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FDA Mulls Over CBD Regulation

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is reportedly considering new regulations regarding certain CBD products. An announcement by the federal agency can be expected within the next few months. 

It Wall Street Journal, citing agency officials, reported this week that the FDA is “studying whether legal cannabis is safe in food or supplements and plans to make recommendations for how to regulate the growing number of cannabis-derived products in the coming months.” 

“Given what we know about the safety of CBD so far, it raises concerns for FDA about whether these existing regulatory pathways for food and dietary supplements are appropriate for this substance,” Janet Woodcock, the Food and Drug Administration’s principal deputy commissioner, told the Wall Street Journal.

According to the newspaper, Woodcock has “led the agency’s efforts looking at cannabis regulation.”

Reuters reports that, “after weighing the evidence on the compound’s safety, the FDA will decide within months how to regulate legal cannabis and whether that will require new agency rules or new legislation from Congress.” 

According to the outlet, after following the Wall Street Journal’s report on the news, “shares of U.S.-listed cannabis companies were down between 5% and 9% in afternoon trade.” 

After the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, CBD products have seen a boom in America over the past four years. This law legalized hemp cultivation. 

The products are outpacing regulation which has led some federal and state officials to have to catch up. 

Earlier this year, regulators in Idaho began enforcing a ban of CBD pet supplements, saying that the state’s “new law did not legalize hemp in every setting or product type.”

“Similarly, Idaho law does not recognize hemp as a feed or remedy ingredient. Federal and state laws have yet to establish safe levels for hemp or hemp-derived products in animal food. These products cannot be lawfully added to commercial feed and are therefore not allowed as feed ingredients. This includes feeds, treats and remedies intended for pets, livestock, or any other animal,” the Idaho Department of Agriculture said in a memorandum. 

“As hemp manufacturing begins to take place in Idaho, ISDA is working with new hemp licensees and animal feed companies to understand what is legal in the state. The popularity of hemp remedies and feeds has increased significantly. They are also available in both online and retail shops. We recognize that some states have adopted laws and rules that allow for hemp to be included in human and animal foods,” the deparmtnet added.

Some consumers have been duped by the lack of regulations regarding CBD products they purchase.

Johns Hopkins Medicine published a study in July that showed that such products often have incorrect labels. 

Researchers found that 18% of products they examined contained 10% less CBD than the product label stated. Another 58% had 10% more CBD than the advertised amount. Only 25% of products had the advertised amount of CBD. 

“Misleading labels can result in people using poorly regulated and expensive CBD products instead of FDA approved products that are established as safe and effective for a given health condition,” said the study’s lead author, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Tory Spindle.

“Recent research has shown that people who use CBD products containing even small amounts of THC could potentially test positive for cannabis using a conventional drug test,” Spindle added.