Times are strange all around, which is why many people are turning to CBD and other plant-based products. After all, the more healthy coping tools you have in your arsenal, the better off you’ll weather all this weirdness. At least, theoretically anyhow.
The Navy disagrees. They don’t do well with theories, or with ambiguity.
“to ensure the integrity of the Navy’s drug policy.” It “bans use of any hemp product or product derived from hemp and violations can occur without regard to intended physical or mental consequences of the use.”
“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,” it states. “It is impossible for consumers to determine how much THC a product actually contains in the current environment where label claims are not trustworthy.”
In August 2019, the Navy released a memo that barred sailors and marines from ingesting or inhaling products made from hemp, including cannabidiol. But the memo also stated that this did not include hemp-based “topical products such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, or soaps.”
However, in an updated July 2020 notice, the Navy announced that use also includes “topical products containing hemp, such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, lip balms, or soaps.”
Notably, the Department of Defense had already issued an order in February prohibiting servicemen and women from using any hemp or CBD products.
Four days before the July announcement banning hemp soap and shampoo, the House of Representatives approved an amendment permitting members of all branches of the military to use CBD and hemp products.
Confused yet? You would not be alone. Apparently, the conflicting statements were puzzling enough that the Navy felt the update was in order.
Why CBD Topicals?
It’s unclear why there seems to be so much concern suddenly about CBD topicals. According to Navy Secretary Kenneth J. Braithwaite, “Sailors and Marines cannot rely on the packaging and labeling of hemp products in determining whether the product contains THC concentrations that could cause a positive urinalysis result.”
The statement later says that “Substance misuse by members of the Armed Forces is incompatible with military standards of good order and discipline, performance, and operational readiness. It is the goal of the Department of the Navy (DON) to eliminate substance abuse,” it continues. “The use of products containing, made, or derived from hemp, including CBD, may interfere with the DON Drug Detection and Deterrence Program and result in the reporting of unlawful levels of THC in Sailors and Marines.”
Since CBD doesn’t pass through the skin barrier and enter the bloodstream, it would seem like the ban on topicals is a bit of overkill. Not only this but by law, CBD products must contain less than 0.3 percent THC. This trace amount is incapable of causing any psychoactive effects.
Technically, if an individual were to ingest insane quantities of CBD bath and body products, they might become impaired, but since these products are not meant to be eaten, they would likely become pretty ill, too. Is there an actual concern that individuals are going to start scarfing down their bath and body products?
The ban does not include traditional durable goods made with hemp, such as clothing or rope. And sailors and marines with a valid prescription can still use FDA-approved cannabidiol-based drugs like Epidiolex.