The US president signed the Farm Bill in 2018 that essentially paved the way for CBD to become the major up-and-coming holistic alternative to pharmaceutical drugs that it is today. The bill, universally embraced across the political aisle, enshrined into law growers’ and manufacturers’ ability to utilize all the non-psychoactive (non-THC) parts of he cannabis plant for various uses, including extracting CBD for medical purposes.
This new federal recognition of hemp’s medical utility, in addition to its impressive list of other potential uses including as a plastic alternative, as fabric for clothing, and as paper, seemed to suggest a hands-off approach by the government.
Unfortunately for cannabis activists, the Food and Drug Administration has decided to take a stand on CBD, releasing a a blistering critique of the compound full of dubious claims about its supposed health risks.
What Did the FDA Say About CBD?
In a press release, the FDA warned consumers of the following concerns that they deemed worthy of public announcement:
• Only CBD product has been approved by the FDA for medical use
• .Labelling CBD a “dietary supplement” is illegal
• There is “limited data” to support CBD’s effectiveness
• Marketers are using unfounded medical claims to sell CBD wrongfully.
In addition to these points, the FDA continued with several others in regard to the safety and quality of CBD. Further down in the announcement, the administration further elaborated on the supposed health risks, which, according to the release, include possible liver damage, slowed brain activity, and reproductive toxicity in men.
What the Science Actually Says About CBD Safety
The FDA’s sweeping claims of the health risks of CBD, while founded on science, are skewed to better represent their position. While it is true that in the study that the FDA referred to, in which mice were fed CBD and then showed signs of liver toxicity,, the FDA does not include in its warning the amount of CBD that researchers supplied to the mice for the study. In the experiment, the mice were given the human equivalent of over 200 mg daily – far in excess of what most people take for therapeutic purposes.
Similarly, the other alleged health concerns posed by CBD are misleading.
Why is the FDA opposed to CBD?
There is plenty of room for speculation regarding why the FDA remains defiant in its opposition to CBD use. Stemming the growth of the industry seems unlikely without a total ban – a draconian measure which the scientific evidence would not support. Perhaps – this is pure speculation – the FDA is buying some time to allow more of its giant pharmaceutical partners to develop their own CBD products before blessing the industry with its approval. As many critics of the administration has noted, the revolving door is alive and well. The industry benefits from favorable regulation while the administration leadership angles for lucrative contract positions upon exiting government service. That is how the game is played. Unfortunately for those Americans who benefit from CBD use, the revolving door arrangement means that consumers’ health takes a backseat to political maneuvering in the nation’s capital.