CBD firm and vet group partnership highlight issue of CBD for active military

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / NiseriN
Getty Images / NiseriN

Related tags Cbd CBD regulations Military ptsd coa rep. tulsi gabbard Hemp

Preferred-CBD has teamed up with Veterans Advantage in a move that will give its members access to discounts on CBD products.

Mike Haynes, co-founder of Preferred-CBD, said he’s glad to establish such an important partnership. “We’ve seen how our hemp-derived CBD products can make a difference in the resilience of both young and older persons wanting to prolong an active lifestyle and our military heroes deserve nothing less.”

Haynes, who is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said his clients come from a variety of backgrounds — veterans, first responders, retired professional athletes and others, adding that they have reported that CBD helps with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), reduced anxiety, pain relief, sleep and depression.

Scott Higgins, co-founder and CEO of Veterans Advantage and Vietnam War veteran, said it is a welcomed partnership, noting the high interest and demand of CBD among his group’s military and veteran community. 

CBD and active military 

The partnership comes as some members of Congress seek to reverse the ban on CBD for active military. 

“There has been movement recently in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate to allow active duty military the ability to use CBD — no formal approval exists just yet. Preferred CBD began working with veteran groups as a way of educating veterans on the benefits of using CBD as they transition from active duty military,”​ explained Haynes.

In February, the Department of Defense put out a memo​ that stated, “Substance misuse by Service members is a safety and readiness issue, and the Department must remain vigilant in addressing emerging threats, including those that come from new products and sources.”

The memo goes on to say that CBD products are unregulated, unreliable, and may contain more THC than the consumer might believe. It also notes that CBD could cause a THC-positive result on a drug test, and that “Since it is not possible to differentiate between THC derived from legal hemp products and illicit marijuana … the use of hemp products could effectively undermine the Department’s ability to identify illicit THC use.”

The issue of THC is a valid concern, with a recent report​ from Leafreport giving 64% of CBD beverages an “F” on label claims. 

A separate report​ from the same industry watchdog also found that most CBD products (84%) contained more​ CBD rather than less. Of the 37 brands tested, 31 had higher CBD content than what was stated on the label.

However, “More CBD doesn’t necessarily mean more THC, but it could. It’s all about product quality and quality control,”​ explained Bill Gurley, PhD, Principal Scientist in the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi. 

The Leafreport​ noted that products from reputable brands had the best results, whereas those offered by lesser-known companies performed worse. "Our findings also confirm that it's a smart choice to buy from reputable, leading CBD brands rather than cheaper, unverified companies,"​ said Noa Gans, head of product at Leafreport.com. 

CBD defense 

Indeed, some have suggested the Department of Defense adopt an ‘approved provider' approach as a possible solution to the issue of the unreliable CBD market.

With that in mind, Haynes told NutraIngredients-USA, “By partnering with Veterans Advantage (VA) and United States Veterans Chamber of Commerce (USVCC), Preferred-CBD is definitely positioned to be considered an ‘approved provider’ of CBD when the Department of Defense implements that solution.”

Haynes added that Preferred-CBD products are grown and manufactured in the US and always triple tested. Additionally, each product offered at Preferred-CBD.com includes a COA. 

“We know that buyers can be skeptical (military included), and transparency is important as they wade through all of the CBD options available to them. We have seen and heard from our customers that the posting of the lab test results is key to building their trust in our quality control,​” said Haynes. 

In July, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, secured an amendment to the annual national defense bill that would ensure that the US Department of Defense may not prohibit the possession, use, or consumption of hemp products by service members. 

“There is great research being done around hemp, resulting in new products coming to market that are proven to help with ailments like insomnia, inflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress and more. Hemp products provide a form of treatment that serves as an alternative option for those who would rather pursue natural remedies rather than prescription drugs. This amendment passed with strong bipartisan support, ensuring our servicemembers have access to the same over-the-counter products that Americans all across the country benefit from today,”​ said Rep. Gabbard.

The bill, which includes the Gabbard amendment, was sent to the Senate for consideration, a vote that likely won’t take place until after the November 3rd election.

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