Federal officials with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a report titled “What You Need to Know About CBD”, which contains information about the safety of products containing the cannabinoid. Additionally, the agency issued warnings to 15 companies who they say are marketing CBD products in unlawful ways. Currently, there is only one FDA-approved CBD-based medicine, called Epidiolex. Epidiolex treats rare forms of epilepsy.
“The FDA is concerned that people may mistakenly believe that trying CBD ‘can’t hurt,’” the update reads. “The agency wants to be clear that we have seen only limited data about CBD’s safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered.”
The report from the FDA also states that it is currently illegal to label foods containing CBD as dietary supplements. The report also points out studies showing that ingesting CBD could cause liver damage and interactions with medications a person might be taking. The report warns that tests show some CBD products have reduced testosterone in lab mice.
The FDA also sent out a press release with warnings to 15 companies stating how they are in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The press release specifically points to the fact that these companies are labeling products containing CBD as dietary supplements and also claiming that their products can treat and/ or cure disease. Obviously, anyone remotely familiar with cannabis products knows that the actions taken by these companies are currently illegal and should be avoided at all costs.
“As we work quickly to further clarify our regulatory approach for products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds like CBD, we’ll continue to monitor the marketplace and take action as needed against companies that violate the law in ways that raise a variety of public health concerns. This overarching approach regarding CBD is the same as the FDA would take for any other substance that we regulate,” said FDA principal deputy commissioner Amy Abernethy in the press release.
While federal officials might have good intentions when it comes to their ‘overarching approach’ to regulating CBD, there will no doubt be advocates of cannabis medicine who believe that Americans should have the right to choose what they ingest into their own bodies – within reason, of course. Only time will tell how much or how little the cannabis industry as a whole will be impacted by this and future reports from the FDA.