Can military soldiers consume CBD-infused energy drinks?

Rockstar has become the latest in a string of energy drink companies to add a hemp-infused drink to their offerings, so consumers can kick back while they rage.

But soldiers beware, these drinks are unlikely to test positive for drugs.

“A single use of certain hemp products can result in a positive THC test result,” Matt Leonard, an Army spokesman, told the Military Times.

“[Regulation] AR 600-85 prohibits soldiers from using products made or derived from hemp, including CBD, regardless of the claimed or actual THC concentration of the product and whether that product can be legally bought, sold or used on the civilian market,” Leonard said.

Hemp plants contain more cannabidiol (CBD) than cannabis, which contains more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although unlikely, there is no guarantee that hemp or CBD users will avoid testing positive for THC, which the military is testing.

“No test currently exists to identify the source of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a urine sample to determine if it is from illegal marijuana or other products such as hemp energy drinks or cannabidiol-infused products. (CBD),” Leonard added.

“Therefore, to protect the integrity of the Army’s drug testing program, the only types of hemp products allowed under the Army’s Drug Abuse Program, the regulations of the army (AR) 600-85, are those used as durable goods (e.g. rope or clothing).”

Hemp energy drinks are not designed to boost the energy of soldiers.
REUTERS/Rick Wilking

So soldiers should steer clear of hemp, unless you start twine braiding or decide to go on a hippie handmade hemp garment bender. But it seems easy enough to abstain. These drinks aren’t exactly designed to keep the average soldier awake on duty.

Rockstar Unplugged, which comes in three flavors — blueberry, passionfruit, and raspberry cucumber — isn’t meant to keep an exhausted person on edge.

“It’s a combination of herbs that can help us relax, but not sleep,” Fabiola Torres, PepsiCo’s chief executive and chief marketing officer for its energy business, told CNBC.

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