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The Navy has banned sailors and Marines from using shampoos, lotions and soaps made with hemp or cannabidiol, one of the main active compounds in cannabis plants, it said in a statement.

By CHAD GARLAND | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 9, 2020

The policy’s goal is to prevent service members from unknowingly consuming THC in any amount, the Navy said last week.

The new rule still allows for the use of CBD-containing products that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, if a service member has a valid prescription. The rules do not prohibit the use of “durable hemp goods” such as rope, twine or clothing.

The Navy banned the use of topical products made with hemp or its derivatives in a July 24 administrative message, saying it’s impossible for consumers to determine how much THC such products contain based on label claims that may be untrustworthy. The policy warns that the use of hemp-based or products containing cannabidiol, or CBD, risks interference with the department’s drug testing program.

“CBD is everywhere,” a recently released Army News article pointed out. “You would be hard-pressed to enter any pharmacy, mega-mart or health food store and not find it on the shelves. CBD can even be purchased online from the comfort of your couch.”

Her remark is in reference to products containing cannabidiol extract, or CBD, which have exploded in popularity as a result of aggressive civilian advertising that touts their benefits as pain relievers, stress reducers, depression inhibitors and more.

An excerpt from Army Regulation 600-85, dated July 23, 2020, reads as follows: “The use of products made or derived from hemp (as defined in 7 USC. 1639o) … regardless of the product’s THC concentration, claimed or actual, and regardless of whether such product may lawfully be bought, sold and used under the law applicable to civilians, is prohibited.”

As for the number of aches and ailments the oil is said to decrease, there is little scientific evidence to support it, according to the popular health information website webmd.com. However, research into hemp-derived medication continues to increase following the FDA’s approval of the CBD drug Epidiolex for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

“Military members should not confuse the prevalence of such products with their legality,” Oates said. “Soldiers are prohibited from using hemp products of any sort, whether or not they have been legalized in certain jurisdictions.”