As the military services each roll out new policies regarding hemp-derived products like cannabidiol, or CBD, the Defense Department is not mincing words.
"It's completely forbidden for use by any service member in any of the services at this point of time," said Patricia Deuster, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.
The warning, along with the policies issued recently by the Air Force, Coast Guard and Department of the Navy, comes as CBD is becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the country in many forms, from coffee additives and vaping liquids to tinctures, candies and other foods, carrying promises of health benefits ranging from pain and anxiety relief to sleeping aids and inflammation reduction.
Hemp was removed from the federal government's list of controlled substances under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which passed last December. By law, hemp that contains less than .3 percent THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is legal.
But while the legislation removed cannabidiol from the Schedule I list of illicit substances, it did not necessarily legalize all CBD products. And since the products are unregulated and untested, there's no way to tell exactly what a person is buying or using, Deuster told reporters in a phone call from the Military Health System Research Symposium on Tuesday.