Over the past few years, hemp-derived products like CBD pain relief rubs have been gaining popularity in the alternative medicine spheres. However, the FDA still hasn’t approved widespread use and commercial sale of CBD products within the United States. Their major concerns regarding CBD tend to focus on the lack of current research and the resulting unclarity regarding different dosages and application methods. Since research is still in its infancy, the effects of long-term CBD usage are also unknown.
But, due to six big reasons, the FDA is considering changing its CBD policy in addition to other hemp products.
1. Public push and interest
As consumers are going more natural and becoming distrustful of Big Pharma, CBD products are providing welcomed treatment alternatives for pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, and even epilepsy. Each month, there are hundreds of searches on google for the “best hemp oil for pain.”
The growing interest among consumers and their vocality regarding lacking FDA structure for CBD products have pushed the FDA to seriously look into regulation.
2. Federal movements and support
Over the past year, the federal government has expressed interest in CBD-friendly policies. For example, the 2018 Farm Bill and consequent 2019 amendment supported by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnel have provided hemp farmers with legal protection.
As the federal government begins to change its view regarding hemp and its derivatives, like CBD, the FDA is feeling additional pressure. After all, regulations should be in place before CBD is free in the American market.
3. Legal distinction between hemp and marijuana
The 2018 Farm Bill made a huge step when it comes to the legal understanding and classification of hemp products. It legally differentiated hemp from marijuana by setting an allowable limit of THC, the psychoactive compound found in some cannabis strains.
Therefore, hemp is no longer regulated as a controlled substance, which caused some hemp growers and companies to start promoting CBD products. But the FDA still currently holds power over CBD, although they have not yet taken action against companies or businesses that offer CBD-infused products like CBD pain relief rubs.
This legal differentiation speaks for the change in government opinion about products stemming from cannabis and could be a good indicator of an FDA policy change.
4. Growing understanding that not all cannabinoids are the same
Speaking of THC, the federal government, as well as the American public, have begun to understand that not all cannabinoids are the same. In a single cannabis plant, 100 different cannabinoids interact differently with the human body.
Knowing that various cannabinoids can be extracted and utilized differently should give the FDA the sound of mind that while some products are not fit for medical use, some, like CBD, is.
5. Studies have uncovered possible positive health benefits
Although studies about cannabis, CBD, and other cannabinoids are just emerging, they seem to share positive indicators when it comes to health benefits.
Before the FDA makes their final guidelines about CBD, we can expect the push for more medical studies regarding the possible benefits and drawbacks of CBD use, whether it be CBD oil for pain management or mental disorders like depression.
6. FDA approval of “Epidiolex” the Epilepsy drug for children
Finally, the FDA has been entertaining the idea of opening the floodgates of the American market for CBD following their approval of Epidiolex, which treats two rare forms of epilepsy prevalent in children. This drug contains a much higher doses of CBD than what would be available on the market, so a doctor’s prescription is necessary.
This could suggest that if the FDA is willing to approve such a high dosage for children, a general approval for weaker CBD oil for widespread use could be on the horizon.
However, clinical trials did uncover some negative side effects, including lethargy and possible liver injury, which solidifies the need for more scientific studies into CBD and its potential effects.
The FDA has made its first major step towards regulation and setting forth guidelines for both consumers and providers by hosting a series of public hearings regarding CBD. As the hearings continue, and more studies shed light on the effectiveness of CBD, we will gain a better idea of what possible CBD FDA policies will look like.
Until then, it is imperative to conduct your own research when it comes to CBD products and making informed decisions when it comes to your health and body.