It is so amazing that cannabidiol (CBD) is now mainstream.
Around a decade ago, this kind of thing was unthinkable. But because marijuana legalization spread quickly in the United States over the last few years, and in 2018 the Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp and hemp-based CBD (provided it contained no more than 0.3% THC which is standard of hemp-derived CBD products), these factors helped make marijuana and its constituents more accessible than ever.
Since then, the only FDA-approved CBD product in the market is Epidiolex, a cannabis oil designed to help treat rare cases of epilepsy. They have never approved any other CBD product and there has been a proliferation of cosmetics, capsules, vaporizers, supplements, food, and drink marketed for its CBD content which may still have traces of THC and possibly other contaminants and toxins. The fact that it’s federally illegal to put CBD in food and cosmetics hasn’t stopped companies from selling CBD-infused drinks and edibles, and it hasn’t stopped companies from making therapeutic claims that their products can help certain ailments.
However, the Farm Bill did not regulate CBD though it did acknowledge the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate anything that contained products made from hemp. Of course, this includes CBD.
Since this led to countless products, especially food and dietary supplements, that were produced with CBD yet violated the Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act, Congress has been pushing the FDA to formally regulate them yet they have not.
Instead, they have been sending out warning letters to companies that have been found to violate them. It’s all very confusing, to say the least, for both companies and consumers.
Finally, due to safety concerns, the FDA is considering regulating CBD. The FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner, Janet Woodcock, disclosed to The Wall Street Journal that they are now looking to speed that up. “Given what we know about the safety of CBD so far, it raises concerns for FDA about whether these existing regulatory pathways for food and dietary supplements are appropriate for this substance,” she says.
Benefits For Cannabis Consumers If CBD Is Regulated By The FDA
There are many possible benefits that cannabis and CBD consumers can enjoy should the FDA one day start regulating CBD products.
No More Inaccurate Labeling and False Advertising
Over the past few years, along with the rise of CBD products and a wide array of it being widely available in any shape and form, there has also, unfortunately, been a huge incidence of inaccurately labeled CBD products.
For medical consumers, this could be dangerous: patients who need only CBD and nothing else may accidentally ingest products that contain psychoactive THC. If they drive or operate machinery without the knowledge of being high, this can lead to accidents. In addition, medical patients that only need CBD because THC may be dangerous due to their age or health problems, may also suffer because they are unknowingly putting themselves at risk.
Not all CBD companies are ethical, either. Many advertise false claims in order to make a quick buck. This is painfully deceptive for individuals who need CBD to help treat ailments and conditions.
Having the FDA regulate CBD will prevent these from happening.
Safer CBD Products
There have also been cases of medical fraud and mislabeling due to CBD products that have been tainted by the presence of heavy metals, pesticides, bacteria, and other toxins. These pose a serious health risk for anyone who consumes them, especially for those whose immune systems are already compromised due to diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, asthma, and many more.
It is likely that the FDA will require third-party laboratory testing for CBD products before they are sold. This way, customers will have better, vetted information on what exactly is in a product before they buy it.
More CBD Companies
Due to the vague legal framework at the moment, many companies who have wanted to join the green rush and create CBD products have shied away. Even if the CBD market is a multi-billion dollar industry and only continues to grow, it’s certainly for the bravest entrepreneurs and companies with deep pockets, those who don’t mind spending on legal fees for consultants who can help them navigate the sticky current legal landscape.
More Studies On Safety Of CBD For Use During Pregnancy
While we know that CBD is generally well-tolerated even among pediatric patients, there’s still a lot we don’t know about how it affects the unborn child as well as infants. Countless women can benefit from medicating with CBD during and after pregnancy because of its proven benefits in promoting homeostasis, overall wellbeing, reducing anxiety and depression, and much more. If proven safe, it may even be used as a natural alternative for helping treat post-partum depression.
According to Dr. Patrick Cournoye, who heads the Cannabis Product Committee of the FDA, they particularly want to study the long-term effects of CBD and its impact, if any, on pregnancy.
Valid Marketing Claims
Should the FDA regulate CBD, companies will only be able to make therapeutic claims about their products if it has been backed up by clinical trials. Their products must also be able to meet the standards of the FDA about drugs. This will cost companies much more, both in time and resources, because it will take longer for products to hit the shelves. But that might just be a small price to pay given the peace of mind for consumers. Companies will also be able to operate more smoothly knowing that the regulations will be black and white – or at least closer to it.
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