The rules surrounding hemp products and U.S. Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen may seem confusing. But what if you want to use CBD oil for pain management, but aren’t sure if it will come back to bite you later on in your navy career? What are the rules surrounding, for example, CBD cream, and what might Coast Guard superiors have to say about it?

CBD legislation is going through a period of rapid change, and it’s worthwhile to look into both the science and the law surrounding CBD.

Why bother with CBD?

It’s important to note that hemp is not marijuana, and CBD can provide many health benefits without any “high.”

According to this study, CBD products can have marked antidepressant-like effects, making it a possible route for dealing with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In fact, the Veterans Affairs San Diego Health System is currently studying the effects of CBD on PTSD-related issues such as pain, sleep problems, and depression. CBD pain relief rubs or CBD oil for pain management might, therefore, have tremendous benefits.

Furthermore, according to another study, CBD can also limit the overactivity of pain receptors while also limiting the amount of inflammation in the nervous system, which may, in turn, help those battling insomnia or pain.

CBD clearly might be of great use to sailors, marines, and coast guardsmen. Far from the stereotypes typically associated with hemp products, CBD could help these men and women in national service perform their jobs better, deal with pain, and manage stress levels.

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Legal ambiguities and CBD

In spite of all these potential benefits to those in service, there is still a lack of clarity surrounding the broader use of hemp products in the Navy.

There is still a lot of negative talk surrounding all hemp products in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. As this article describes, sailors, marines, and coastguardsmen are discouraged from buying any hemp products whatsoever.

Cannabis has been outlawed for generations amongst the U.S. military. With the advent of new laws and new attitudes, it’s entirely natural for there to be some measure of confusion or resistance in different segments of society, even with something as harmless and beneficial as CBD.

From the legalization of cannabis products on the state level to the nation-wide Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which effectively lifted the ban on hemp as a crop, the law has seemed slippery at times. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 had some interesting legal tidbits baked into the proverbial cake: it moved to legalize the production and transport of hemp products, provided they had less than 0.3% of THC, otherwise known as “what gets you high.”

But why would the military higher-ups care about the use of products that have no intoxicating effects? Why care about CBD oil for pain management that might markedly improve the performance of servicemen and women?

Naval authorities and the pushback against hemp products

Military pushback is more about commanding particular rhetoric and ethos of discipline and authority, rather than about the exactitudes of science. While popular culture might be rapidly shifting its ideas surrounding CBD and other hemp products, old connotations die slowly in subcultures that strongly emphasize tradition and old-world honor.

Factor this in with the fact that CBD is only just beginning to be regulated and monitored by the FDA.

Thus, according to Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, since CBD labels are not entirely standardized at this point, there is the chance that sustained use of CBD products could lead a serviceman to accidentally fail a urinalysis for THC content. This would lead to a dishonorable discharge from service. This, in turn, would lead to a huge loss of benefits and privileges enjoyed as a veteran. Spencer and other authorities in the navy urge servicemen to steer clear.

Coast Guard Commandant Schultz goes a step further and urges servicemen to avoid any establishment that makes money off THC--even if you aren’t there to use THC products--for anything other than medical purposes. Thus, while prescribed CBD drugs like Epidolex are permitted, over-the-counter CBD products are still very much frowned upon. It’s very much an unfortunate “use-at-your-own-risk” situation, and if you choose to use CBD products at all, it’s important as a serviceman to turn to reliable companies.

Potential solutions

In spite of incredible potential benefits to veterans and servicemen, the road to easy CBD use has some setbacks. However, there are potential solutions on the horizon.

First and foremost, CBD needs the FDA to standardize labels and approve products so the military can see the CBD industry is reliable and will not damage their reputation. This would allow more businesses to reach a broader audience, as well as giving consumers a greater level of clarity when wading through the booming CBD marketplace. A nation-wide standard would give military officials and servicemen more opportunity to enjoy CBD health benefits.

However, the current conundrum doesn’t apply to veterans, and the FDA is making great strides. If you want pain relief from a product that won’t slow you down or make you dependent, fill out our contact form or call today on (360)-200-7417.