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Using or owning CBD oil can get Air Force members court-martialed, alert warns

Cannabis oil extract 3.5 grams in oral syringe with package container. (anon_lynx/Wikimedia Commons)

The U.S. Air Force warned its service members this week to steer clear of those trendy CBD oil products or risk being court-martialed.

Even owning a CBD oil product for a pet “may qualify as possession of a controlled substance,” according to a release.

Civilian staff were also put on notice not to get caught using the products, which are marketed as a “natural remedy for many common ailments” such as pain relief, depression and acne, according to

The warning, issued Tuesday, noted CBD oil products “may contain tetrahydrocannabinol” (THC), which can show up in a urinalysis.

“It’s important for both uniformed and civilian Airmen to understand the risk these products pose to their careers,” said a statement issued by Maj. Jason Gammons, with the Air Force Office of The Judge Advocate General.

“Products containing unregulated levels of THC can cause positive drug tests, resulting in the same disciplinary actions as if members had consumed marijuana,” he said in the release.

Cases where Air Force service members test positive for marijuana use “normally result in Special Courts-Martial, where the maximum punishment authorized is a Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD), 6 months confinement, forfeiture of two-thirds pay and allowances for 6 months, and reduction to E-1,” according the Barksdale Air Force Base website.

THC “is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the sensation of getting ‘high’ that’s often associated with marijuana,” reports. “Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.”

However, the Air Force noted in its release that CBD products remain unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration and product advocates lack proof of its benefits.

“The important point for Airmen to consider is the level of uncertainty for these products,” Gammons said in the release. “We want to ensure we arm them with the facts so they can make informed decisions and not inadvertently jeopardize their military careers.”

As for civilian federal employees, the Air Force warned they are subject to random drug tests like airmen “based on the requirements of their positions and could be subject to discipline.”

Each branch of the military is crafting “new policies regarding hemp-derived products like cannabidiol or CBD” based products, according to an August report by

Among the chief concerns is the packaging and labeling in hemp-based products, which is not considered reliable in revealing the ingredients, the site reported.


© 2019 The Charlotte Observer