60 troops hospitalized after using non-natural CBD vape oils

Some troops tried to stay in Army regulations but ironically, ended up hospitalized

Matt Saintsing
January 30, 2018 - 11:47 am

Photo by C.M. Guerrero/Miami Herald/TNS


On Monday, the U.S. Army Public Health Center issued a warning to users of e-cigarettes and other vaping products after 60 troops were hospitalized at two military installations in North Carolina.

Soldiers from Fort Bragg, and Marines from Camp Lejeune, have reported harmful medical effects believed to be caused by some vaping cartridges that are reported to contain cannabidiol (CBD oil).

“Although pure CBD oil has not yet been associated with adverse health effects, CBD vape oils most likely contain synthetic cannabinoids, concentrated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or other hazardous compounds in addition to, or in place of, CBD oil,” the warning reads.

“Adverse health effects in Active Duty patients ranged from headache, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, dilated pupils and dizziness to confusion, disorientation, agitation and seizures, all of which are consistent with synthetic cannabinoids.”

In addition to the cases reported in North Carolina, 33 additional cases have been reported in Utah.

The adverse health effects are attributed to added chemicals that are meant to mimic those found naturally in marijuana. Since the military strictly prohibits the use of marijuana, these troops were seemingly trying to get some of the desirable effects of cannabis, while trying to stay in regulations.

And, therein lies the irony. If the troops were using marijuana, or other cannabis products that could be regulated, they would be breaking both federal laws and the UCMJ. But, since they were apparently trying to stay in the limits of the law, they used products that they thought would replicate some effects of marijuana, but contained man-made chemicals not found in cannabis that led to their hospitalization.

CBD is found in nearly every marijuana product, along with another compound THC. The difference is that THC is psychoactive, while CBD is not. Simply put, THC gets you high, and CBD well, doesn’t.

What CBD has going for it is that dozens of studies have found evidence that the compound can treat a range of illnesses.

What makes CBD so appealing, especially for service members, is that it doesn’t get the user high. While most recreational marijuana users seek out this effect, many patients would rather avoid it. This has allowed CBD to take the main stage and to sidestep many of the social, legal, and political hurdles that have delayed the spread of medical cannabis.

Thousands of patients are using CBD as medicine, those 60 troops may have been among them. The irony, of course, is that while they were trying to stay in the militaries’ good graces, they ended up causing medical problems for themselves.

This is precisely why we need more research into the medical benefits, and hazards, of marijuana.

Some say it’s a dangerous, pernicious substance that should never see the light of day, much less in a medical prescription. Others claim it’s a miracle drug and its continued prohibition is a crime given the long-list of medical benefits it can bring.

What is sure, however, is that accidents like these will happen until the military and VA can investigate marijuana further. Until then, troops will continue to try to game the system, even if it means some of them may be hospitalized.