Lack Of FDA Cannabidiol Regulations Rattles U.S. Consumers

Cannabidiol survey in the USA

A recent poll indicates 44% of Americans are less likely to use cannabidiol products after learning the FDA is yet to implement consumer protection standards relating to CBD. But the situation is complicated.

The poll of 1,000 registered voters, carried out for the Natural Products Association (NPA), was conducted during the first two weeks of October.

Among the poll’s other findings:

  • 47% using CBD products would cease use if they or someone they knew became ill from CBD – not really a shocking result.
  • 70% believe the FDA should have already established safety standards for CBD products.
  • 65% believe Congress should direct the FDA to quickly set standards.
  • 67% weren’t aware or were unsure if cannabidiol products currently being sold are illegal.
  • 41%  believed FDA had already developed safety standards for CBD.

“If CBD experiences a vaping-like crisis, it’s bad for public health, bad for the benefits CBD offers and bad for the hemp industry’s growth and job-creating potential,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D. President and CEO of NPA.

Back in August, an FDA official said the Administration was “excited” about the potential for hemp-derived CBD but needed to fill in gaps in its knowledge in order to create regulatory pathways for products – and those could be some way off.

Currently, at a federal level, it’s illegal to sell a food or dietary supplement containing cannabidiol in interstate commerce according to the FDA. One of the reasons for this is adding a substance to food if that substance has already been approved or even studied as a drug is prohibited. The exception to this is where the substance in question has been used in food prior to drug studies or approval. And if a substance is marketed as a drug, then it needs FDA approval.

In the case of cannabidiol, the FDA’s opinion is it was being studied as a drug prior to being added to food. The FDA also approved the first cannabidiol-based drug last year – Epidiolex.

“With the exception of Epidiolex, all CBD products in the U.S. are considered illegal by the federal government,” claims the NPA. However, many states permit cannabidiol products to be sold and possessed within their jurisdictions.