for your needs.