FDA holds hearing on CBD

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Amid a flood of CBD products and claims as to their supposed benefits, the FDA is taking the first steps to regulate this relatively new industry.

Friday, the agency held its first public meeting on CBD which comes from the cannabis family but, unlike marijuana, won’t get you high.

It’s touted as a magic exile, found in everything from coffee to capsules to creams. Now the FDA is seeking clarity on CBD.

“Millenials said they used it to treat anxiety, baby boomers said they used it to help with joint pain,” said Lisa Gill with Consumer Reports.

Friday, the agency took a first step towards regulating CBD, hearing from more than 140 people, including doctors, retailers, trade groups, and researchers concerning CBD products.

David Rodman with Rodman Law Group LLC stated, “Ladies and gentlemen, the genie is out of the bottle and is impossible to put back inside.”

“Right now they are marketed and they are not tested under FDA approved strategies for safety and efficacy,” Elise Weerts of Johns Hopkins Medicine said, “The public opinion is guiding how we’re treating a number of disorders.”

“Businesses don’t know what is legally permissible and some are making health claims in the absence of clear regulatory guidance,” said Andrew Kline with the National Cannabis Industry Association.

CBD’s popularity is growing as users report health benefits from pain relief, reduced anxiety,  even better skin. But most claims lack scientific proof and FDA officials say critical questions remain.

FDA acting Commissioner Dr. Norman Sharpless said, “What if someone applies a topical CBD lotion, consumes a CBD beverage or candy and consumes some CBD oil? How much is too much? How will it interact with other drugs a person may be taking?”

There were no decisions Friday. The information now goes to a federal group tasked with deciding the next step. The future of CBD in food and supplements is still up in the air.

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