CBD use in the Air Force

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jovan Legister
  • 21st Space Wing Judge Advocate

Bottom Line Up Front

Colorado state law permits the sale, use and transfer of products containing cannabidiol under certain provisions. However, Airmen are only permitted to use the Food and Drug Administration-approved drug Epidiolex, which contains CBD, and only with a proper prescription. Airmen are prohibited from using all other CBD products.


Air Force Instruction 36-3208, section 5.54 defines drug abuse as the “wrongful, illegal, or improper use, possession, sale, transfer… of any drug.” Use of CBD products may also subject Airmen to punitive action pursuant to Article 92 and Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Although use of CBD products may be legal under state law, Airmen and other military members who use CBD could be subject to discharge from the Air Force.

Additionally, AFI 90-507 section 1.1.6 prohibits the use of products derived from hemp seed or hemp seed oil because they may contain tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is still listed on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of controlled substances, so Airmen who test positive for THC may be subject to punitive action. Some CBD products contain hemp seed, which may trigger a positive drug test for THC.  Even if a member does not test positive for THC, a finding that the member used CBD or other hemp-based products will still amount to a violation of the AFI and multiple articles of the UCMJ.

The Air Force’s Legal headquarters published an article April 30 about CBD use. The publication states that the only CBD product approved for use by Airmen is Epidiolex, and airmen must possess a valid prescription prior to using this product.  All other CBD products may trigger a positive THC result when airmen are drug tested, and should therefore not be used.

Members who have additional questions or concerns can consult the Peterson Base legal office at 719-556- 4871.