In December, 2018 with the passage of the US Farmbill, CBD was moved off of the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) list as a class 1 narcotic. Since then, the US CBD industry exploded with over 2000 entrants into the ecosystem creating a myriad of claims, confusion and choices for end customers. CBD now falls under regulation by the the US Food and Drug Administration who is struggling to figure out how to cope with the newcomers and keep the public safe.
In November, 2019 the FDA took its first action
The FDA issued warning letters to 15 CBD companies. The letters focused on two areas:
- Claims. To make any claims, companies have to go through trials demonstrating that their compound actually has a beneficial outcome for the targeted indication with acceptable side effects. To date the FDA has allowed CBD claims related to epilepsy seizures for children to one company. Yet, there are hundreds if not thousands of CBD players claiming to cure all sorts of ailments and the FDA will not allow these claims to be made without clinical support.
- Edibles & Beverages. As number of CBD suppliers increased, so did the number of products that are infused with CBD ranging from gummy bears, licorice sticks, chocolate, beverages and the like. Over 50% of the profits in the CBD industry are in this form.
The FDA wants to ensure that they protect minors and are threatening to ban all edibles from the market.
- THC and CBD Content. The FDA and State Authorities have stepped up on in-store inspections of CBD products, doing inspections to see if product conforms to the <.3% THC limit as well the product actually having CBD content as advertised on the label. As you expect with any goldrush, there are players that are less than forthcoming on what is in their bottle and have or will get pulled off the shelves as they get caught.
What to look for before taking any CBD product
- Look at the label for a Lot or Batch #
If you can’t find one, put that product back on the shelf and walk away.
- Find the Certificate of Analysis (COA) for that Lot or Batch #.
Reputable suppliers will post their COA for that Lot/Batch on their websites. If it is not easy to find, walk away.
Many will put a QR code on their label to make it easier for you to find.
Here is where to find our QR Code and Lot #s.
- Once you find the COA look for three data points:
Does the product contains <.3% THC?
Does the product contain the advertised CBD content?
Has the product been tested for contamination from pesticides, metals, pathogens and solvents?
Also look for the use of food grade ingredients and a safety seal.
There are many suppliers who want you to buy their product.
Just make sure you know what you are putting into your body.