FDA highlights need to better regulate CBD products

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) there are enough risks associated with the use of cannabidiol (CBD) products to call for a new regulatory pathway. The agency announced it is prepared to work with the US Congress on this matter.  

The CBD market is fast-growing, however, the use of CBD products raises various safety concerns, particularly with long-term use, even if, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in a report of 2018: "To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.".  

According to the FDA, previous studies have shown potential negative effects on the liver and the male reproductive system, as well as dangerous interactions with certain medications. In relation to CBD exposure, the FDA expressed its concerns also for certain vulnerable populations (e.g. children and pregnant women) and for those who could be unknowingly exposed through meat, milk, and eggs from animals fed with CBD feed.  

As stated in its press release, the FDA is confident that a new regulatory pathway would benefit consumers by providing safeguards and oversight to manage and minimize risks related to CBD products. Consequently, the agency has denied three citizen petitions that asked to allow the marketing of CBD products as dietary supplements. In support of this decision, the FDA stressed on the fact that there is no adequate evidence to determine how much CBD can be consumed, and for how long, before causing harm.  

The FDA stated that it will continue to "take action" against CBD and other products derived from cannabis "when appropriate" in order to safeguard the public.