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The FDA’s Stance On CBD Is Confusing Consumers

An overwhelming majority of Americans believe CBD products fall under FDA regulations, but those regulations don’t exist.

The cannabis industry has waited all year for the Food and Drug Administration’s official ruling and regulations on products containing cannabidiol, or CBD. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, which created a loophole for hemp-derived CBD products. Under the legislation, CBD products existed under a gray area where stores could sell them, but no official regulation existed, which is causing consumer confusion.

About one in three Americans have used CBD products, but it appears the majority of the nation remains unaware of this conundrum. According to a recent Grocery Manufacturer Association survey, 76% of Americans believe CBD products fall under federal safety regulations, unaware no such regulations exist. Of the 2,056 participants in the survey, another 16% weren’t sure if CBD was subject to FDA oversight.

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That adds up to a whopping 92% of consumers who have no idea what the FDA is or isn’t doing around CBD products.

“While more than six-in-ten Americans (62%) have heard about CBD, most of these consumers are uncertain or mistaken about what CBD actually is, what it does and whether all products made with CBD are safe to consume,” the study’s authors wrote.

4 Biggest Problems With That CBD People Are Buying
Photo by Tinnakorn Jorruang/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the FDA released a report this week to tell Americans the organization has little to no answers with regards to CBD. Instead, the FDA reminded us they only approved one CBD product, Epidiolex, which is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. Instead, the FDA warned potential users that “CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.”

The FDA added that “CBD can cause liver injury” as well as “affect the metabolism of other drugs.”

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Due to the lack of any regulation around CBD products, Ellipse Analytics found earlier this year that 45% of the 250 top-selling CBD products contained detectable levels of THC. That, in part, explains why CBD might cause you to fail a drug test. Earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed the FDA to expedite the process of creating regulations around CBD products. When meeting last month with Stephen Hahn, the nominee to take over as FDA commissioner, McConnel again pressed about CBD and hemp.

“I look forward to working closely with Dr. Hahn on several important issues for Kentucky,” McConnell said in a statement. “As Senate Majority Leader, I consistently work with my colleagues in the Trump administration to advance Kentucky’s priorities. Like many Kentuckians who are taking advantage of hemp’s legalization, I am eager for FDA’s plans to create certainty for CBD products.

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