The FDA is becoming very unpopular within the CBD industry as it continues to delay the release of a clear set of guidelines CBD manufacturers should follow.
Both consumers and distributors of CBD products are struggling to use/create products that fit a very short list of guidelines.
The FDA official leading the effort to clarify, Dr. Amy Abernethy, has said the organization is trying.
After setting out on a mission to publish regulations back in April, the FDA has now gone largely quiet.
In a brief interview with Stat News at its summit in Boston in November, Abernethy insisted the FDA was aware of the frustration companies were feeling, but said the organization was working as fast as possible.
According to StatNews, she said: “My commitment is to work as quickly as possible and I’ve made that commitment quite vocally. “There is a great sense of urgency internally to get this out.”
She did, however, decline to tell the news agency when there would be any movement on the issue.
“I’d love to give you an exact time frame,” Abernethy said. “I will say that it is not because we’re not trying. And actually, this is not about needing to get something written. Think about all the different agreements you’ve gotta get.”
CBD oil is now legal in all states and is used by millions for everything from acne to depression.
The industry is currently awaiting a report that would outline the FDA’s current view on CBD, which Abernethy had promised on Twitter to arrive by ‘end of summer/early fall’.
Various consumer groups, excited by the prospects of CBD oil for various ailments, alongside industry veterans have initiated various campaigns against the FDA in order to pressure them into publishing a clear set of guidelines.
One official at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association said: “Something has to change. I’m at a loss for why they have not [acted faster].”
With 1 in 7 Americans now using CBD products on a regular basis, it appears that the industry has boomed way faster than anyone ever expected- and the lack of regulation has already brought consequences.
The FDA has sent out warnings to 15 companies who are illegally selling products – but studies have shown there are way more out there which are mislabeling goods.
CBD supplements and food products are currently illegal under FDA rules, but many are still being sold and a wide-scale crackdown is becoming less and less likely as the enthusiasm for the hemp derivative grows.
Everything from muscle rubs to CBD tinctures is now on the market – which is particularly loved for their potency.
Abernethy pointed towards the great deal of uncertainty that surrounds the products, despite their popularity.
According to Statnews, she said: “There’s a huge gap in the data. We don’t know what happens if you take CBD every day for a year or we don’t know what happens if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. We don’t know about CBD for people who are older in life or have other medical conditions.”
Lowell Schiller made similar comments when recently interviewed at a supplement industry public meeting.
He said: “There’s still much we don’t know — about the consequences of long-term use, about the risks to vulnerable populations, and lots more.
“As we continue to work as rapidly as possible to figure out how to address this popular ingredient that until very recently was a controlled substance, it’s important to remember that there are no special rules for CBD.”
Abernethy finished by saying the FDA has already learned a lot about the data gaps and is identifying a research plan that aims to fill them.