Early this week the CBD community was treated to the news that 15 companies selling CBD products had received warning letters from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In its press release, the FDA also made some substantial warnings about the safety of CBD that not only could raise questions for consumers, but also gives the CBD industry an opportunity to step it up in terms of quality control, consumer education, and laboratory testing.
The safety concerns brought up by the FDA are “related to CBD products, including potential liver injury, interactions with other drugs, drowsiness, diarrhea, and changes in mood”, with the agency also noting that in early animal studies, cannabinoids have shown to interfere with male reproduction.
Should Consumers Worry?
The FDA does have the general public’s best interest in mind when it comes to preserving safety of the consumers of any product bought and sold across the country.
For some people, ingesting CBD can produce adverse effects. We caught up with Mike Robinson, Founder and Educator at the Global Cannabinoid Research Center who confirmed some of the possible dangers of ingesting CBD, especially if you don’t consult a doctor first.
“It’s really easy to ingest 100mgs of CBD and render a seizure medication useless, make a blood thinner go into overdrive, or cause a medication for a cornea or other organ transplant to fail,” said Robinson, “All because there’s not enough warnings saying ‘please consult your doctor or pharmacist before ingesting CBD – it’s known to interact with pharmaceuticals.’”
Robinson highlights the importance of CBD doing their broad research and development, and engaging in rigorous testing to bring credibility to their products. “Any company worthy of entering the industry is not selling products right away,” said Robinson, “They’re doing research and development for at least a year before they release anything. That’s going to be the difference between who stays around and who does not.”
In fact, CBD is known to interact with a number of pharmaceutical medications, and it’s important that retailers and consumers understand this. CBD is known to slow down and prolong processes within the body, including increasing the durability of medications as they pass through the body. This could result in the prolonging of effects of certain medications, including blood thinners, seizure medications, certain sedatives, and chemotherapy drugs.
CBD Business Media always suggests that retailers tell consumers to talk to their doctors before ingesting any CBD products.
Health Claims Called Out by FDA
Part of the FDA’s beef with the CBD industry is that some brands are freely and unapologetically placing health claims on their CBD products that are not approved by the FDA (essentially making them illegal statements), and more importantly, run the risk of misinforming the consumer on the efficacy of products for certain medical conditions.
15 warning letters were sent out to CBD companies for using “product webpages, online stores and social media to market CBD products in interstate commerce in ways that violate the FD&C Act, including marketing CBD products to treat diseases or for other therapeutic uses for humans and/or animals.”
The FDA has shown by now that it will jump on any CBD company who claims that their product can “prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat or cure serious diseases”.
The Way Forward
CBD Business Media humbly recognizes that we have a lot to go in terms of clinical scientific research that will be able to back the claims of the efficacy of CBD. What we do have now is empirical evidence, people’s stories, that are showing how CBD is affecting people’s lives. However, this simply isn’t enough.
It’s up to the CBD industry, and CBD retailers, to become informed, and help inform the consumer on the safety of CBD. We have to humbly recognize that we can’t make health claims, and need to be more careful about how the efficacy of CBD is communicated.
Simply put, CBD isn’t for everyone, and any consumer needs to be diligent by consulting their doctor about any new substance they add into their body.