FDA Warns Against CBD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a warning against cannabidiol (CBD). The consumer update that is posted on the FDA’s website warns American consumers against unproven medical claims about CBD, as well as the overall safety and quality of CBD products. 

The FDA is working to uncover the many questions regarding the safety, science and quality of CBD, which includes The Agency’s hearing that happened on May 31. Plus, they are working to gather even more information through July 16, through an open request for comments. 

In the meantime, the FDA has published this warning to the public regarding the unanswered questions about the safety of CBD on the body, such as a possibility of ingestion of CBD over a long period of time causing toxicity to the liver. The FDA is also examining the cumulative exposure to CBD, the effects of CBD to certain populations, for example children, pregnant women and even animals. 

Since its inception, the medical cannabis industry in particular has been accused of marketing products with unproven medical claims. With the explosion of CBD products, this problem has persisted in the burgeoning hemp industry as well, and the FDA is warning consumers about this. “Unlike drug products approved by the FDA, unapproved CBD drug products have not been subject to FDA review as part of the drug approval process, and there has been no FDA evaluation regarding whether they are safe and effective to treat a particular disease, what the proper dosage is, how they could interact with other drugs or foods, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns,” the FDA wrote. 

There are many reasons why CBD products are exploding in popularity. However, recent updates in state laws regarding industrial hemp cultivation, partnered with the update of the 2018 Farm Bill removing hemp, has resulted in an industry that continues to boom. Currently, only one purified form of CBD, Epidiolex, has been approved by the FDA. Epidiolex received FDA approval in 2018 to treat specific seizure disorders. For now, the FDA’s stance on CBD is for consumers to exercise caution.

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