Navy reminds sailors, Marines: Don't use hemp products

Even trace amounts of THC could face OTH discharge

The Navy is reminding sailors and Marines not to use any products containing hemp.

In a message released this week, the Department of the Navy reiterated its current policy regarding substance abuse prohibiting the "use, ingestion, consumption or application of cannabinoid formulations made or derived from hemp or marijuana."

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, includes legislation allowing hemp cultivation and the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines. The legislation defines hemp as a cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound the has psychoactive effects. Since the passage, hemp-derived products, including CBD, have become widely available.

The Navy reminds that its policy has not changed and all products derived from hemp or marijuana are still prohibited. While currently deemed legal for civilians in some states, all hemp and CBD products are strictly prohibited for use by sailors.

The Department of Defense said commercially-available hemp products, including CBD, have not been inspected by the FDA and therefore have not been proven to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness. Some of these products do not list all ingredients, making it impossible to know definitively how much CBD, THC or other synthetic cannabinoids they may contain. Use, including oral ingestion, intravenous use, smoking/vaporization or any other method through which hemp-derived products may enter the body, could expose the user to THC.

It is possible to test positive for THC on a urinalysis by using a CBD or hemp product. It can be impossible to determine where a CBD or hemp product was manufactured and what level of THC it may contain. Even trace amounts of THC can accumulate in the body and be detected in a urinalysis screening.

Sailors who test positive for THC or other controlled substances for which they have no valid prescription could receive a discharge characterized as Other Than Honorable which can affect future veteran’s benefits and employment opportunities.

Additionally, the Navy reports unlawful drug users to the FBI for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which could impact the ability to purchase firearms or ammunition in the future. 

Information about Navy drug detection and deterrence, as well as Navy policy on hemp and CBD products, can be found at www.ddd.navy.mil.  

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