What Is The FDA's Stance On CBD?

April 14, 2023
Jointly Better - FacebookJointly Better - TwitterJointly Better - Instagram
Article image

What’s next for the FDA and CBD regulation? 

After several years of deliberation, hearings, and evidence gathering, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its latest position on whether it will provide oversight for the manufacture and sale of products containing cannabidiol (CBD) on January 26, 2023. 

If you are looking to buy high-quality CBD products from reliable brands, Jointly's online cannabis marketplace is a great option. Jointly only works with pre-vetted companies to ensure that its customers receive safe and effective products. Jointly provides its customers with a certificate of analysis (COA) for its CBD products, and customers can also see how other Jointly users have rated products for specific goals like managing aches and pains and improving sleep. Jointly matches consumers with the best performing products for their goals based on real user ratings, and then ships products discreetly and legally to consumers' front doors. If you want to buy legal cannabis products such as CBD, CBN, and more, try shopping with Jointly's online cannabis marketplace to purchase legal cannabis products and have them shipped discreetly to your door!

In this post, we’ll dive into the FDA’s decision to not restrict CBD sales while calling for new regulations to ensure the quality and safety of CBD products available on the market. We’ll also discuss the legal history behind the agency’s decision, as well as its implications for consumers and the industry.

What is the FDA’s stance on CBD?

Breaking down the FDA’s position on CBD requires a bit of nuance, but the two most important things to know about the January 26 decision are: 

  • The FDA believes it currently lacks the framework and scientific evidence to balance consumer demand with potential risks associated with CBD; and
  • The FDA rejected petitions from trade groups to begin establishing rules for marketing CBD as a dietary supplement.

“Given the available evidence, it is not apparent how CBD products could meet safety standards for dietary supplements or food additives,” FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock says in a statement.

“For example, we have not found adequate evidence to determine how much CBD can be consumed, and for how long, before causing harm. Therefore, we do not intend to pursue rulemaking allowing the use of CBD in dietary supplements or conventional foods.”

“A new regulatory pathway would benefit consumers by providing safeguards and oversight to manage and minimize risks related to CBD products,” she adds.

Before establishing that regulatory pathway, however, the agency has said it will need further evidence regarding the potential negative effects of CBD, and especially in relation to use of the cannabinoid over a long period of time. 

It will also need assistance and input from Congress. The FDA “all but explicitly” asked the legislative body to step in, according to attorneys Howard Sklamberg and Elizabeth Trentacost of Arnold & Porter.

“Ultimately, FDA’s stance leaves Congress in the driver’s seat when it comes to establishing a regulatory path forward for CBD,” the attorneys conclude.

Should the FDA be in charge of regulating CBD?

Though the agency was initially founded with the mission of overseeing and enforcing consumer protection laws regarding food, the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) brought drugs and medicines under the purview of the FDA. 

Later changes to the agency’s responsibilities expanded its authority to include dietary supplements, though it can’t approve these products “for safety and effectiveness, or to approve their labeling, before the supplements are sold to the public,” according to the FDA website.

The agency does not consider CBD (or its psychoactive cousin, THC) to fall under the definition for supplements under the FD&C Act. Products containing CBD are viewed the same way.

Despite the hesitancy voiced in the January 26 announcement, the FDA has already dipped its toe into regulating CBD as a drug with the approval of CBD-based anti-seizure medication Epidiolex in June 2015. 

What makes Epidiolex different from run-of-the-mill consumer CBD products was the agency’s decision that the evidence supporting the specific use of Epidiolex for its intended purpose — treating two rare and severe forms of epilepsy — was sufficient enough to approve the individual product, according to a statement from then-FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

How will the FDA’s decision impact consumers?

What ultimately lies at stake for consumers is a lack of control over what is in their CBD. Studies of CBD products, their efficacy, and their purity have shown that many readily available CBD products do not necessarily contain the dose or purity that they claim.

For example, a study from 2022 that reviewed a sample of 80 hemp-derived CBD products available to consumers through online or brick-and-mortar retail in the United States found that just under half of those products contained at least 10% more or 10% less CBD than the product packaging indicated.

“Consumers and practitioners should remain cautious of unregulated and often-mislabeled CBD products due to the risks of taking too much CBD (e.g., drug-drug interactions, liver enzyme elevations, increased side effects) and the consequences of taking too little (e.g., no clinical benefits due to underdosing),” the study’s authors conclude. 

Based on the study above, as well as comments from academics and legal experts, regulation will be key to reducing issues with dose and purity while protecting consumers.

“Much is at stake in getting CBD’s safety profile defined for consumers, clinicians, manufacturers, and others,” writes Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, a professor of health policy, economics, and the law at the University of Southern California.

“Undefined and unregulated, CBD will continue to pose unnecessary risks and never reach its potential as a legitimate health supplement. Congress should find the funds to unlock the mysteries of CBD and give the FDA the political cover it needs to ensure the U.S. has a safe and useful CBD marketplace.”

If you want to buy high quality CBD products from reliable brands, just shop for CBD using Jointly Matches. When you buy a cannabis or CBD product through Jointly Matches, you can rest assured that it comes from a pre-vetted company. Not only can you see the COA for your CBD products, but you can also see how other Jointly users rated products for goals like managing aches and pains and improving sleep. Basically, Jointly matches you with the best performing products for your goals, calculated from the product ratings of real users. Best of all, the products are shipped discreetly and legally to your front door.

How will the FDA’s decision impact CBD companies?

Some industry representatives reacted to the FDA’s decision with disappointment. 

“When it comes to the safety of CBD, the FDA gets it wrong. Contrary to the FDA’s continued assertions regarding the safety of CBD, there is clear, established evidence of safety over the years,” Jonathan Miller, General Counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, said in a statement.

“We therefore see no need for FDA to go through the lengthy, burdensome exercise of establishing a new regulatory pathway for CBD, or other hemp-derived cannabinoids,” he adds.

Until regulation has been introduced, the industry will have to continue to “live with the murky status quo,” according to attorney Doug R. Sargent of Greenspoon Marder.

In terms of enforcement and compliance, that status quo means CBD industry players should continue to assume the FDA will crack down on a subset of companies with products the agency believes are improperly marketed or making unsubstantiated medical claims or being advertised to children.

“Stakeholders should keep a close eye on the legislative process and consider lobbying efforts where appropriate,” a team of attorneys from Eversheds Sutherland advise, adding that companies should take extra care when marketing their products to avoid provoking the FDA.

What happens next for CBD regulation?

Despite the FDA’s reluctance to establish a regulatory framework for CBD, CBD derived from hemp plants has been federally legal since 2018 thanks to the Agricultural Improvement Act, sometimes referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill.

Some politicians have already voiced support for attaching nationwide cannabis or hemp regulation to the 2018 bill’s upcoming replacement, with MJ Biz Daily reporting that Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon has stated that the new bill “absolutely poses a path forward” for general cannabis reform at the federal level.

While the government mulls over its legislative and regulatory options, researchers must continue to pave the road towards CBD regulation with new evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of the cannabinoid, states USC’s Pacula.

“Additional research on the benefits and risks of CBD is imperative,” she states. “Without new authority that ultimately would allow safe cannabidiol-based products access to the market, the FDA has the unmanageable task of controlling what can only be described as a wild west of unsubstantiated claims.”

Find top-rated products for your goals 

Jointly is the cannabis discovery app that makes it easy to find and shop the best cannabis and CBD products for your goals. Your matches are calculated from the real product ratings and experiences from hundreds of thousands of people using the Jointly app.

If you're ready to discover new products and reach your goals, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or shop your matches on the Jointly website.   

Are you curious about Jointly?

Whether you want to improve sleep, relieve daily stress, or just relax and refresh, Jointly can help you reach your goals with cannabis.  

With Jointly, you can shop your top-rated products, and save lists of your favorites to share and bring to your local dispensary to help guide your shopping experience.  

The Jointly app also helps you improve your cannabis experiences by uncovering what’s working and what’s not with reflections and personalized insights. In fact, the quality of your diet, how much you slept, who you’re with, and the time of day are just some of the factors that can impact your cannabis experience.  

So if you're ready to find your best products and enjoy your perfect cannabis experience, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or shop your matches on the Jointly website. Discovery awaits.

Jointly Better - FacebookJointly Better - TwitterJointly Better - Instagram
You might also like