A Republican congressman brought two CBD products he personally used to a hearing on the hemp product.
Rep. James Comer brought out his own CBD during a House Oversight Committee meeting to demonstrate the difference between hemp and marijuana.
He said he wanted to spend his time talking about CBD, as he believed there was “a lot of misinformation and confusion about exactly what CBD is and what THC is.”
Comer added: “CBD is cannabidiol and it is something that a lot of people take; a lot of people in Congress take CBD, millions of Americans take CBD, I take CBD.”
He went on to explain the effects of CBD compared to marijuana, relating them back to the difference between broccoli and cauliflower. “They have some similarities, but they’re also very different.”
Comer said: “If you look at CBD, the majority of CBD that most Americans are taking and [where] they’re having really positive effects from CBD, is coming from hemp, not marijuana.”
While discussing his personal use, Comer said he had visited the manufacturer of his oils and concluded that they were producing a good, legitimate product.
He did, however, have a strong opinion on how the FDA was legalizing CBD. The former state agricultural commissioner said:
“But those companies want the industry to be regulated. Currently, there are no [Food and Drug Administration] regulations on CBD oil, and the legitimate, credible companies want regulations.”
He added that he had sent a bipartisan letter to the FDA alongside 24 other lawmakers, pressing for clear rules and regulations for CBD companies. Since that letter, the FDA had said it was ‘trying’ to get rules out there, but that it had been a much longer process than originally expected.
“This CBD industry is like the Wild West. It’s a good industry, it’s a good product, but there needs to be regulations,” he said. “I’m very conservative, very pro-business. Normally, I’m against regulations, but sometimes we need regulations.”
He added that though there were a lot of positive benefits of CBD, the state needed to ensure there were no ‘bad actors’ coming in and making products with an excessive amount of THC.
Any CBD product with over 0.3% THC is deemed illegal by the FDA, though some believe there are many out there which have been left untested. Under FDA law, companies are also banned from marketing their products as pharmaceutical drugs, but some are ignoring the rules.
Rep. Glenn Grothman added to Comer’s words by asking the deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention whether cannabis products from legal shops were adding to the number of vaping-related injuries in the state.
Grothman said: “I think in most states, THC is illegal, but over time, more and more states are legalizing marijuana. I don’t know who to blame for that—including my neighbor to the south in Illinois.
“Are these cartridges legal in states which legalized marijuana, or not?”
The official could not answer at the time, and the question was left open for further investigation.
Rep. Gerry Connolly chipped in to compare the current lack of FDA regulations on vaping products to how the government has treated marijuana for years.
“We have a vacuum at the federal level. This reminds me a little bit of marijuana, where we haven’t done our job at the federal level in justifying how we categorize or classify marijuana.
“We have essentially limited the kinds of studies we sponsor at the federal level and who gets to do them, with a clear bias toward them, it’s dangerous. And as a result, we’ve lost control.”