The hype of “cure all” CBD is everywhere. CBD-infused lotions, oils, beauty products, and pet treats can be found in grocery stores, pharmacies and online. These products often tout “medical benefits” to help with seizures, inflammation, psychological disorders, migraines, and depression, among other health conditions.
As the CBD market expands, however, so too do the public health concerns surrounding these unapproved and potentially unsafe products. Too often CBD product labels are inaccurate regarding ingredients and potency. And CBD itself has potential risks, including liver toxicity, fatigue, and harmful interaction with other drugs.
Just last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed CBD cannot be designated as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and is thus unapproved as a food additive, and in violation of the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act.
It’s no surprise that consumers are confused about CBD. There is a lack of consistent, expert guidance about what is legal, what is safe, the potential for harmful contaminants, the inclusion of other dangerous and intoxicating substances, whether any CBD products are beneficial, and more.
There is a common belief that the FDA penalizes all CBD manufacturers that make false claims and ensures unsafe CBD products are taken off the market. Though the FDA has issued warning letters to the unregulated CBD industry’s most egregious actors, CBD products are still sold online and in stores despite being untested and illegal.
FDA has also called attention to a number of concerns surrounding CBD manufacturing, as well as safety and effectiveness, and the lack of research necessary for products Americans are consuming, but much more needs to be done.
American consumers agree. Recent public opinion research found that a broad consensus of U.S. voters – a significant 83 percent – support allowing the FDA to evaluate and regulate CBD products. The research found that ensuring the safety and effectiveness of CBD grows even stronger among those that have used CBD products or describe themselves as vary familiar with them.
Consumers for Safe CBD has asked the FDA to further educate consumers about CBD, enforce regulations against products that make medical claims that pose high risks, establish a clear distinction between approved medicines and other consumer products and encourage further research.
The CBD marketplace is an unruly, anything-goes wild, wild, west, and consumers shouldn’t be subjected to it without reasonable safeguards. As the CBD marketplace continues to accelerate, so must efforts to protect health and safety.