FDA hearing on CBD

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a long-needed hearing on CBD. A lot of people attended, and they had a lot to say. The biggest takeaway seems to be that consumers want CBD products. But the demand for the goods hasn’t produced high-quality products.

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Regulation came up repeatedly based on the recognition that a lot of what’s on the market isn’t really CBD, has some CBD, or is CBD but contains contaminants. Those companies can offer CBD at lower cost because what they sell isn’t really what consumers are asking for. But, it’s difficult for consumers to know what they are getting if the products aren’t being regulated.

A JAMA study found that 69 percent of 84 CBD products were mislabeled. So, as I’ve said before, consumers need to be alert to what they’re buying. Products that are trustworthy can be found. It just takes some research. Learn about whether the product has full-spectrum CBD taken from plants grown organically or whether it offers an isolate. It’s also important to know whether the products are tested by third-party labs—independent companies that test for quality standards.

Evidence-based CBD data

Because there has been little support for legitimate studies, much of consumers’ interest in CBD has come about because of anecdotal evidence, indicating that it works for certain conditions. The FDA isn’t buying that. So, until studies can be done, we’re still in the dark about regulating the products. Seems a catch-22 to me.

Regulation is a given, but how that will come about is still to be determined.

The future of CBD

Based on the consumer interest, CBD probably isn’t going to go away because the FDA hasn’t regulated it. So consumers, caveat emptor, or buyer beware. First, know what CBD is and what it isn’t. It is a cannabidiol, and it doesn’t get you high. There are studies that have shown it to be helpful for depression, anxiety, inflammation, and pain to name a few. But more research needs to be conducted and consumers need to be savvy about CBD. But, if you have experienced results from CBD, you have the opportunity to weigh in with the FDA. You have until July 2 to make comments to the FDA.

At this point, not much has been resolved, nor is the future of CBD clear. Although the FDA has shown interest in taking steps, they don’t have a clear idea of exactly how to establish ground rules.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to understand how to find quality products and how to use them responsibly.