Published: Wed, November 27, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

FDA Adopts a More Aggressive CBD Enforcement Stance

FDA Adopts a More Aggressive CBD Enforcement Stance

The bill was signed a day after the Federal Drug Administration issued warnings to fifteen companies for illegally selling CBD products in ways that violate federal rules.

A matcha shop that offers drinks with drops of CBD oil. Even CVS and Walgreens started selling CBD-infused products at select locations earlier this year.

However, the FDA now says it doesn't have enough scientific evidence to conclude that CBD is "generally recognized as safe among qualified experts for use in human and animal food".

Specifically regarding pets, FDA said: "The FDA has not approved CBD for any use in animals, and the concerns regarding CBD products with unproven medical claims and of unknown quality equally apply to CBD products marketed for animals".

You can read the FDA's full warning on products containing CBD here.

There are number of questions regarding CBD's safety and there are real risks that need to be considered.

"The FDA has seen only limited data about CBD safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered before taking CBD for any reason". FDA has the authority to mandate recalls, to begin seizures of potentially harmful products, and to issue injunctions, but instead, the agency is choosing to issue tepid warning letters about CBD while the market of poorly made products continues to explode.

Consumers could put off medical care because of unsubstantiated marketing claims on unapproved CBD products, the FDA warned.

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"This overarching approach regarding CBD is the same as the FDA would take for any other substance that we regulate", Abernethy said.

Six of the companies sent warning letters by the FDA are located in California, while the others are scattered across Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Oregon, New York, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Kentucky.

The FDA's revised consumer update cautions the public about the possible risks from CBD, such as "potential liver injury, interactions with other drugs, drowsiness, diarrhea and changes in mood".

The FDA's informational statements appear to comes as a direct reaction to recent reports of American consumers' confusion over the safety and legal sale of CBD.

But the agency's updated message to the public goes further in telling people to stay away from CBD, at least for the time being.

FDA's announcement acknowledges the presence of CBD-containing products that are in serious violation of general dietary supplement regulations-products that include appreciable levels of the psychoactive compound THC; ones whose CBD content does not come close to matching the labeled amounts; and still others that contain unsafe levels of pesticides, heavy metals or other contaminants. It is worth noting the CBD prescription drug Epidiolex uses daily doses that could be as high as 1,500 mg; many supplement products in the market provide suggested daily doses of 50 mg/day or less.

"The FDA's top priority is to protect the public health", the consumer update stated.

FDA has the opportunity to receive meaningful safety data in the context of new dietary ingredient notifications and GRAS submissions from responsible companies in the industry.

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