JUL 30, 2020 6:53 PM PDT

Navy Goes Overboard on Hemp Ban for Sailors and Marines

WRITTEN BY: Angela Dowden

It may be a federally legal crop, but the Sailors and Marines of the US Navy have been told they cannot use hemp in any form—even if it’s just a trace amount in cosmetic items such as shampoos, soap and lip salve.

Ironically, the memo detailing the hemp ban was released just four days after the House of Representatives approved an amendment to a spending bill that would have theoretically allowed military service members to use hemp, or its derivatives, including cannabidiol (CBD).

A number of times previously, various military branches have told serving members they cannot use CBD even though it is a legal and non-intoxicating part of the cannabis species. In February, the Department of Defense (DOD)  backed this up with a blanket policy barring all active and reserve service members from using hemp products, though this did not go as far as mentioning products used externally.

The new advice could be seen as excessively restrictive, but seems to come out of an abundance of caution. Any trace of THC in the urine of service personnel would be seen as substance misuse, and incompatible with military readiness.

“The United States Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) does not determine or certify the THC concentration of commercially available hemp products,” the Navy memo explains. “Accordingly, these products may contain appreciable levels of THC, yet omit any reference to THC on the product label and/or list an inaccurate THC concentration”.

Some CBD products for oral use have been found to contain THC, occasionally in unacceptable levels, but products used topically haven’t previously been implicated.

The new Navy ruling specifically mentions hemp-containing “shampoos, conditioners, lotions, lip balms, or soaps”.

Any violations of the ban are subject to adverse administrative actions and/or disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, though if a service member could not reasonably have known a product was made or derived from hemp, allowances will be made.

Use of cannabinoid formulations approved as drugs by the FDA for which the service member has a valid prescription, such as dronabinol (Marinol, Syndros) and cannabidiol (Epidiolex) will still be allowed by the Navy.

Source: Marijuana Moment

About the Author
  • I'm a journalist and author with many year's experience of writing for both a consumer and professional audience, mostly on nutrition, health and medical prescribing. My background is food science and I'm a registered nutritionist.
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