By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Mosier, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published November 19, 2019
Cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil, is growing in popularity as an ingredient in health and pet products, but is it okay for service members and federal employees to use? The simple answer is no.
These products may contain tetrahydrocannabinol and can cause Airmen to test positive during a urinalysis for the presence of marijuana, which is illegal to consume under federal law and Air Force Instruction 90-507, “Military Drug Demand Reduction Program.”
“It’s important for both uniformed and civilian Airmen to understand the risk these products pose to their careers,” said Maj. Jason Gammons, Air Force Office of The Judge Advocate General spokesperson. “Products containing unregulated levels of THC can cause positive drug tests, resulting in the same disciplinary actions as if members had consumed marijuana.”
CBD oil is derived from the Cannabis sativa L. plant, commonly known as marijuana, and is found in many products – gummy bears, teas, vapes, lotions, bath salts and even pet treats. CBD alone is non-psychotropic, which means it doesn’t produce the high associated with other marijuana components like THC.
While there have been a number of claims of its wide range of health benefits, CBD products are still unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration and may also contain varying levels of THC that may not be advertised on the label.
“The important point for Airmen to consider is the level of uncertainty for these products,” Gammons said. “We want to ensure we arm them with the facts so they can make informed decisions and not inadvertently jeopardize their military careers.”
According to a 2017 study conducted by Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., a study of 84 CBD products sold online, found that only 31% of product labels accurately reflected the CBD content and 21% contained THC, even when product labels advertised zero THC.
Although the levels may not be significantly high, it can still be enough to result in a positive urinalysis result on a drug test. Positive urinalysis results can place service members under disciplinary action. Certain federal employees are also subject to random drug testing based on the requirements of their positions and could be subject to discipline.
Products containing THC, even pet products, may qualify as possession of a controlled substance. Possession of a controlled substance is regulated under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, federal law and state laws.