Scott Gottlieb warns consumers about the legality of CBD infused food and other dietary supplements, saying the cannabidiol drops you may be adding to your brunch salad is actually not legal.
CBD or cannabinoid is a compound derived from the cannabis plant which has garnered huge popularity in the retail industry over the past year. Many users have been touting its claims for medical benefits such as relieving stress, depression, improving insomnia, and much more despite its limited evidence to do so.
Coffee shops, restaurants, and bars have begun experimenting with CBD in their menus, including food and beverages both. Despite the federal government legalizing hemp-derived cannabinoid with a maximum of 0.3% THC, the Food and Drug Administration prohibits CBD infused foods and beverages, citing safety concerns.
The agency has been issuing warning letters to companies who are marketing their CBD products with medical claims and have warned consumers against buying such products. The agency says all the CBD infused food items in the market currently have not been properly checked and are, therefore, unregulated. It is highly important for customers to be aware of their choices and buy only those products that they fully know about.
The agency also held a public meeting on May 31 to discuss the regulatory framework for safe and regulated consumption of CBD and its products. Many stakeholders, retailers, business leaders, consumers, manufacturers, scientists, researchers and law enforcement officials attended the meeting held by the FDA.
Though there hasn’t been any declaration on the regulatory framework for CBD based products, a spokesperson has recently announced that the agency will roll out some important information regarding CBD legality in the coming months.
Scott Gottlieb, former FDA Commissioner said that CBD can’t be used anywhere in the food supply and it is illegal to do so, be it be in food or beverages or any dietary supplements.
Gottlieb is a resident fellow at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute and is also a physician who consults for and actively invests in biopharmaceutical companies. He recently joined the board of directors of Pfizer.
In Friday’s interview with “Squawk Box,” Gottlieb said products differ extensively in dosage, concentration and quality when it comes to the CBD marketplace, so one can never be sure what they are buying or using. Many products contain high levels of THC, tetrahydro cannabinoid, the drug responsible for causing ‘high’ while smoking weed or pot. Despite the federal regulations set with a maximum threshold of 0.3% THC, many companies and restaurants continue to sell unregulated CBD products with unknown concentrations.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound which means that it does not produce any mind-altering chemicals. However, there is little to negligible science that backs up the medical claims of CBD.
Moreover, with increasing positive feedbacks by users relying on CBD for a wide variety of ailments, the belief system for CBD grows multifold. Not only are people using CBD as anti-depressants, but CBD has replaced opioid effectively.
Opioid addiction was a long stretching battle for the United States as a country where people were severely dependent on opioids for their mental and physical health. However, with the inception of CBD products and the legal status from the government’s end, consumers took a sigh of relief and faith and begun using CBD.
The FDA only allows one CBD based drug known as Epidiolex, for treating two rare forms of severe epilepsy in children. In 2018, the agency had announced that it was looking out for ways to legalize the regulated and safe sale of CBD oil in foods and beverages, a move that would need the agency to outline a framework for its manufacturing, processing, distribution and consumption.
Gottlieb wrote in a commentary in The Washington Post that the possible solution in weighing consumer demand and public health concerns could be for the FDA to approve the sale of selected CBD products instantly while effecting a regulatory framework that would ensure safe and proper regulation.
The confusion arose when Donal Trump, President of the United States signed the Farm Bill Act in December 2018 legalizing hemp-derived cannabinoid for medicinal purposes with a limited THC concentration. The new law removed hemp-derived CBD from the list of Controlled Substances, making it a legitimate agricultural commodity. However, the FDA still bans companies from adding CBD to food, drinks and other dietary supplements, and from making therapeutic claims about their CBD based products.
Gottlieb added that he isn’t against CBD entirely and that there needs to be a proper framework and regulation surrounding its usage and distribution, just like any other compound with the capability of causing