'CBD has the potential to harm you.' FDA issues new warning

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CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical found in cannabis that does not induce a mind-bending high. It went on to say that since there wasn't enough scientific information in its eyes, the FDA couldn't recognize CBD as being completely safe and that CBD could even be harmful under certain circumstances (such as impure/contaminated products, etc). FDA repeats its long-standing position that CBD is not eligible to be used as an ingredient in conventional foods and dietary supplements, although the letters invite companies to submit evidence to rebut this conclusion. The FDA said in its consumer update that the benefits outweighed the risks in that particular case. The email explicitly stated (as is also stated in the November 25th press release) that "b$3 ased on the lack of scientific information supporting the safety of CBD in food, the FDA is also indicating today that it can not conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) among qualified experts for its use in human or animal food".

The growing popularity of CBD is the main reason that the FDA chose to issue this stern warning to the public now, according to its consumer update. The agency also noted that studies involving animals have suggested CBD may interfere with the development and function of testes and sperm, potentially decreasing testosterone levels and impairing sexual behavior in males as a result.

Some reports have uncovered contaminants "such as pesticides and heavy metals" in CBD products, the FDA said.

Moreover, the compound may trigger unknown effects in vulnerable populations, including pregnant people and children.

Some of the products cited included products marketed as pet supplements, with those warning letters co-signed by the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.

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"As we work quickly to further clarify our regulatory approach for products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds like CBD, we'll continue to monitor the marketplace and take action as needed against companies that violate the law in ways that raise a variety of public health concerns", Abernethy said. By this definition, many CBD products count as drugs and should be subject to the same scrutiny as other pharmaceuticals, Abernethy said.

The Agency also revised its consumer update about CBD to outline specific safety concerns related to CBD products, including potential liver injury, interactions with other drugs, drowsiness, diarrhea, and changes in mood.

"In line with our mission to protect the public, foster innovation, and promote consumer confidence, this overarching approach regarding CBD is the same as the FDA would take for any other substance that we regulate", she continued.

"CV Sciences supports FDA's recent enforcement actions against bad actors who make unsubstantiated claims that CBD-containing products can treat cancer, Alzheimer's disease, opioid withdrawal, etc.", said Duffy MacKay, ND, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for CV Sciences, in a press release. "There are more direct ways for the FDA to address bad actors while still working with responsible companies to establish the appropriate scope of hemp-derived ingredients for supplements based on sound research".

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