The FDA held its first CBD hearing last Friday

The FDA held its first hearing to learn about the possible impacts of long-term CBD use, and, well, they didn’t learn much.


June 2, 2019

On Friday, the FDA held its first hearing with manufacturers and scientists to learn more about the possible impacts of long-term CBD use.

Manufacturers urged the FDA to set up a regulatory framework to legally add CBD to food products and dietary supplements, suggesting that the longer the FDA waffles, the more nefarious manufacturing practices become.

But the FDA insists that “critical questions” remain about the safety of cannabis-related products. In other words, they want some hard evidence before giving it the FDA stamp of approval.

The FDA’s consensus: More research

Cannabis-related products have shot from a proverbial cannon into the mainstream, flooding the market with health claims including pain relief, immune function, and anxiety and depression.

What’s more impressive, though, is the limited research corroborating these health benefits (see Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker piece).

In the hearing, regulators requested data on how companies develop dosage recommendations, as on CBD’s benefits for both humans and animals.

Data no one could provide…

When asked the functional purpose of adding CBD to beauty products, James Shults of Wildflower (which sells CBD-infused soaps and topicals) told panelists that it’s based on the “opinion of the consumer” — Uhhhhhh.

“The theme of the day is data, specifically about dosage, interactions and why are you putting this in products, and unfortunately, I don’t think anybody is giving good answers,” Jonathan Havens, co-chair of the cannabis law practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, told CNBC.

The brainiacs have spoken 

Scientists continue to be neutral observers, warning regulators how little they know about CBD, while also confirming the importance of regulations to keep bad actors at bay.

“If you’re talking about putting some CBD salve on an elbow, maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t. We don’t know,” Igor Grant, a cannabis researcher at UC San Diego, told regulators.

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