CBD products are also being marketed for pets and other animals. The FDA has not approved CBD for any use in animals and the concerns regarding CBD products with unproven medical claims and of unknown quality equally apply to CBD products marketed for animals. The FDA recommends pet owners talk with their veterinarians about appropriate treatment options for their pets.
Despite the 2018 Farm Bill removing hemp — defined as cannabis and cannabis derivatives with very low concentrations (no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis) of THC — from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, CBD products are still subject to the same laws and requirements as FDA-regulated products that contain any other substance.
Unlike the FDA-approved CBD drug product, unapproved CBD products, which could include cosmetics, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements, and any other product (other than Epidiolex) making therapeutic claims, have not been subject to FDA evaluation regarding whether they are effective to treat a particular disease or have other effects that may be claimed. In addition, they have not been evaluated by the FDA to determine what the proper dosage is, how they could interact with other drugs or foods, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns.
Some CBD Products are Being Marketed with Unproven Medical Claims and Could be Produced with Unsafe Manufacturing Practices
We are aware that there may be some products on the market that add CBD to a food or label CBD as a dietary supplement. Under federal law, it is illegal to market CBD this way.
The FDA is actively working to learn more about the safety of CBD and CBD products, including the risks identified above and other topics, such as:
In addition to safety risks and unproven claims, the quality of many CBD products may also be in question. The FDA is also concerned that a lack of appropriate processing controls and practices can put consumers at additional risks. For example, the agency has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD they claimed. We are also investigating reports of CBD potentially containing unsafe levels of contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, THC).
Unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality
You may have noticed that cannabidiol (CBD) seems to be available almost everywhere, and marketed as a variety of products including drugs, food, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and animal health products. Other than one prescription drug product to treat seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in people one year of age and older, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any other CBD products, and there is very limited available information about CBD, including about its effects on the body.
Misleading, unproven, or false claims associated with CBD products may lead consumers to put off getting important medical care, such as proper diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care. For that reason, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the best way to treat diseases or conditions with available FDA-approved treatment options.
Pure CBD is legal, unlike THC, which is a controlled substance.
The most common forms of CBD are oils, sprays and vapes. It’s also available as a topical cream or muscle balm. But we’ve seen CBD pop up pretty much everywhere, from tea bags to cosmetics and even popcorn.
You should exercise caution when travelling with CBD oil.
Is CBD legal?
Even though pure CBD is legal in the UK as well as in many EU countries, it’s not always clear how other countries’ specific drug laws might apply to CBD products and what approach enforcement might take.
CBD is anecdotally popular for conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia.
Consumable CBD products are now subject to regulation by the Food Standards Authority (FSA). Manufacturers must seek authorisation to market their products and will need to go through an FSA safety assessment.
Can anyone not take CBD?
The NHS has issued guidance over using medical-grade CBD if you have kidney or liver issues, or are on blood-thinning medication.
But amidst this booming market there's a lot of confusion about what CBD is, exactly, whether it's legal, and if it actually works the way it's supposed to.