Last week the FDA held hearings to get differing opinions on how it should regulate CBD products. They heard from a diverse group of stakeholders in this industry but there is still a long way to go before the FDA makes a decision.
From USA Today: ” ‘There is mass confusion in the marketplace,” said Peter Matz of the Food Marketing Institute, one of dozens of speakers who addressed the FDA panel.
“Other speakers including academic researchers, businesses and consumer advocates urged the FDA to move quickly, noting that the industry is growing rapidly with little oversight. That is raising concerns about the accuracy of product labels and people not realizing how much they may be consuming through various products.
“Before the hearing began, acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless noted critical questions remain about the safety of CBD, such as how much is safe to use daily and the compound’s effects on pregnant women and children.”
One way to look at this is to view the FDA as being behind the 8 ball. They need to act quickly but they won’t have a full picture of the industry, how to regulate it, and what should they actually be regulating. Why? For one, there is a lack of research on the efficacy of CBD.
How much CBD can one safely take in a day? How much CBD does someone need to take before they start seeing results? What kinds of contaminants should people be worried about? (Hemp is used to soak up contaminants, which doesn’t make it a good thing to consume unless it is tested.)
What should be done about CBD Regulations?
A simple solution would be to treat CBD products like vitamins or dietary supplements. As long as CBD companies do not make claims about how their products treat specific illnesses then their products would be treated as food products. If there is a specific claim, like in the treatment of certain kinds of seizures, then the product should be treated like a drug.
From a more general perspective, declaring specific regulations on CBD products will help the industry immensely because, right now, no one knows what to expect. Yes, there are companies already out there selling CBD products and there are traditional retailers putting CBD products on their shelves but this industry can be so much more if only the rules were clear.