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What the FDA Hearing Can Mean for the Future of CBD

On May 31, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held its first hearing about the safety and effectiveness of CBD. These claims have been growing in recent years, experts touting benefits from pain relief to managing depression and anxiety and even using it as a treatment for cancer and other terminal illnesses. This hearing could have a major impact on the future of CBD.


Understanding What CBD Is and What It Isn’t

CBD, which is cannabidiol, is an ingredient in hemp and marijuana, but it’s not the only ingredient. It’s also not the same as THC, which causes the psychoactive properties of the drug. It is critical for people to understand this difference because they cannot “get high” off CBD in the same way as when using the drug which contains the THC.

At the very opening of the hearing, the acting commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Ned Sharpless, admitted that there is a lot the agency and others don’t know about CBD. Many questions about the future of CBD remain unanswered and require further research.


Changes in the FDA for CBD

It was in June of 2018 that the FDA approved a CBD-based medication for the first time. Epidiolex has been approved to treat two types of epilepsy. No other products containing this ingredient have been approved by the FDA. However, it doesn’t mean they don’t work or aren’t safe. It just means not enough research has been done. 

This hearing provided an opportunity for witnesses to testify about their personal and professional experiences with CBD. These witnesses included doctors and patients, researchers and those in the supplement industry. The public also has the opportunity to provide comments in a docket. 



How the Hearing Can Help the CBD Market

As with any topic, information is the key. As more information and interest is evident, more focus will be put on research. The FDA is considering whether to use the authority it has to allow CBD to be added to foods and dietary supplements. Currently, it is illegal to do so under federal law, but states have begun to legalize the use of CBD in products and companies are manufacturing numerous items containing this ingredient. 

If the FDA begins to approve products made with CBD, it will add a layer of authenticity to them. More consumers will have confidence in the products because the phrase “FDA-approved” carries a lot of weight. FDA regulation will also protect consumers from any adverse effects of the ingredient and prevent companies from making false claims.

However, the CBD market has already begun exploding as people experience what they perceive as benefits. It is expected that the future of the CBD industry will continue to grow as people look for new ways to manage medical issues and to see improvements in their health and looks. Companies that want to succeed in the industry can begin now to gain new customers and advocates for their products.


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