Former Head Of The FDA Says CBD Is ‘Not Safe’

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The former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  has aimed a shot across the bows of the CBD industry by declaring it ‘not safe’.

While the FDA has yet to pronounce on the status of CBD, at a federal level, the industry will resolutely hope that Scott Gottlieb’s latest pronouncement is not indicative of his former employer’s position.

The former FDA commissioner, who stepped down from his post earlier this year, made his opinions clear in a series of tweets, reports The Motley Fool website. Stating that ‘CBD hype has outpaced science’ and that CBD is not safe’, he says the FDA needs to move quickly to oversee the ‘production, quality, and purity levels of CBD products’.

Still Waiting

And he goes on to say ‘all non-compliant producers, or those who fail to meet rigorous purity and quality standards, should be removed from the marketplace’, the report continued.

Following hearings in to the CBD phenomenon, in May this year, the FDA indicated it would be in a position to outline it guidelines for the CBD industry ‘by early fall’ – and with Christmas on the horizon the industry is still waiting.

The passing of last year’s Farm Bill boosted hemp production, supporting the boom in the U.S CBD industry. The Brightfield Group estimates U.S. CBD sales will grow from around $600 million in 2018 to $23.7 billion by 2023. 

But CBD, as a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, is still illegal at a federal level, and the industry is looking for regulatory clarity from the FDA. Meanwhile the U.S. The National Consumers League (NCL) has announced a new initiative; Consumers for Safe CBD.

Potential Harm

Consumers for Safe CBD say CBD is ‘a clear and present public health issue’ and is pressing for speedy FDA regulation. 

Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of NCL, said: “Consumers are being told these products will cure their chronic illnesses and help their anxious pets or children. Yet there is no scientific evidence behind the claims. What’s even more concerning is that without FDA’s stamp of approval, we do not know what is in these products…(which) may contain contaminants and ingredients that could harm consumers.”

She said Consumers for Safe CBD is calling for ‘gold standard testing of CBD by the FDA’.

A rapidly-growing database of clinical evidence, from trials and first-hand patient experience, demonstrate that CBD can help with a number of conditions including; inflammation, arthritis, pain management and anxiety.

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