CBD products are available just about everywhere – you see them show up in gas stations, supermarkets, the internet, convenience stores, farm markets, and just about any place where things are sold. CBD appears in drinks, pastry, candy, as an oil, and is infused in just about anything that can be orally ingested, or in forms to be applied topically. In addition, it has been expressed by FDA that the amount of “active ingredient” claimed on the label is actually in the product, or if the purchaser can rely on label content claims at all. The FDA has said they are looking at this burgeoning market and whether it needs some regulation to assure that purchasers are protected against harm, and are able to be sure they are getting what they paid for (see previous post here).
The FDA has issued a number of Warning Letters addressing CBD and its unapproved drug claims (search here), but on April 17, the Agency issued a Warning Letter to a firm in London (here), that may bring the issue of regulation to a head, and we may have COVID- 19 to thank for that.
In the Warning Letter, FDA outlined the various drug claims made by the manufacturer that targeted COVID-19. As noted in the letter, because of the national health emergency issued relative to the disease “FDA is taking urgent measures to protect consumers from certain products that, without approval or authorization by FDA, claim to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people.”
The attention given to the claims that many CBD products are making and, particularly in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Agency action cited above and many other recent actions may be an indication that the CBD products that are being marketed for a plethora of uses and indications may be on the FDA’s shortlist for action. Clearly, when the FDA gets something in its crosshairs and begins to target any new unregulated products in the marketplace (like nicotine vaping products, for example) it may mean the wolf is getting closer to the door!