FDA Issues Long-Awaited CBD Update

FDA Issues Long-Awaited CBD Update

The Food and Drug Administration has finally released another CBD update.

The agency released a report last week updating the public on its progress in establishing regulatory guidelines for the hemp derivative.

It was sent out in response to the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020, which requested an update on the administration’s progress. In turn, the directive provides funds for the FDA to continue its CBD research.

The 18-page report covers a variety of findings and an insight into plans for an enforcement path in the future. We’ll break everything down here.


Potential risks of CBD

The FDA noted the vast range of CBD products available on the market, adding that it understood consumers were seeking novel products for a variety of reasons. Despite months of apparent research, however, the FDA admitted there is still much that is not known about the potential risks of taking CBD- prolonging the confusion over CBD regulation. It encouraged Americans to consult with health care providers before taking any cannabidiol product.

The agency added: “We will continue to expand our educational efforts on this front. This includes consumers broadly, specific populations where there are additional, important health considerations, as well as health care professionals who must understand these risks when talking to their patients.”


Closing knowledge gaps in both safety and potential benefits

CBD benefits

Given that the market is expanding faster than ever, the FDA is now seeking data on a variety of CBD matters. Specifically, the agency named studies on CBD’s sedative effects, long-term exposure, transdermal products, CBD and animals, and CBD and food. It is also examining the processes involved in creating full and broad-spectrum products, what they contain, and how they compare to isolate products.

The FDA said it is ‘exploring a number of ways to address the data gaps’, including encouraging, facilitating and initiating more research.


Monitoring the market place

The main concern of those within the CBD industry and those consuming hemp products has been the amount of potentially unlawful CBD products on the market. In particular, the FDA named products that claim to cure serious diseases, which in turn may deter consumers from seeking proven and safe medical therapies. The FDA also acknowledged the number of products on the market with incorrect labeling and those that are targeted at vulnerable populations such as children or infants.

It said it has ‘serious concerns’ about products that also put the public at risk through contaminants, THC, or other potentially harmful substances. The agency added: “As we move forward, we are currently evaluating issuance of a risk-based enforcement policy that would provide greater transparency and clarity regarding factors the agency intends to take into account in prioritizing enforcement decisions.”

Although the report works to tackle some of the main concerns Americans have about the CBD industry, some were disappointed with the report’s lack of clarity. Columnist Jim Crumly at The Motley Fool named the report a reiteration of the agency’s previously stated concerns, with a lack of new information.

Nutritional Outlook added that CBD’s legal pathway is ‘still in limbo’. The publication reported that the CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, Steve Mister, responded to the FDA’s latest report with a public statement.

He said: “CRN is disheartened by today’s FDA report to Congress on CBD. The time for ‘active consideration and evaluation’ has long since passed. As we’ve said before, the time for action was more than a year ago, but we will settle for now. Today’s report amounts to more bureaucratic can-kicking, and Congress should recognize it as such and take action now to declare CBD a lawful dietary ingredient.”

Ph.D., president and CEO of the Natural Products Association Daniel Fabricant concluded: “This is more of the same from FDA: All words and no action. The longer the FDA waits to regulate the CBD industry, the greater the chance we have of risking another public health crisis.”