Industry News & Updates

How does the future of CBD look after the FDA hearing?

By Melena Gurganus

On May 31, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration held its first public hearing on the regulation of cannabis-derived compounds with acting FDA commissioner Ned Sharpless leading the conversation. CBD, or cannabidiol, has been a hot topic since it hails from cannabis plants and is sold to the general public as a wellness supplement.

There is much confusion surrounding CBD. Low quality and dangerous products are hitting the market, financial regulations are unclear, and farmers lack guidance on how to proceed. The hearing was a chance for consumers, farmers, and researchers to push for clarification on the legal status of products in a growing industry that shows no signs of slowing down.

Key Takeaways Following the Hearing

Hemp was deemed federally legal in 2018, but that doesn’t mean that CBD products are fully legal.

Despite the legalization of hemp as an agricultural crop with the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD still faces challenges since the compound is used in one FDA-approved drug, Epidiolex. Because of this, the FDA has prohibited the sale of any food products that have been infused with CBD.

Still, CBD edibles are widely available to the general public. Sold online and in stores, the manufacturing of these products is not standardized in any way. This is one of many factors that contributes to the murky legal landscape in the CBD market, along with state-by-state variations in the legal status of CBD products.

Gummies, as they’re called, were also cited by researchers as a risk to consumers because of the difficulty in dosing with a mechanism that every individual metabolizes differently.

Not all CBD products are up to par.

With the widely unregulated CBD market, there are many concerns about the safety of hemp derived products. With some low quality CBD oils testing positive for harmful chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals, or higher concentrations of THC, speakers at the hearing pushed for compliance standards. Researchers cited synthetic cannabinoids as a danger and unintended psychoactive effects as a potential of bad CBD products.

In prepared remarks, the leader of the FDA said the agency would eventually take “an appropriate, well-informed, and science-based approach to the regulation of cannabis and cannabis derivatives, including CBD.” The question on everyone’s mind was: When?

Public demand is outpacing scientific research.

With the rate at which CBD is growing in popularity, there is not nearly as much scientific research to back up the anecdotal evidence that touts the therapeutic value of this compound. Up to now, personal experiences and limited clinical trials have paved the way for CBD to become a trendy wellness supplement, but there’s a lot of questions that we still need answers to.

For instance, how much CBD is too much? Can CBD interact with other medications? What are the long-term effects? And are these products safe for children?

Stocks have started to fall.

Following the FDA hearing, it became clear that CBD is not as close to reaching fully legal status as some people might have hoped. Because of this, the future potential of the hemp industry may seem somewhat less promising for those interested in capitalizing on the CBD boom. How the agency will regulate CBD, or if it will at all, has added a layer of confusion to the space as a whole. For now, it seems as though we won’t get any clarity on CBD regulations until the FDA has had time to collect more information and issue an official decision.

What’s Next?

While the bulk of the hearing has ended, the FDA will continue to accept comments on their public docket through July 2, 2019. You can also expect there to be some follow-up to this hearing as more conversations take place about the appropriate steps in moving forward with the oversight of CBD products.

The FDA recognizes the need for regulation, but they also say they want to go about it in the right way—which will take time.

If the FDA does allow CBD to be sold in food products or as a dietary supplement, they will have to issue a regulation that makes an exception specifically for CBD, which has never been previously done for any substance. There will then be questions about the 100+ other cannabinoids extracted from cannabis, which leads one to think this process could take years.

That said, this first hearing is a big step forward for the CBD industry. What was once a niche market on the fringe of natural health is now a mainstream news issue. All parties involved think clarity needs to come quickly.

Keep Learning

Industry News & Updates

FDA Sends Warning Letters to 15 CBD Companies

The CBD industry is unregulated, and some brands are making unsubstantiated claims about their products. Find out which CBD companies received a warning letter from the FDA for making health claims about their CBD.

Industry News & Updates

7 Myths About CBD and Hemp, Explained

The hemp industry is growing rapidly, but consumer knowledge is still lacking. Learn the truth behind many myths you may have been told about CBD and hemp.

Industry News & Updates

A Complete Overview of Hemp-Friendly U.S. Legislation Passed In 2019

The 2018 Farm Bill opened new doors for hemp, and in 2019, more restrictions on the sale and production of CBD have been loosened to help foster the growth of the industry.

Industry News & Updates

What is a Certificate of Analysis in CBD Product Labeling?

Lab testing matters when shopping for CBD products. Discover the most important things to look for before you buy.

Industry News & Updates

Study Finds that CBD Reduces Aggressiveness in Mice

Can CBD help with aggressive behaviors? A recent study may give us some insight, as CBD given at the right doses reduced the aggressive response in mice.

Industry News & Updates

Duchess of Cornwall Supports CBD

Even U.K. royalty is hopping on the CBD bandwagon. Learn more about the Duchess' interaction with a local CBD producer at a London farmers' market.

Business

American Eagle Launches CBD Skincare Line

The trendiness of CBD has struck again, and this time it's making its way into several American Eagle retail stores across the U.S.

Industry News & Updates

Lab Tests Reveal Majority of Products Contain Less CBD than Advertised

We tested CBD products at a certified lab and found the majority of products contained less CBD than labeled. Results are a reminder that the industry needs clearer standards.

Industry News & Updates

Let’s Talk about the New FDA Guidance on CBD

Tyler Russell is an attorney specializing in hemp law. Here he offers his take on recent news from the FDA, including what consumers and brands need to know.

By continuing to browse or by clicking “OK” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Privacy Policy.

OK