CBD is legal throughout America, meaning CBD products are widely available throughout the 50 states. But the military is still a bit wary of hemp even though it doesn’t get you high. So you may be wondering: will the military test for CBD?
While the military doesn’t specifically test for CBD in their drug tests, it’s still possible for CBD products to make you fail a drug test. That’s because of some of the other compounds present in certain CBD oil, edibles, and e-juice.
So how do you know which CBD products are safe for you to use in the military? We’ll give you all the details you need to know about CBD when it comes to military testing!
Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?
This can get a little tricky but the short answer is: No, CBD itself will not show up on a drug test. But not all products that contain CBD will pass a drug test.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp that doesn’t get users “high.” Drug tests do not screen for this particular cannabinoid because of its lack of negative side effects and its legal status in the United States. The Farm Bill passed in 2018 and made hemp legal across all 50 states.
But one of the substances targeted by drug tests is cannabis. Drug tests identify cannabis usage by detecting THC. This is a phytocannabinoid in the marijuana plant. Sometimes CBD products — including CBD oil — will also have THC, which can result in a failed drug test.
A recent study found that 25% of food products in Germany that contained CBD also had enough THC to create “intoxicating side effects.” The CBD-infused food had over 2.5 milligrams of THC, meaning these products would also cause you to fail a drug test.
Always be aware of the type of CBD products you’re choosing since THC can sometimes be a component. Check out the three main types of CBD products you’ll come across:
Full Spectrum CBD
Products that are labeled as “full spectrum” contain all of the compounds found in cannabis, including THC. CBD hemp flower is full spectrum. CBD oil can be full spectrum as well, although there are other variations. This is a popular choice for CBD consumers because the combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavanoids produces what’s known as the “entourage effect.”
Basically, it’s believed that full spectrum will give users the maximum benefits thanks to the synergy of the components. However, since there is a small amount of THC in full spectrum products, there’s a chance you’d fail a drug test after continued use.
Broad Spectrum CBD
The only difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum is that the latter doesn’t contain any THC. Broad spectrum CBD also provides the entourage effect, although it will be less potent. Broad spectrum CBD products shouldn’t contain THC, making them more desirable for those taking drug tests.
This is the purest form of CBD available at 99% or more. It should be free of every other cannabinoid and compound except for CBD itself. This is almost the most versatile form of CBD because you can eat it, drink it, smoke it, or use it sublingually.
So, the Military Test for CBD?
Even though the military disapproves of CBD oil and other CBD product usage, drug tests in the military currently don’t test for this particular phytocannabinoid. The only way it would be detected is through the use of CBD products that also contain trace amounts of THC.
Even CBD products with a very small amount of THC will result in a failed drug test with continued use.
The Federal Government’s Stance on CBD
The House of Representatives passed an amendment in July of 2020 that allows service members to purchase, possess, and even consume CBD products. It’s continuing to pass through stages of development right now because so many people use CBD to soothe discomfort and negative feelings.
If the amendment holds, it will still take a while to implement. And meanwhile, the Department of Defense still has reservations on the matter.
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Matthew P. Donovan, stated that CBD use posed “a serious risk to the viability of the military drug testing program,” claiming it currently can’t distinguish between THC and hemp.
The Department of Defense also zeroed in on the 0.3% THC allowed in legal hemp products. For them, it seemed easier to ban CBD altogether because THC has “risks and adverse effects” on the readiness of service members and military units.
Outside of the military, CBD is now legal in all 50 states thanks to the Farm Bill passing in 2018. The new law made hemp legal. Hemp is cannabis containing less than 0.3% of THC. With so little THC, hemp won’t get you high.
While the growing of hemp is still highly regulated, it’s much easier to get your hands on CBD oil, CBD tinctures, CBD flour, and other hemp-derived products than ever before. Each state has its own specific requirements, usually regarding the age someone must be to purchase CBD products. In some states, it’s anyone over 18 while others require you to be 21 and up.
Can CBD Be Effective for Military Personnel?
There are many reasons that the military is hoping to make CBD use legal. CBD is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid that won’t get you high but still may provide many benefits for physical and mental health.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is very common in military personnel and veterans. PTSD develops after an individual experiences a frightening or distressing experience. This includes witnessing or experiencing violence, accidents, or sexual assaults.
From 2000 to 2015, over 138,000 military personnel comprised of deployed troops were diagnosed with PTSD. Troops that weren’t yet deployed had 40,000 diagnoses of PTSD. It’s only continued to increase each year.
CBD interacts with the receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Research has shown that CBD has a positive influence on the ECS, promoting overall well-being. The ECS helps to regulate sleep, mood, digestion, anxiety, stress, and much more.
When someone with PTSD isn’t as focused on what’s causing their fear, they can become calmer in certain situations. Actions such as getting better sleep, decreasing anxiousness, and feeling tranquil can help PTSD become more manageable.
Being in the military is hard work. Military training is intended to push the mind and body through basic training, physical training, and intensified training courses for certain groups. Some military regimens will even work out every day with little to no rest.
Your body’s ECS regulates inflammation and soreness. By interacting with receptors under your skin, CBD can influence the ECS to work at the highest level of functionality. CBD salve is a great option since it can be rubbed in specific areas to target those troubling spots on the body.
Final Thoughts – Does the Military Test for CBD?
Even though CBD may be beneficial for military personnel, it’s still often incorrectly correlated with THC and marijuana. Because marijuana is frowned upon in the military, that sometimes means CBD is (unfairly) under scrutiny as well. This might make you wary of purchasing CBD products — like CBD oil — if you know a military drug test is coming up.
But the military doesn’t test for CBD. This safe phytocannabinoid won’t show up on drug tests at all. Unfortunately, some types of CBD products contain THC, which military drug tests will pick up. This can happen from cross-contamination or from low-quality products that have more THC than advertised.
CBD might very well be legal to consume in the military in the near future. But for now, always be mindful of the CBD oil and edibles you purchase if you know of an upcoming drug test.