The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally agreed to review CBD and other cannabis-derived products at a Friday hearing.
Coffee shops claim that their CBD lattes will wake you up and at the same time soothe you, others oil oils that they say will do anything, from alleviating pain to alleviating autism symptoms.
Some say that CBD is the antidote to the opioid epidemic, while others say it is snake oil.
After years of industry that has become more or less wild, as marijuana has been legalized in many US states, the FDA has finally decided to take up the issue and discuss how to classify and regulate the substance.
Supplements, oils and pastries are just some of the products that the FDA will discuss at its first hearing on CBD, which will serve as a starting point for regulating the host of products
CBD is understood just about as poorly as it is widely used.
Last week, the FDA chief commissioner, Dr. Amy Abernathy, started a twitter thread, in which some of the unknowns about CBD were mentioned.
& # 39; There are many open questions about CBD, (including) security questions & # 39 ;, she said.
# We are particularly working to learn more about the potential risks of CBD, such as liver toxicity, when someone takes it regularly and for a long time, perhaps from different types of CBD products.
& # 39; For example, what happens if you eat food with CBD, use CBD-infused skin cream and use other CBD products on the same day? What if you use these products daily for a week or a month or longer? What if someone who uses CBD also takes medication? & # 39;
The FDA has approved a handful of cannabis-derived or synthetic cannabis medicines, including seizure medication for children that contains CBD and medications to improve appetite and treat nausea, which contain THC.
But many CBD products have been marketed as safe, harmless, and useful for many more conditions, without the FDA ever having considered them that way, although some are actually the & # 39; generally recognized as & # 39; made their way to the FDA market.
As for the rest, part of the difficulty in regulating them is that they come in so many different forms.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THC AND CBD
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are both derived from the cannabis plant.
Together they form part of the cannabinoid group of compounds found in hashish, hash oil and most types of marijuana.
THC is the psychoactive substance responsible for the euphoric, & # 39; high & # 39; feeling that is often associated with marijuana.
THC interacts with CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and brain and creates the sensations of euphoria and anxiety.
CBD does not fit well in these receptors and actually reduces the effects of THC and is not psychoactive.
CBD is thought to help reduce anxiety and inflammation.
You can absorb CBD oil directly, cook in food or baked goods, drink in your kombucha or – if the claims of such products are true – absorb it through your skin when using CBD lotions.
The problem is that even if exactly the same CBD would be used in all those goods, they should all be assessed and regulated by the FDA in completely different ways.
Moreover, like Dr. Ned Sharpless, acting FDA commissioner remarks, because there are approved drugs that contain CBD and THC, it is actually illegal that cosmetics and recordable products both contain substances without going through the FDA approval process.
For the rest of the 80 estimated & # 39; biologically active chemical compounds & # 39; in cannabis, these have not been thoroughly studied and even less approved by the FDA.
Currently, the most extensive regulation for parts of the cannabis plant is governed by the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which has remained largely the same since 1970 (and refers to the drug as & # 39; marijuana & # 39;).
And it is still a schedule that I take medicine, which means that it is very illegal and has no medical use, with the exception of very low THC hemp content that was rearranged last year under the Farm Bill.
In other words, cannabis and its various forms, connections and uses are treated in a completely different way in the US.
None of this has made cannabis – and specifically CBD – an explosive venture that is expected to become a market of $ 16 billion by 2025.
& # 39; Given the new interest in marketing cannabis products in the different areas that the FDA regulates, we will need to carefully evaluate how all these components fit together in how consumers access cannabis products & # 39 ;, said Dr. Sharpless.
& # 39; Nowhere is this more true than with CBD. Although we have seen an explosion of interest in products that contain CBD, there is still much that we do not know. & # 39;
Hearing all day on Friday is the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long process to deal with those strangers and establish rules accordingly.
It is followed by an open commentary period, which will last until July.
But in the meantime, the FDA says it is sending a warning letter to anyone selling unapproved cannabis products.
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