CBD proliferation threatens servicemember careers

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing
The U.S. Air Force is ramping up efforts to warn Airmen about using recently legalized Cannabidiol oil, usually referred to as CBD, as it may cause positive drug tests and is not permitted for use among service members.

“Many of these products are now available in our local community and military members may not be aware,” said Col. Brad Orgeron, the 173rd Fighter Wing vice-commander. “CBD oils and hemp derivative products are beginning to appear in commercially available food and beverage products along with personal care products.”

Those products include lotions, bath salts, teas, vapes, candy and even pet treats. Although CBD oil does not produce the high associated with marijuana use and the drug known as THC, it is unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration and can contain varying amounts of that chemical.

“The leadership at the 173rd Fighter Wing wants to ensure all personnel know that using any derivative of the cannabinoid plant is not authorized for any federal employees or service member and could result in a positive drug test and separation from service,” stresses Orgeron.

According to a 2017 study conducted by Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., a study of 84 CBD products sold online, found that only 31% of product labels accurately reflected the CBD content and 21% contained THC, even when product labels advertised zero THC.

Maj. Jason Gammons, an Air Force Office of The Judge Advocate General spokesperson, warns Airmen to consider the uncertainty of using unregulated CBD oils. “We want to ensure we arm them with the facts so they can make informed decisions and not inadvertently jeopardize their military careers,” he said.

Further stating the point, products containing THC are potentially controlled substances, which are regulated under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Orgeron says in light of changing laws and regulations in Oregon it’s imperative to educate Oregon Air National Guardsmen on the standard they agree to uphold as military members.

“The wing commits exhaustive resources in recruiting, training, and retaining our service members who are technically skilled and valuable to our team. We simply cannot afford to lose any Airmen to drug abuse,” he adds.