For the moment, the news remains highly confidential: two American soldiers have died as a result of inhaling cannabidiol, a molecule derived from cannabis. The specific details are hazy, however, because the press as well as the army’s accounts have diverged over the past weeks.
The story begins on Monday, January 29, 2018, at the APHC, the public health centre for the American Army. The APHC said that CBD was responsible for the deaths of two marines, who died after inhaling CBD. The announcement, detailed by Newsweek magazine, was heavily discussed and debated. A few days later, however, the APHC’s communication director, Charles Weaver, denied Newsweek’s story, citing miscommunication between various army services and the press.
Weaver nonetheless confirmed the hospitalization of two soldiers who needed treatment after consuming CBD. However, according to the Associated Press, this figure was 33 soldiers. In the end, the APHC announced that twelve soldiers were treated at the hospital for issues arising from vaping CBD. The most cited symptoms were migraines, heart palpitations, dizziness and mental confusion.
CBD on the hot seat
The American army has not officially recognized the link between the hospitalized soldiers and the use of CBD. Despite this, the general staff has intensified its fight against CBD.
In France today, CBD benefits from legal confusion. The National Drug Agency is against the commercialization of the product, but the Health Minister has not given an explicit opinion prohibiting the use of CBD, as the THC level—the active ingredient in cannabis—is less than .2%. Nonetheless, in Marseille, a court recently condemned the inventors of Kanavape for selling electronic cigarettes using cannabidiol.
Scientific CBD research is still too limited to provide a clear understanding of the product. However, given the excitement surrounding CBD, new studies will soon be conducted with the objective of analyzing CBD’s impact on health.