What might the FDA do next with CBD?
Many in the cannabis industry, particularly those in the hemp space, have been watching every move by the FDA ever since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp. While Congress made clear in the bill that hemp with 0.3%THC or below is legal, it said little about legal ways to use it. None of this is entirely surprising, since the Farm Bill traditionally deals with issues handled by the USDA, such as crops and food assistance programs.
However, this omission has left the hemp CBD consumer goods industry in a strange limbo of producing and selling legal(ish) products. Because CBD was approved as an active ingredient in a prescription drug, it’s not technically supposed to be in things like tincture droppers, candy, or beverages. Anyone with eyeballs can see that is not what’s happening in reality, including the FDA.
Recently, the FDA released draft guidance for quality considerations in producing prescription drugs with cannabis compounds, including CBD. This document is not what companies that are making common ingestible hemp consumer goods were necessarily hoping for, it can be taken as a good sign. It means that the FDA, despite focusing efforts on COVID mitigation efforts, is still working towards forming a sound framework for hemp products.
With any luck for consumers and companies alike, the next FDA guidance will be on using CBD in dietary supplements. This will give consumers the confidence of a nationally regulated industry, rather than hoping the product that they bought is safe. While this guidance is hoped for and it will bring clarity, there will still be the issue of CBD in food and beverages. Until guidance on those products is released, those products will remain in the legal-ish zone that is our current holding pattern. States are left to come up with their own regulations, and companies are holding themselves accountable.
Until the crystal ball is no longer necessary, its best for consumers to vet companies and their hemp CBD products before purchase. Companies, such as Beneficial Blends, who provide transparency in their processes and have established themselves in the industry, are able to leverage their experience working with FDA regulations and offer quality products and information that any discerning consumer expects.