This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to release a report on its progress toward regulating CBD by late summer/early fall. That sounds like a good thing. In theory.
So, what can we expect from the FDA’s CBD Progress Report? Where are they getting their info from and what does this really mean?
The Public Hearing
Back in May, at the FDA’s public hearing on CBD, a wide range of industry leaders, experts, manufacturers, and concerned citizens came together to speak their minds.
The FDA notes, “there were several significant takeaways from the hearing.” Some of the most pressing things people were asking for included:
- a regulatory pathway to enable lawful marketing of cannabis-derived products (especially CBD) in food and dietary supplements, with appropriate regulatory oversight
- clear safety standards and strong enforcement
- support for research to evaluate the therapeutic effects of CBD
- industry standards to address the potentially dangerous manufacturing quality issues with some cannabis-derived products on the market today
After the hearing, the FDA asked for the public to comment on CBD. And people did. A lot of them.
These comments, along with existing research and the options received during the hearing, will be used in the FDA’s CBD Progress Report.
The FDA CBD Progress Report
So, now the FDA is reviewing the documentation. And they announced that a CBD progress report should be ready in late summer early fall.
According to the FDA’s acting chief information officer, Dr. Amy Abernethy, the regulatory agency will be doing what it can to expedite the review process.
This is good news, mainly because it means the FDA is moving forward with their investigation.
The thing is, a progress report isn’t the same thing as regulation or standardization.
An earlier tweet from Abernethy reads: “We are enthusiastic about research into the therapeutic benefits of CBD products but also need to balance safety. To understand the breadth of issues and gather data on safety we have conducted a public hearing, reviewed the medical literature, and have an open public docket.”
As one expert notes, the announcement “reinforces the notion that the FDA views CBD as having two approved indications, but is otherwise largely an unknown to the agency. This suggests that the FDA is far from coming to a conclusion on a benefit-versus-risk assessment for CBD.”
What Does This Mean For The Industry?
We’re hopeful, but not naive. Could a CBD progress report could just be a holding tactic? Or, will the results actually reflect what we know to be the benefits? Only time will tell.
The fact is that the FDA is probably a long way from laying out concrete CBD guidelines. Until that time comes, we’ll continue to report on research and news, as they stand. We know the value of CBD, so we have high hopes the FDA will come to see them as well.