Army regs prohibit eating popular health bar containing hemp seeds

| May 1, 2015 | 2 Comments

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By Rachael Tolliver-Fort Knox Public Affairs

For anyone who relies on protein bars as an afternoon or after workout snack, they should be warned about nonmilitary friendly ingredients in their all-natural selections.
“Strong & Kind” bars which include Hickory Smoked, Roasted Jalapeno, Honey Mustard, Thai Sweet Chili, and Honey Smoked BBQ, contain hemp seeds in their ingredients. These seeds may contain low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, a chemical found in marijuana, which the Army believes may be detectable in drug screening tests.
This ingredient is not included the Kind fruit and nut bars and a complete list can be found at www.kindsnacks.com.
Army guidelines


The Army’s position on the consumption of hemp seeds, or its derivatives, is similar to its sister services and follows laws and guidelines set forth by U.S. law enforcement agencies.
DOD regulations are based on several considerations, some of which are U.S. laws. In this case, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency categorized hemp seeds, “if they contain THC…” as an illegal product. (www.dea.gov/pubs/pressrel/pr100901.html)
So how can a product designed for consumption legally contain hemp seeds?
In 2004 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous decision, which DEA did not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, protecting the sale of hemp-containing foods. Those foods generally contain naturally occurring THC at less than the USDA guideline of 1 percent. Industrial hemp remains legal for import and sale in the U.S., but U.S. farmers still are not permitted to grow it.
According to University of California at Berkeley, most of the THC found in hemp seeds are located in the seed hulls, which are removed during processing. Today’s hemp seeds are processed to reduce levels of THC to negligible quantities but 15 years ago industrial hemp had higher THC levels and the seeds were prepared differently for processing.
The school’s wellness site also said that companies producing hemp today do so under a voluntary TestPledge program, indicating they follow quality control practices to limit THC concentrations, so that consumers will not fail a drug test.
However, Capt. (Dr.) Christopher DiPiro at Ireland Army Community Hospital, said while there are very low amounts of THC in hemp seeds and although most people will not test positive after consuming the seeds, studies have shown 20 percent of those tested might pop hot after eating them.
He added that consuming hemp seeds is not harmful beyond the possibility of a failing a drug test.
Businesses dealing with DOD must be aware of requirements like AR 600-85 para 4-2, (p). Because of this regulation, AAFES does not carry “Strong and Kind” bars, said Chris Ward, a public relations specialist for AAFES, but they do carry the basic “Kind Bars.” And DeCA public affairs specialist Rick Brink added that while, commissaries carry Kind Bars, they have also chosen not to carry Kind & Strong bars because of the hemp seed content.
“We strive to ensure products do not conflict with published DOD guidance,” Ward explained.
Joe Cohen, a spokesman for the Kind Company, said in correspondence with this office that the reasons the hemp seeds are included in the those particular bars is for nutritional benefits.
“Our Strong & KIND bars adhere to USDA testing and have a THC level of .001 percent. As referenced by the Congressional Research Service, a level of about 1 percent THC is considered the threshold for cannabis to have a psychotropic effect or an intoxicating potential,” Cohen said.
However, the bottom line is–military guidance says the consumption of hemp products is off limits, and as such military personnel and DOD civilians are prohibited from eating such foods.

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Category: Health, News

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