FDA Provides Update on CBD Position

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WASHINGTON, D.C. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided an update regarding its stance on hemp and CBD. Although hemp containing less than 0.3 percent THC has been removed from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of controlled substances, the FDA is still expressing a bit of skepticism when it comes to CBD.

Interest in CBD has been growing rapidly and many seem to be under the impression that its production is legal. Officially, GW Pharma’s Epidiolex, a medication designed to treat seizure disorders, is the only cannabinoid-based treatment approved by the FDA. 

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“Other than one prescription drug product to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy, the FDA has not approved any other CBD products, and there is very limited available information about CBD, including about its effects on the body,” the agency said on its consumer website. 

The FDA is specifically expressing concern when it comes to CBD infused edibles and beverages. In fact, some CBD producers have received warning letters from the agency even after passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (farm bill), which legalized industrial hemp. 

Another concern cited by the agency relates to possible links between CBD use and liver damage. In a recent study, high doses of CBD were found to cause damage to the liver in lab mice. 

“The FDA is working to learn more about the safety of CBD and CBD products,” the agency said. “More specifically: The effects CBD could cause in the body, such as toxicity to the liver, when someone ingests CBD regularly over a long period of time…”

Without clinical trials to definitively prove CBD’s benefits and risks, there have been cases where certain producers and retailers have made unsubstantiated claims about the cannabinoid’s medicinal potential. The FDA is concerned with the impact these claims can have on public health.

“Misleading and false claims associated with CBD products may lead consumers to put off getting important medical care, such as proper diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care,” the FDA continued. 

The FDA held a recent hearing on hemp and CBD to gather information and eventually finalize regulations. The agency is still seeking input through a public docket. The docket will remain open until July 16. 

Those interested in submitting a comment to the FDA on CBD can click here.

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