In recent years several cannabis based products have been launched into the market claiming relief from several ailments like anxiety, depression, pain and also immune functions with little proof about veracity of their claims. But FDA claims that there is a cloud about their effectiveness so late this week it held a hearing to access safety of these CBD based products. The hearing was opened by acting commissioner of FDA Dr. Ned Sharpless who affirmed that though there is widespread use of these products questions remain about their safety in food, dietary supplements and also a few cosmetics.
CBD or cannabidiol is an ingredient which is present in marijuana and hemp is used alongside has several medicinal benefits. But this is very different from THC or tetrahydrocannabinol which is the actual psychoactive component of cannabis. He also pointed out that before last year’s farm bill was passed that removed “controlled substance” tag from hemp most cannabis based research was centered on the plant in its entirety instead of studying its particular components. This legislation facilitated launch of food products and dietary supplements with CBD that created questions about their safety.
Last year during June FDA approved cannabis plant derived drug for treatment of two severe and rare epilepsy called Epidiolex. The drug will be used for treatment of Dravet Syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome, but Dr. Amy Abernathy principal dy. commissioner of FDA has affirmed that no other CBD containing drugs have been approved after this. Once the hearing closes the FDA will release a docket for comments from public till July 2.
Several witnesses from health supplement industry, doctors, researchers and patients are likely to testify about their cannabis experience during the hearing as even the previous FDA commissioner had stated that questions about safety of CBD products remain. He also observed that there are doubts about lack of standardization of CBD concentration in various products and possible long term impact of their usage.