CBD Oil and the Military: An Exercise in Education

Newsweek recently ran an article about military personnel being sent to the hospital with health problems related to ‘fake pot.’ The details were alarmingly spare. We know that the number of patients treated at public health centers around the country was over 90, but we don’t know exactly why. It’s suggested by the military that it may have been related to CBD oil, but there’s nothing in the story that proves it.

The military has responded to this relative crisis by saying they’re going to be more proactive when it comes to educating their personnel about the dangers of cannabis, but perhaps it’s the military that needs to be educated about how cannabis really interacts with the human body. See what happened, how it’s being dealt with, and why education is indeed the most important thing to consider.

Synthetic Cannabis

While the military doesn’t allow any cannabis products, many troops use synthetic cannabis anyway because it’s less likely to be found on a drug test. Synthetic cannabis does use some organic material, but it’s mainly made of chemicals that mimic the effects of THC. Synthetic cannabis is notoriously uneven when it comes to effects and results. It all depends on the manufacturer and the batch, with some products being perfectly harmless and others causing major health complications and even death.

The US military has already warned the public that vaping CBD oil might be dangerous. This is based on recent symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Two marines were reported to have passed away after experiencing severe enough seizures that caused a subsequent accident. Sound familiar? These are the symptoms that you’d expect to see with synthetic cannabis as opposed to natural CBD oil.

So the military issued a blanket statement, letting soldiers know they should stay away from ALL e-cigs, CBD oil, THC, or any other type of cannabinoids (organic or not.) But this type of response is not only basic, it may be downright irresponsible. There’s so much that the military is missing when it comes to cannabis.

What’s Going On

What’s happening with the military is very similar to what’s happening with our public officials. They don’t know anything about cannabis, and they have way too many other things on their plate to learn about it. This is entirely understandable, but it also limits progress in ways too large to be ignored.

Is it easy to ban something? Yes! There’s no ambiguity! There’s no arguing. You either used the prohibited substance or you didn’t. You either broke the rules or you stayed inside the lines. It eliminates hours of questioning and run-around procedures. The military knows that cannabis has some not-so-pleasant side effects, so why think about it any further than that? It makes sense that they did this, but just thinking about the lack of nuance makes my blood really start to boil. Natural CBD oil not only goes against practically every bad thing you’ve heard about cannabis, it also can help with a number of conditions plaguing the US miliary today. It may cause very mild side effects, but it’s not going to cause seizures or death. The recent reports match synthetic cannabis symptoms almost word for word — which is why we’re not advocating synthetic cannabis.

To be clear, it is possible to make synthetic CBD oil in a responsible and regulated facility without all these scary side effects. It may not be as good as organic CBD oil, but that doesn’t make it deadly either. If our government officials want to continue to ban the substance because it would become a legal nightmare to pick through the details of each individual case, then we totally get it. But that still doesn’t make it the right decision.

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