Booming Industry with Little Regulation
The cannabis industry is booming. Whether you realize it or not, the industry is maturing at a breakneck speed and governing bodies like the FDA have had a hell of a time trying to keep up. A few short years ago the idea of consuming any part of the plant was still considered highly taboo in our country, not to mention the majority of the world. Attitudes on the plant have been evolving so quickly and so many claims are being made about what CBD is (or is not) that it has come to a tipping point. The industry is currently worth about 700 million and projected to skyrocket to 22 Billion by 2022 so you can imagine the pressure the FDA is under to give some guidance on regulation. On May 31st of this year, the FDA held its first hearing on CBD or cannabidiol — a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.
The FDA Steps In, But Just To Hear Everyone Out
The cannabis community has been anticipating this hearing for some time. It included 100 speakers from the industry; researchers, scientists, health professionals, as well as advocates of CBD. At the heart of this hearing is what to do with CBD now that the 2018 Farm Bill had passed (A bill that made the farming of hemp legal in all states). The FDA is expected to take comments through July.
Currently, the FDA only recognizes CBD for treating two ailments: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. In 2018 the first cannabis-based pharmaceutical, Epidiolex, was approved by the FDA as a treatment for both of these childhood-onset forms of epilepsy. Past this treatment, they don’t officially recognize marijuana or hemp as a treatment for anything, despite the Department of Health and Human Services being granted Patent 6630507 in 2003 regarding medical uses for CBD. They have reservations for any claim made by cannabis users and producers that are not backed by peer-reviewed scientific research and studies. Without additional clinical studies, which are very costly and time-consuming, it could be difficult to sway the FDA on any decision regarding cannabis use as a therapy. A primary driver for this hearing is the FDA recognizes the importance of giving guidance on CBD as its popularity soars in the U.S. One more thing to note is the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes CBD as safe and non-addictive. This could also account for the FDA waiting so long to weigh in.
After 10 hours of testimony from industry experts, researchers, producers, and stakeholders its abundantly clear that the industry as a whole is deep in “wild west” territory. The market is flooded with junk products making newcomers and seasoned consumers question the source. Stakeholders produced lab data showing products only offering a fraction of the CBD potency that was claimed on the bottle. This is a known problem in the industry so we at CBD TakeOut carefully curate the products we provide to ensure that independent, 3rd party laboratory testing verifies the potency of every product we carry.
We are all in favor of regulation, but not too much that would stifle innovation and competition. Regulation will dramatically weed out bogus CBD manufacturers and those that cut corners to increase their bottom line. It will increase safety nets into production and hopefully jump start much-needed research into new applications of cannabis. We want producers of CBD to invest in top-shelf extraction labs and establish good manufacturing practices. It also fosters trust in an industry that is fighting its way out of the shadows and into mainstream culture.
One last thing was pretty clear. People still don’t really know what CBD or cannabidiol is. There were multiple times when someone spent their precious time in front of the panel rallying against the evils of marijuana. This comes out of a place of ignorance. That is why sites like CBD TakeOut are so important to stand against any flow of misinformation that is spread to potential consumers and people that could truly benefit from CBD. We will continue to post updates as the FDA sorts through research and testimony.