A recent post on Andersen Air Force Base’s Facebook page warns military members about the use of the increasingly popular CBD products for sale in a variety of locations across Guam.
“Stay away from CBD,” the warning states. “CBD is derived from marijuana. Military members should avoid CBD oil, use is unlawful and could result in a failed drug test. … Depending on the source of the CBD and the member’s intent, Airmen may be subject to punitive action.”
Staff Sgt. Zachary Bumpus, with the 36th Wing Public Affairs Office, said the wing's legal division has sent internal notifications of the warning as well.
While CBD and recreation marijuana have been legalized on Guam, as federal employees, members of the Department of Defense are held to federal laws in regard to the use of marijuana and its derivatives, which includes CBD oil, he said.
Bumpus said because CBD is not regulated in the same way traditional medicine is, it not possible to establish where it came from.
“We can’t verify whether it came from hemp of marijuana,” Bumpus said. Therefore, the message is a blanket "do not use," he added.
TJ Mendiola, owner of Vape Escape, which sells a variety of CBD products, said his company is licensed to sell only CBD derived from hemp. He added that he does not know of any CBD products derived from marijuana being sold on island.
“All of our products either have no THC or the highest we have contain 0.08% and the highest you can have legally is 0.3%, so we are well below that,” Mendiola said.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the component in cannabis that can produce psychoactive affects and is the cannabinoid tested for in a standard drug test.
Mendiola said CBD products classified as “broad spectrum” contain zero THC.
He said this type of product appeals to “usually the people who use CBD and don’t want any danger of THC popping up in the test.”
Mendiola said all the CBD products sourced as merchandise come from the producer with lab results identifying the makeup of the product.
“We tell our customers that, depending on the strain of hemp, they may have traces of THC, and we always advise them of that. We never guarantee that someone is going to pass a test. We don’t make any claims like that.”
He added his company also does not personally endorse any medical claims made in the marketing of CBD.
CBD has been advertised as a treatment for anxiety, pain reduction, insomnia and a host of other medical ailments.
Bumpus said while they have not yet had an issue with CBD use, action for military members who are determined to be in violation of federal laws pertaining to marijuana could include a letter or reprimand.
Or in more severe cases of abusing actual marijuana products with the intent of entering a mind-altering state, service members could face a reduction in pay or a reduction in grade, or be separated from the military, Bumpus added.