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CBD: A "Nonessential" Oil (Updated)

CBD is a trend that is popping up everywhere from grocery stores to pet stores, from vape oils to lotions.

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Senior Airman Braydon Williams)


CBD is a trend that is popping up everywhere from grocery stores to pet stores, from vape oils to lotions.

What does this mean for Airmen?

The laws in our country surrounding CBD products are changing rapidly, which can make things confusing for service members. However, the Air Force is clear.

According to Air Force Manual 44-197, Military Drug Demand Reduction Program, imposes the following prohibition effective 30 July 2019: "[T]he knowing ingestion (orally, intravenously, through smoking/vaporization, or through other means) of products containing or products derived from hemp is prohibited. Additionally, the knowing use of hemp products designed to penetrate the skin, including but not limited to transdermal patches, is prohibited."

Air Force Instruction 90-507 adds that the Military Drug Demand Reduction program prohibits Airmen from knowingly using intoxicating substances (other than alcohol or tobacco) with the intent to alter mood or function.

CBD is included under 90-507, and even as CBD becomes more socially acceptable as an herbal remedy to certain ailments, the law is clear for those serving in the armed forces.

The 90th Missile Wing Legal Office warns, “Depending on the source of the CBD and the member’s intent, Airmen may be subject to punitive action under Article 92, Uniform Code of Military Justice or Article 112a, UCMJ.”

CBD products that contain THC are considered Schedule I controlled substances by the FDA.  Schedule I controlled substances are those that present the highest potential for abuse, including drugs such as marijuana and heroin.  Many products labeled as being THC-free are not.  There is only one CBD product approved for use by the FDA, and it is available only with a prescription.

According to a 2017 study cited by the Air Force Administrative Law Directorate, about 21 percent of 84 “THC-free” CBD products sold online contained THC.

Given the results of this study, it is possible to test positive during a urine analysis test from CBD products and face punitive action.

Be aware of what you are putting in and on your body. Stay away from CBD.