Health & Safety

March 25, 2013

Be on the lookout for illegal supplements

It is the responsibility of every Airman to be aware of what substances he or she is ingesting. In some cases, power bars and health foods are not always the best choice. If the ingredients of a drink, food, or snack are questionable, a physician or pharmacist should be consulted immediately.

Air Force Instruction 44-121, paragraph 3.5.5 states, “Studies have shown that products made with hemp seed and hemp seed oil may contain varying levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient of marijuana, which is detectable under the Air Force Drug Testing Program. In order to ensure military readiness, the ingestion of products containing or products derived from hemp seed or hemp seed oil is prohibited. Failure to comply with the prohibition on the ingestion of products containing or products derived from hemp seed or hemp seed oil is a violation of Article 92, UCMJ.” Therefore, all products containing hemp seeds or hemp oil are prohibited for Air Force members.

The labels on items should state the ingredients — many items are made using hemp. Officials have found a few items that use the word hemp as a marketing tool; however, it is not actually contained in the list of ingredients. Hemp rope and twine are very strong and are used to manufacture of a multitude of items, such as clothing. Ralph Lauren polo shirts contain hemp. They are using part of the plant stalk not the seeds or oil.

The chemical that produces changes in perception, mood, cognition and behavior, or THC, is mainly contained in the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil have the possibility of containing small quantities of THC and therefore military members are prohibited from ingesting.

Again, members need to carefully read the labels of all products before ingesting because the wrong ingredient can turn out to be detrimental to a career.

Airmen need to be proactive when considering their overall health and wellness.




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U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

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