Are you aware of the potential healing and recovery properties of Cannabidiol, also known as CBD? How about Hemp Oil? What is the military stance on using such products even if they contain no THC (the psychoactive drug)? In this article, we dig into the differences between the two and benefits being tested right now and answer the biggest question – Are these considered marijuana and illegal to use? Here are some things you need to know about CBD, Hemp, and THC:
- With only trace amounts of THC (less than .3%), it is unlikely to fail a drug test using Hemp/CBD.
- The CBD Oil and Hemp Oil comes from the legal, non-psychoactive hemp plant.
- The Cannabis Sativa L produces two types: marijuana and hemp.
- CBD (cannabidiol) is produced by both, but THC is not in both.
- Marijuana plant contains enough THC to get users “high”, hemp does not.
CBD is one of many naturally occurring cannabinoid compound found in Cannabis. Yes, this is a product of the same plant family of both marijuana and hemp. Fact is - cannabis does not mean marijuana. Cannabis is the genus name of the plant family that all forms of marijuana and hemp fall
Natural CBD Oil and Hemp Oil do not contain enough THC to be illegal (or get you high). It is negligible at best, but must be under .3% to be used on the market as Hemp or CBD Oil. THC is the narcotic in marijuana that give you the “high” (psychoactive effect). It is the THC that is illegal within the federal government / military, but legal in some states. However, the non-psychoactive CBD has been gaining popularity throughout the media and scientific community (see links to studies below) with noticeable recovery benefits without the illegal substances and carcinogens of some forms of marijuana. CDB oil has been shown to help the patients enduring cancer treatments, and used to treat many ailments such as epilepsy, psychological problems, and has anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
Hemp Oil contains phytocannabinoids, but it is not marijuana. Hemp contains more than 80 phytocannabinoids including CBD. It can be made from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp Oil is rich in polyunsaturated fats like Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as Vitamin E. Hemp Oil can be used in cooking, shampoos, soaps, and because of the high Vitamin E content it is an anti-oxidant that can help the body fight off the catabolic effects of stress. Unlike CBD oil, hemp oil has a nutritional value. It can be consumed in capsule form as well.
Frequently asked questions about Hemp Oil from Thorne.
The Endocannabinoid System
Why are cannabinoids like CBD and Hemp important? Our body has millions of cannabinoid receptors that are part of the brain, skin, and central nervous system (CNS) called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). CBD interacts with the body’s ECS and our body naturally produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids. Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout our body from our biggest organ – the skin to the brain, digestive tract and throughout the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The main purpose of the ECS is to protect the nerve fibers themselves, immune system, and helping to regulate the autonomic nervous system which impact appetite, sleep, mood, stress, and pain. Because of its placement within the central nervous system it has impact within both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. These are our “fight or flight” or “rest and digest” states respectively, connecting our hormonal responses to stress in life or death situations and our recovery from those moments as well.
The Legal Issues and DOD Stances
According to the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana includes any resin from any part of the cannabis plant. This would include CBD and Hemp oil. However, because of another law, the Agricultural Act of 2014 allows for State Agriculture businesses, colleges, and universities to obtain permits to extract CBD from industrial hemp. In states where marijuana is legal and the transport across state lines is legal for industrial hemp, the flow of CBD oil or industrial hemp is also considered legal. The companies selling CBD oil are permitted to use industrial hemp, therefore not in contradiction of the Controlled Substances Act making CBD oil legal and not a substance the Drug Enforcement Administration would consider illicit – because it contains only trace amounts of THC. The hemp growers have to be careful and are highly regulated to not allow the THC values to increase within their substances they sell. The CBD produced must have zero THC which makes it not testable on any drug test.
See UCMJ Defender Story on recent hemp seed issues within the military.
Do your research in the branch of service on their official stance on Hemp or CBD (with no THC). The stances tend to ebb and flow at the speed of politics and military bureaucracy.
Veterans In The Business
recently asked Army veteran Craig Henderson of Extract Labs about his journey from the military to Colorado and into the world of legal cannabis products. Here are some of those questions and answers:
What was the journey from the Army to the legal marijuana business? Craig was an Airborne Paratrooper for four years then decided to use his GI Bill to go to college. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree along the way, he found a path to Colorado where he started working for a new and legal marijuana company. He grew with the business and created methods to distribute and ingest these products using edibles, creams, oils, vapes, and more. This type of the cannabis business was mainly for medical and recreational marijuana users. THC was the product people were seeking at that time in the industry, however, he noticed there are big benefits in non-THC cannabis in products from the hemp plant such as CBD oil and hemp seed oil.
Craig created a new company, Extract Labs, that focuses on the “non-alcoholic beer” version of the same products above. The CBD oil products have the same types of ingestion models as above, but with none of the psychoactive effects of the THC type of cannabis. “Consider this the health and wellness side of the business.” Craig instructed. He also shared, “We have customers who use these products for depression, sleep assistance, PTSD, anxiety, high blood pressure, cancer, and pain relief, even severe pain relief.”
Other Veterans in the CBD Business:
The Problem - Synthetic Cannabinoids
You may have heard about products like Spice or K2 which is a synthetic cannabinoid made from chemicals, not from the cannabis or hemp plant, whereas CBD oil is organic and naturally occurring, extracted using natural methods. These chemicals sprayed over such things as tobacco have caused severe side effects, even deaths, and can be 2-100 times stronger than THC. These products have been part of the sweeping Department of Defense regulations regarding any product related to cannabinoids. Recently, more than 76 people in New Haven, Connecticut in a park overdosed with severe side effects from a “bad batch” of synthetic marijuana. This became a mass casualty event that has nothing to do with hemp, CBD, or marijuana for that matter, as it was laced with an opioid.
Medical Studies / Reports on CBD Oil: Anti-Inflammatory - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
Psychological Benefits - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716160
CBD and FDA Approval - https://www.solcbd.com/blogs/news/fda-approved-cannabidiol-epilepsy%20
Side Effects of CBD - https://www.solcbd.com/blogs/news/the-known-side-effects-of-cannabidiol
Lower Blood Pressure - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171
If you are considering going into this business, you do not necessarily need to move to one of the several states where medical and recreational marijuana are legal. To grow, sell, and distribute hemp products, it is easier to live in a state where both medical and recreational marijuana is legal, but there are some states with agricultural laws that allow for hemp to be grown. If you are considering using the CBD or Hemp Oils – it is legal to buy online and locally. However, do your research and make sure you select a legitimate seller that adheres to strict third party and government regulations.