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What the FDA Has to Say About CBD

Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the market for CBD and related products has been red hot. But the FDA has a penchant for throwing cold water on health and wellness products that haven’t had the chance to be thoroughly tested and run through a gauntlet of peer-reviewed studies. CBD products have been flying off the shelves in the last few years. And so, a burgeoning market with a host of players has emerged. Many CBD companies have been coming up with creative ways to market their products. But this doesn’t always please the FDA. Here’s what you need to know about the latest FDA news and regulations concerning CBD. 

But first, what exactly is CBD, and can it get you high? 

CBD is a chemical compound found in both hemp and marijuana plants. But consuming CBD, in any form, won’t produce psychoactive effects. So no, you won’t get high from eating CBD gummies or relaxing in the tub with a fragrant CBD bath bomb. While both hemp and marijuana plants produce CBD, marijuana plants, depending on their strain, produce THC in abundance. 

THC is the chemical in the marijuana plant that, when heated and consumed, will get someone high. In recent years though, people are becoming more and more interested in the effects of THC’s chemical cousin, CBD. There’s much speculation and anecdotal evidence that CBD can offer some health benefits to consumers. This is where the FDA and its regulations come in. 

What’s the FDA, and what does it have to do with CBD?

The FDA is a government-run, consumer watchdog organization that was founded back in 1906. Before the FDA, unscrupulous inventors could market practically any snake oil and sell it to the unsuspecting public for a range of ailments. Random, and sometimes downright dangerous substances—like mineral oil mixed with turpentine—were sold as “cures” for headaches and other illnesses. Before the FDA, consumers were left on their own and unprotected. 

But today, we have the FDA to protect consumers—and animals—from potentially harmful drugs, biological devices, and medical products. The FDA works to ensure that food, makeup and similar products are safe to consume. 

How do products like CBD get FDA approval?

For a substance or medical device to meet official FDA approval, the product must go through laboratory, animal, and human clinical testing. The results of the studies and data must be submitted to the FDA. Next, the FDA will review the data and study results. Based on its findings, the FDA may or may not officially approve the device or substance. It all depends on if the product offers substantial benefits to consumers that outweigh any risks involved in using it. 

Has CBD gotten FDA approval yet?

Meeting FDA approval requires time and money. CBD derived from hemp is a relatively new product on the market. In essence, it hasn’t had the time and investment yet to conduct extensive studies for submission to the FDA and possible approval. As of the date of this writing, only one CBD prescription drug has met FDA approval. The medicine treats two rare, severe forms of a seizure disorder called epilepsy. But the fact that a prescription drug with CBD as a main active ingredient has been approved by the FDA is a vote of confidence in CBD's therapeutic properties and a step in the right direction.

Is there any news of the FDA getting enough data on CBD to approve it?

So far, the FDA has only seen small amounts of data related to CBD safety and efficacy. The FDA is unsure of how CBD products can interact with other medications or substances a person is taking. The FDA also isn’t sure yet about any potential long-term side effects of CBD use. 

Also, the CBD market is left mostly unregulated. That means that unscrupulous companies can put harmful chemicals in their CBD products. Pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants have been found in low-quality CBD products that some fly-by-night producers have put on the market. 

The Good News About CBD Use and the FDA

The good news is, there hasn’t been any evidence to suggest that CBD in and of itself is unsafe. Basically, the FDA just doesn’t know yet if CBD will interact with other products, and if those interactions might be harmful to consumers. As the CBD market continues to evolve and has time to grow, the FDA will eventually have the information it needs to approve CBD for official use. 

Does the FDA say it’s illegal to market CBD to consumers? 

According to FDA regulations, it’s not illegal to market CBD per se. It’s how individual companies market their CBD products that might catch the stink-eye from the consumer watchdog. In November of 2019, the FDA issued new guidelines for CBD. Companies aren’t supposed to add CBD to food and market it as a dietary supplement. Marketing CBD products with medical claims is also a no-no. 

How can CBD enthusiasts protect themselves?

Without FDA approval, CBD products aren’t uniformly regulated and tested for utmost safety and quality. At this time, consumers need to be picky about the CBD products they buy and use. When looking for a CBD product, thoroughly research the company. If it’s been around for a year or more, it’s not a fly-by-night, and possibly shady, entity. Look over the company’s reviews on third-party sites. 

While not every company is going to have consistent 5-star reviews, researching reviews helps you uncover patterns with a company’s service and products. Also, high-quality and reputable CBD companies will have their products independently tested. You should be able to access the tests so you can do your own research as an informed consumer. 

CBD and FDA News: The Bottom Line

Until CBD has time to meet FDA approval, consumers are mainly left to their own devices when it comes to choosing a CBD product. At Half Day CBD, all products are thoroughly and independently tested. You can find the results of our tests and learn where our products come from and how they’re made right on our website.

See our batch records here and shop products you can trust.

*Half Day CBD is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult with a physician before use if you have a medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should be sought before using this and any supplemental dietary product. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.