The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided a new window into their investigation of CBD in the marketplace June 19, with a consumer update regarding the compound.
The agency has made clear that though the product “seems to be available almost everywhere,” FDA has only approved one drug, Epidiolex, containing CBD for medical use.
During its review of Epidiolex, the agency “identified certain safety risks, including the potential for liver injury,” associated with the use of the product. According to the FDA, the risk for harm to the liver can be managed with medical supervision, “but it is less clear how these risks might be managed when CBD is used far more widely, without medical supervision and not in accordance with FDA-approved labeling.”
Note: CBD Snapshot is hard at work on a separate article evaluating the claims regarding CBD and its effect on the liver. Stay tuned!
CBD’s impact on the liver is just one of FDA’s open questions about CBD. Additional questions the agency will evaluate include CBD’s impact on seniors, children and teens, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women. The agency is also looking into CBD’s safety for animals, as many CBD products are marketed to pet owners.
The FDA has sent warning letters to businesses that claim their CBD products can prevent or treat illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders and diabetes, as the agency cannot yet verify those claims.
Quality control is another issue the agency plans to evaluate. FDA is investigating the degree to which products on the market contain the levels of CBD they claim to contain. Further, they’re investigating reports of CBD products potentially containing contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals.
The FDA held its first-ever public hearing on CBD at the end of May. The agency will allow members of the public to submit comments about the use and regulation of CBD until July 16. FDA recently extended the deadline in order to allow for additional commentary.