UNITED STATES—On Friday, May 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a new hearing to obtain additional scientific data on cannabidiol (CBD) safety and effectiveness.
Following Congress’ passing of a farm bill allowing the sale of hemp products, manufacturers have raced to the market with CBD infused drinks, food, and dietary supplements, claiming unfounded health benefits.
The hearing would review the health benefit claims, which range from stopping cancer cell growth to the slowing of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
CBD-infused products are on the rise. According to the PMC, U.S. sales of hemp-derived products will grow 55 percent over the next five years, reaching over $1 billion by 2023.
Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless stated:
“While we have seen an explosion of interest in products containing CBD, there is still much that we don’t know.” The FDA acknowledges CBD’s power to treat children’s seizures associated with certain syndromes, but has not ruled on other safe or acceptable uses.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Deputy FDA Commissioner Amy Abernethy are studying the effects of CBD’s long-term use and its potential risks.
“We are reviewing available databases and medical literature about CBD’s safety. Thus far, the data appear insufficient,” Abernethy tweeted last week.
FDA regulations indicate CBD products must contain less than 0.3 percent of THC, the component that produces a “high” in marijuana. While trace amounts of THC can be found in hemp products, most do not produce mind-altering effects.
The new hearing will not determine any decisions or new positions on specific regulatory questions regarding CBD.
While new rules could take months to years, Abernethy reassured CBD activists by tweeting: “We will work as quickly as possible to define a way forward.”