FDA Releases Revised CBD Consumer Update

The CBD industry has undergone massive growth since the 2018 Hemp Farming Act made the cultivation of industrial hemp legal. Driven by immense demand for hemp extract cannabidiol, the sector has grown extremely quickly in quite a limited span of time, and regulatory authorities have been left scrambling to catch up.

In a bid to rein in a sector that some have dubbed a wild west, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent a second batch of warning letters to several companies that sell CBD-infused products. The 15 companies were cautioned against the illegal sale of cannabidiol products that according to the FDA, violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Domestic Act (FD&C Act). The FDA also published a revised Consumer Update with a more in-depth discussion on CBD products.

According to the agency, it cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as there isn’t enough scientific research concerning the compound’s safety as a food additive. FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy says that the agency is concerned that some people think that the CBD products flooding the market, many of them illegal, have been regulated by the FDA and determined to be safe.

Aside from one prescription drug approved to treat two pediatric epilepsy disorders, these products have not been approved by the FDA. We want to be clear that a number of questions remain regarding CBD’s safety, including reports of products containing contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals, and these are real risks that need to be considered. We recognize the significant public interest in CBD and we must work together with stakeholders and industry to fill in the knowledge gaps about the science, safety, and quality of many of these products.”

The FDA has again confirmed CBD’s illicit status, stating in the Consumer Update that it is illegal to market and sell CBD as a dietary supplement in the USA. The only cannabinoid that has been approved by the FDA is used as an ingredient in a drug used to treat rare and hard to manage forms of epilepsy.

Most of the CBD products on the market promise users untold benefits, and although CBD could, indeed, be a potent medicine with a multitude of uses, these products haven’t been evaluated. Whether or not they are effective is subjective, there aren’t any proper dosage procedures and there is little research on how CBD reacts with other drugs. Consumers are therefore advised to consult a medical professional before using CBD products, especially if the aim is to cure an ailment.

Industry watchers see the prohibitionist stance of the FDA regarding CBD as being out of touch with the reality on the ground, and analysts see this adamant position as very frustrating to established CBD companies like ChineseInvestors.com Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) and Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) that do their best to manufacture high-quality products that are beneficial to users.

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