The FDA and CBD

on November 02, 2020

 FDA and CBD

The US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA has released comprehensive guidelines on Cannabis-related products such as CBD or Cannabidiol.  As more and more research is being carried out on this new healing agent, the FDA is still working on defining its position on CBD as a therapeutic compound on the market.  By now, you may have read it somewhere or been told that CBD doesn’t cause any psychoactive effects. CBD is being used to treat the symptoms of several health problems, such as painful inflammation, anxiety, depression, etc.  However, things are not as straightforward as they may seem when it comes to the regulation of CBD, CBD products and industrial hemp.


The FDA, CBD and the DEA

If you’re even familiar with the 2018 Farm Bill at all, you may think it legalized CBD but that's not the case. The Farm Bill has legalized industrial hemp, which contains less than 0.3 % THC.  It has also moved the enforcement of CBD to fall under the FDA away from the drug enforcement administration or DEA. The FDA has also approved just one prescription medication, Epidiolex, a CBD based treatment for rare forms of childhood epilepsy. The FDA has also made it clear that CBD companies cannot make any health claims about CBD, and can not add CBD to foods or market products as a dietary supplement- making edibles a NO NO.


FDA Concerns on Side Effects and Unknowns  

The FDA is in its early stage of evaluating and gathering research on CBD in order to properly educate and make recommendations to the general public. As with any supplement there are potential risks that should be considered and just with anything else, it may not be suited for all. Here are some of the risks to consider:
  • CBD can cause liver injury- Identified during Epidiolex safety review- can be managed under medical supervision.
  • Drug Interactions
  • Male Reproductive Toxicity in animals
  • Drowsiness when combined with alcohol or other drugs that slow brian activity  

Studies show that CBD can reduce the breakdown of drugs and even degrees of their potency. Making it important to consult with a physician when adding oral CBD products to your routine.   People are jumping into the CBD business without much knowledge of what makes a quality CBD product and whitelabeling products from vendors with little to no idea about what  to look for or ask about. The FDA has uncovered pesticide and heavy metal in some low quality CBD products, which could cause potential damage to the human body in diarrhea, sleep disruption, abdominal pain, and mood changes. By definition a drug is a non-food product that is intended to be used as a therapeutic treatment for a disease or disorder.  If the FDA were to follow this definition, CBD products would also be counted as drugs and would then undergo the same amount of scrutiny as all other medications. 

FDA and CBD facts

Wrap up

Even though CBD is safe and widely used, it has not been entirely legalized by the FDA and cannot be used as a treatment method or cure for any disease except epilepsy with the use of Epidiolex. So what should you look for in a CBD company to see if they’re in line w/ FDA guidelines and recommendations? Look to ensure the company isn’t making any health claims or marketing CBD as a dietary supplement.

As of 2020, The FDA is evaluating the regulatory frameworks that apply to certain cannabis-derived products that are intended for non-drug uses, including whether and/or how the FDA might consider updating its regulations, as well as whether potential legislation might be appropriate. The information we have underscores the need for further study and high quality, scientific information about the safety and potential uses of CBD.”  So it’s still a little unknown right now what the FDA will settle on but for now, look for certificates of analysis to verify CBD content and buy with confidence.