Just one year ago the US Navy made it clear — it is prohibited for Marines and Sailors to use hemp or cannabidiol (CBD) products. Now they’ve expanded this unreasonable ban to include hemp-derived CBD topical products like salve, lotions, shampoos, soaps, and lip balms.
The Navy says the latest ruling was made to “safeguard sailors from potential tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure that could negatively impact mission readiness and disqualify a Sailor from continued service.”
In a statement from the Navy, light was shed on “It is impossible for consumers to determine how much THC a product actually contains in the current environment where label claims are not trustworthy.” Department of Defense officials further stated “it’s not reasonable or practical” for the Navy to test every hemp product to determine which products could prompt a positive urinalysis result.
What are CBD Topicals?
CBD topicals come in a variety of products, including lotions, salve, or creams. The hemp-derived CBD topical products contain the same medicinal properties of non-topical CBD products. In topical form, CBD is most popularly used for managing pain and inflammation.
CBD topicals penetrate the skin to provide targeted relief, without entering the bloodstream. It can be used for:
- Joint or muscle pain
- Period cramps
- Foot or hand pain
Hemp-Derived CBD: What’s Legal?
In late 2018, Congress voted to legalize the cultivation of hemp after months of debate and negotiation between lawmakers. CBD is the chemical found in hemp and marijuana plants. Brands use hemp-derived CBD because the extract is legal in all states.
While current federal guidelines allow for legalized use of CBD products that contain a THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent, the Navy’s updated policy aims to eliminate any gray areas by banning all products that could yield a surprise during a urinalysis test.
CBD is found to be helpful for restorative sleep, pain and inflammation, stress and anxiety — as well as panic attacks.
Enforcing a Drug-Free Workplace
“This really is about the health of the force and ensuring the Navy remains a drug-free workplace,” LA Parker, Drug Detection & Deterrence branch head for the 21st Century Sailor office stated in an online statement.
“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. Every Sailor has a personal responsibility to diligently avoid intentional or accidental exposure to THC and other prohibited substances,” the statement said.
However, it should be noted that Sailors and Marines with a valid medical prescription for CBD approved by the Food and Drug Administration are still allowed to use it.
The Navy’s update to its policy follows an approval by the House of Representatives of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would allow all service members to use legalized products containing hemp and CBD.
What will happen next? Check back to Smilyn CBD blog for updates.