What is CBD?

CBD is a compound found in cannabis and derived from the hemp plant. In recent years, the CBD market has exploded, with Americans purchasing $500 million in products containing CBD in 2018 alone. By 2022, the amount is expected to more than triple to reach nearly 1.8 billion nationwide. The breadth of products claiming CBD benefits is also growing. CBD is included in everything from lotions and oils, to exercise clothing, pet treats, and ‘tampons.’ These products are often marketed as stress relieving, anxiety reducing, and claiming medical benefits, even though they have not undergone sufficient scientific and medical testing.

With changes to laws and the flood of new products to the marketplace, many consumers are understandably confused about CBD: 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.

The issue is that most CBD products on the shelves today fail to meet the safety standards we have come to expect. Nearly all CBD products have not been scientifically tested for safety and efficacy, meaning any therapeutic claims of non-prescription CBD products are not backed by science. Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, ingestible CBD products are illegal.

Despite these legitimate concerns, CBD has become commonplace on retail shelves and websites – but consumers must be cautious.

While the FDA has sent over 50 warning letters to the CBD industry’s most egregious actors, we have yet to see strict guardrails put in place. The CBD industry has grown too quickly and with minimal oversight from the FDA, creating a potentially dangerous marketplace.

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