Despite the legal ambiguity surrounding CBD products, their popularity has skyrocketed. Now, regulators in the United States are looking into ways to officially allow hemp as an ingredient in food, beverages, and dietary supplements.
The FDA held a hearing on Friday to gather information about cannabis compounds such as CBD, which is already available in candy, syrups, oils, drinks, skin patches, and dog food. CBD-containing products are already available in stores and online.
Although no decisions are expected right away, the hearing is viewed as an important step toward clarifying regulations surrounding the ingredient.
The FDA issued warning letters to companies last month for making unapproved health claims about CBD products.
CBD does not cause euphoria. It is frequently derived from hemp, a cannabis plant defined by the US government as containing less than 0.3 percent THC, the compound responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering effect.
For the time being, the FDA has stated that CBD is not permitted in food, beverages, or supplements, but that it is looking into ways to allow its use. To add to the confusion, some states, such as Colorado, allow it in food and beverages. Restaurants and stores in New York City have continued to sell products despite officials’ warnings that it is not permitted in food and beverages.
“A state patchwork of different standards is difficult for everyone,” said Shawn Hauser, a marijuana law and policy expert.