FDA Holds Meeting to Discuss CBD Regulations
FDA and CBD Cannabis Companies Throw A Party
It finally happened! The FDA and CBD members of the cannabis community got together and threw a party. It was a who’s who of attendees as over 400 cannabis industry companies submitted applications to attend the recent FDA hearing. Unfortunately, only 120 applicants were approved to attend. CBD pet companies, cannabis labs and support groups along with the likes of the Marijuana Victims Alliance participated.
CBD is the compound in cannabis that does not make you high. However, the FDA has questions regarding its safety. The hearing lasted nearly 10 hours and saw testimony from cannabis consumer advocates urge the FDA to craft regulations over the substance. While many disagreed about how stringent the rules should be, many said the FDA must move fast.
FDA regulations make adding CBD to food and supplements illegal. That has not stopped the mainstream population from consuming unapproved products. The CBD community is pushing the movement forward and there is no slowing down to date. Companies have trumpeted CBD’s alleged health benefits. Claims are made it can reduce anxiety, pain, insomnia and treat conditions from Parkinson’s disease to cancer. While the claims may be true, they mostly lack scientific proof.
Big Decisions To Be Made
Billions are at stake in how the FDA decides to regulate the compound. Business analysts project the industry could grow to be worth as much as $22 billion in the next five years. CBD products in the United States more than tripled between 2014 and 2017 to $367 million. That means the FDA has some big decisions to make. Walgreens and CVS have already declared they plan to carry CBD products in their retail stores. We’re hard-pressed to believe these big box stores would carry CBD products if there was not benefits for the consumer. Now, the FDA is put in a position to turn these consumers down. We cannot see this being an option.
Things We Learned
First off, the marketplace severely lacks education in regards to what CBD is and where it comes from. Most people we talk to still think CBD makes them feel high. Very few consumers understand the differences between hemp and marijuana. Continued education of the public mainstream will be critical moving forward.
The FDA still has major concerns about side effects. I guess we cannot blame them. There are so many sketchy drugs on the market already. The country is in the middle of an opioid epidemic and we can’t get upset with them if they’re afraid CBD is addictive. Again, this all falls back to education. CBD is non-habit forming. In fact, recent studies shows it can curb the urge for opioid addicts.
Consumers have too many questions in regards to the serving size. We think this is a valid concern. Wouldn’t it be nice to know how much you should take? There simply isn’t enough research available for interested consumers to rely on. Hopefully, the door opens and more research can be done in these regards.
Finally, there are too many people in the CBD game looking to make a quick dollar. For this reason, there are a lot of poorly made products on the shelves. We agree that regulations should be made and that the FDA should act quickly. However, we are totally against big pharma jumping in the game and taking over. Cannabis should be left to those who actually care about plant medicine.