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The Drug War vs the US Military: CBD Might Help With Brain Damage but They Can't Shampoo With It?

Newsweek AMPLIFY - CBD in US Military

We couldn't make this up. Unfortunately, we don't have to. Using CBD products is now a crime in the military, as per Pentagon tightens restrictions.

Yep. Thanks for your service, but you are now a prisoner of the Drug War.

According to the pro-veteran website, Connectingvets.radio.com

A memo from Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan dated Feb. 26 reads:

"Substance misuse by service members is a safety and readiness issue, and the Department must remain vigilant in addressing emerging threats, including those that come from new products and sources."

These restrictions are not new — the Air Force and Army already ban the use of CBD and hemp products, and the Navy and Marine Corps limit usage to topical goods such as lotions, shampoos or soaps. But this new memo from Donovan prohibits all use across all service branches.

According to Donovan's memo, the overarching ban removes some of the complications CBD and hemp usage introduces into the military's drug-testing system.

"I specifically find a military necessity to require a prohibition of this scope to ensure the military drug testing program continues to be able to identify the use of marijuana, which is prohibited, and to spare the U.S. military the risks and adverse effects marijuana use has on the mission readiness of individual service members and military units," he wrote.

However, ConnectingVets is wrong when it says, "The THC content of legal hemp products is still high enough that it could result in a positive drug test for a service member."

In fact, it would be almost impossible to absorb any measurable THC from topical use. First, THC is not easily absorbed through the skin.

See: If I use cannabis topicals, will I test positive on a THC drug test?

Second, and most importantly, hemp-based topicals like soap, shampoos, and lotions are made with hemp seed oil, which has no THC. You can eat hemp seeds or drink hemp seed oil and pass any drug test because there was never any THC there. THC and CBD are not derived from the seed but rather from the "flower" that carries the seed. So, banning topicals with hemp seed oil makes no sense at all.

As for the ban on CBD products, some CBD products may be improperly labeled and may be "hot" and have traces of THC. That is one reason I founded RealTestedCBD.com, so it would be easy for consumers to know what they are taking. Frankly, it would be difficult to consume enough "Hot" CBD oil to fail a drug test, but...

See: What is Hot Hemp? Is It Real?

It is also important to know the "dirty secret" about the "Drug Testing" industry. It is really just about "marijuana testing" because the really dangerous drugs like methamphetamine, opiates, cocaine are water soluble, and are flushed out of the system with a day or so. THC is not water soluble, so it stays for up to a month, with heavy use.

See: Drug Use in the Military Charges

Bluntly, the entire military "Drug Testing" program is just a scam aimed at maintaining marijuana prohibition, without regard for the well-being of the troops. It is only in that context that banning hemp seed topicals and/or CBD products makes any sense.

And it isn't as though there isn't a serious substance abuse problem in the military. Of course, it is alcohol.

"A review of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's survey data from 2013 through 2017 by a behavioral health company has found that troops spend more days a year consuming alcohol than people in any other industry.

They also binge-drink more, imbibing at least four or five alcoholic beverages a day in one sitting at least 41 days a year, the most of any occupation. That's the CDC's definition of binge-drinking, depending on gender. The military personnel surveyed said they binge-drank about a third of the days they consumed alcohol."

Finally, marijuana prohibition has a much greater cost to the health of the American military, and it is an indefensible betrayal of our combat veterans.

Unsurprisingly, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are a major problem in the military but they have been ignoring the science demonstrating that CBD can help prevent or reduce permanent brain damage.

See: Study finds medical marijuana improves concussion symptoms

So, it begins with the absurdity of banning hemp seed topicals, then banning the therapeutic use of a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, followed by "Drug Testing" that is designed for only marijuana, then it ends in betraying the most vulnerable.

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and the author of the Best CBD Planet Guide.

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