Now that the vape scare has died down in the mainstream news cycle, the mass hysteria may be picking on a new target: CBD. On Monday the FDA warned 15 companies for illegally selling various products containing cannabidiol for violations including marketing unapproved new human and animal drugs, selling CBD products as dietary supplements, and adding CBD to animal foods.
The FDA also published a revised consumer update detailing safety concerns about CBD products more broadly. Supposedly based on the lack of scientific information supporting the safety of CBD in food, the FDA is also indicating today that it cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe among qualified experts for its use in human or animal food.
Monday’s actions come as the FDA continues to explore potential pathways for various types of CBD products to be lawfully marketed. This includes ongoing work to obtain and evaluate information to address outstanding questions related to the safety of CBD products. The FDA plans to provide an update on its progress regarding the agency’s approach to these products in the coming weeks.
“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.” said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy.
CBD is available in a variety of product types, including eLiquids, tinctures, capsules, edibles, coffees, teas, concentrates, as well as topicals such as lotions, creams, and lip balms. As outlined in the warning letters issued Monday, these following 15 particular companies are marketing CBD products to treat diseases or for other therapeutic uses for humans and/or animals, or as dietary supplements:
The FDA has previously sent warning letters to other companies illegally selling CBD products in interstate commerce that claimed to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat or cure serious diseases, such as cancer, or otherwise violated the FD&C Act. Some of these products were in further violation because CBD was added to food, and some of the products were also marketed as dietary supplements despite not meeting the definition of a dietary supplement.
Under the FD&C Act, any product intended to treat a disease or otherwise have a therapeutic or medical use, and any product (other than a food) that is intended to affect the structure or function of the body of humans or animals, is a drug. Currently the FDA has only approved one CBD prescription human drug product which treats severe forms of epilepsy.
The FDA is ramping up it's potential attacks on CBD products by using the exact same talking points it used against vaping; There just isn't enough long term information on the health impacts of CBD. Which is all good and fine and a perfectly good reason to exercise caution, but considering they've already approved one drug it doesn't make a bunch of sense to use old rehashed vaping rhetoric against CBD.
In the coming months I'm sure we'll see a few more familiar excuses used to attack vaping, only retooled to dig at CBD: CBD can cause this or that obscure rare condition, CBD contains dangerous unknown additives and chemicals, CBD products target children, CBD is more dangerous than opioids, CBD will lead to other drug use, and so on, all tossed together with a bit of good old fashioned reefer madness type hysterical nonsense.
What do you think about CBD? Has the FDA really moved past vaping or are they just shelving it until a later time? Will they ever get back to making sensible regulation or will they just parrot whatever big pharma medical dollars tell them to say? Will states start cracking down individually on CBD as they have been doing with vaping currently?