CBD has penetrated so many different products. There are oils, capsules, tinctures, creams, candies, drinks, lotions, vape juices, scented candles, and so much more. Most of these products are sold online since many states still haven’t legalized cannabis and hemp products. But you can also find it in corner and specialty stores in states where these products are legal.
With so many options and ways to buy CBD, it’s surprising how unregulated this industry is. The FDA has mostly stayed out of it, which means there has been no government body to hold CBD companies responsible. The FDA is in charge of testing products and ensuring that the contents of a bottle of organic CBD capsules, for example, contains the correct potency and is devoid of any impurities.
This has caused a number of problems regarding public opinion, safety, and medical approval. The CBD market is gaining greater government support, but it desperately needs regulation.
The primary concern regarding the regulation issues is that consumers will be sold products that are mislabeled. Not only could consumers be wasting their money on “snake oil” that’s non-potent and ineffective, but it could also be a real safety concern.
For example, CBD sold legally throughout the United States cannot contain higher than the legal limit of 0.3 percent THC. Many CBD products contain no traceable amounts of THC at all. If a shady CBD company doesn’t care to monitor the THC levels appropriately, an unsuspecting customer could get high on the products.
Of course, this is a major safety concern for the individual, but it could also get them into legal trouble since possessing THC-laced products in states where marijuana is not legal could lead to a hefty fine or jail time.
There could be other impurities in the CBD as well like pesticides from improperly grown hemp, silicone fillers, and other ingredients that you don’t want in your organic CBD products. Because there’s no regulation of CBD, an uneducated consumer could easily purchase a mislabeled product and face the consequences.
CBD Ahead of Science
Another major problem in the industry is the lack of scientific research to back up claims that CBD can help those with anxiety, pain, acne, heart disease, cancer, and other common ailments. Countless individuals who use CBD on a regular basis claim that it’s highly effective in many areas of health, but there are simply too few studies to give these claims any solid ground.
Medical professionals are thusly hesitant to suggest CBD for their patients. (Except in the case of epilepsy, which has significant research to back it up. Plus, there’s an FDA approved CBD drug called Epidiolex, which has worked wonders for special cases of seizures and epilepsy.)
Patients are usually advice to seek the advice of a medical professional before using CBD to ensure that it won’t react with certain medications or cause other problems, but many doctors simply don’t know what to say. They’ve heard the stories regarding CBD’s potency, but they can’t state that it will work with any certainty because they don’t have empirical evidence in their hands.
Government Bans Studies Then Gets Involved
Herein lies the largest problem preventing CBD regulation: The government has simply refused to get involved. They have treated CBD as a schedule I drug, which means that they won’t allow human clinical trials to test the effectiveness of CBD.
Therefore, most of the research we have on CBD has been performed on rodents. The results have been promising, but nothing can be said definitively until human trials begin.
Thankfully, the Attorney General has taken notice of the lack of regulation in the industry and has acted. The FDA recently announced $3 million worth of grants to commission CBD research on humans.
The National Association of Attorneys General sent out a letter expressing many of the concerns that those in the CBD industry have been expressing for years:
“Currently, companies are creating a myriad of cannabinoid products largely unburdened by any oversight or testing requirements. The inherent complexity of cannabinoids, combined with the danger of hazardous additives, raises serious public health concerns that absent some rules or regulations, unscrupulous companies will be able to distribute products that include illegal cannabinoid combinations or have dangerous additives.”
The research being ordered through these grants isn’t nearly enough to prove definitely that CBD can help millions of people, but it’s an important step in the right direction.
CBD Companies Take Regulation into Their Own Hands
Despite lack of intervention by trusted government programs, the CBD industry has developed its own regulation. Concerned brands selling quality products want to ensure their customers get what they want, so they use third-party lab testing to make sure the contents and labels match.
“All of the products we get are tested, lab-approved and measured. All the tinctures and vials come with instructions and recommended dosing,” Aosin Sebhatu, a CBD shop manager told American Univeristy Radio. “Even if there isn’t government regulation, I think the CBD industry is regulated. And if you’re familiar with CBD, you know where to get the good stuff.”
There’s also a great deal of education sent out to help customers find high-quality CBD products. They explain the importance of organic growth tactics, the right price points for quality CBD, reading third-party lab reports, and more.
Hemp farmers have also solicited the help of the USDA to regulate hemp growth practices. This is one area where the government has gotten involved, and it’s an important part of the CBD cultivation process. When USDA guidelines are applied to organic hemp growth, CBD company purchasers know they’re getting a quality product—third-party testing confirms it.
In conclusion, getting the government on board with CBD regulation would be amazing for the market. It would all but guarantee that CBD products are held to a higher standard, and consumers aren’t being sold by cheap, misleading products every day.
That being said, the best form of regulation comes when consumers are informed about what they’re purchasing. Top sellers in CBD have taken the time to regulate their products for the benefit of the consumer, and buyers are responsible for taking on the research from that point forward.