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Navy Elaborates on CBD Ban that Includes Prohibition of Topicals



The United States Navy posted an in-depth explanation regarding its recent ban on CBD products for service members.

In a Twitter post dated September 4, the Navy shared a PSA to sailors everywhere. “The move was done to protect sailors from potential tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure that could negatively impact mission readiness and disqualify a sailor from continued service,” The Navy wrote. “It is impossible for consumers to determine how much THC a product actually contains in the current environment where label claims are not trustworthy.” This was in response to the initial announcement, which occurred last summer.

The memo also stated that the Department of Defense (DOD) cannot test all hemp products, and that despite the fact that the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products with less than 0.3 percent THC, the Navy’s policy simply doesn’t allow it. “This really is about the health of the force and ensuring the Navy remains a drug-free workplace,” said L.A. Parker, Drug Detection and Deterrence branch head, for the 21st Century Sailor office. “We have to be fit to fight and can’t take a risk in allowing our Sailors to consume or use these types of products.” 

However, it did note that service members who have a valid prescription for a CBD product that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are still allowed. Otherwise, sailors who test positive for THC could receive a discharge that is “Other Than Honorable.”

The DOD as well as the U.S. Air Force have chimed in on this topic in the past, securing the same limitations that the Navy has set on CBD possession and usage. In the past, the U.S. Army has been slightly more forgiving by granting waivers to recruits who admitted to smoking cannabis in the past.

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