The U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA) plans to issue new regulatory recommendations for the CBD industry due to prevailing concerns on consumer safety. In a statement that was provided to the Wall Street Journal, the agency has expressed its intention to regulate CBD in food and supplements in the coming months after it has completed reviewing three petitions from citizens relating to the matter.
The value of the CBD industry is expected to attain a value of $4.6 billion by 2026, according to a recent FDA report. However, CBD is currently neither approved as a food supplement nor as a drug, but some sellers have been marketing CBD products as such. The FDA has not been happy with the lack of regulation in the industry and has in the past issued warning letters to CBD companies using false and unsubstantiated claims to market their products.
“Given what we know about the safety of CBD so far, it raises concerns for FDA about whether these existing regulatory pathways for food and dietary supplements are appropriate for this substance. FDA is currently reviewing three Citizen petitions related to this, and we plan to respond to them soon,” reads in part a statement from the FDA that was issued to the Wall Street Journal.
CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana, even though hemp is legal federally while marijuana is not. In fact, the primary difference between hemp and marijuana is the concentration of the intoxicating cannabinoids THC. For hemp to be legal federally it must not exceed a 0.3% concentration of THC. Marijuana strains can have THC amounts exceeding 30%.
Given the poor regulation in the CBD industry, some CBD products usually exceed the recommended THC limit. Some CBD products in the market have been found to be contaminated with high levels of pesticides and heavy metals. Lastly, some CBD sellers make false claims on CBD products to make them more appealing to consumers.
The FDA is concerned about the rise in popularity of CBD products in spite of a largely unregulated market and hence has been making efforts to stem the tide. The new FDA recommendations that will be unveiled soon will help to streamline the CBD industry so it can maintain a steady growth rate in the next coming years.