The U.S. Army Public Health Center published a public health warning in January 2018, after reports of about 60 soldiers with serious health issues tied to the use of vape oils that manufacturers claimed contained cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
The Army acknowledges that researchers have not found links between pure CBD oil and serious health problems. However, there are CBD vape oils on the market that contain synthetic cannabinoids, and they do not all disclose this fact. Officials fear that consumers shopping for standard vape products might unwittingly purchase items that contain these and other man-made and potentially harmful substances.
The medical centers at Fort Bragg Army Base and Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base treated soldiers with, “symptoms [that] ranged from headache, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, dilated pupils and dizziness to confusion, disorientation, agitation and seizures.” These symptoms are commonly seen with synthetic cannabinoids.
Military regulations prohibit the use of all natural or synthetic cannabis and, “any other substance similarly designed to mimic the effects of a controlled substance.” They do not regulate the use of standard vape products.
The Army is not concerned with vaping, generally. Outside of workspaces, soldiers are free to enjoy vape pens and the many variations, or mods, available on the market. Box mods are especially popular, as they allow for a variety of advanced features and controls.
The Army did not include any discussion of vape products designed to mimic cigarettes or provide nicotine, only concerns about the cannabinoid substances.