CBD News at a Glance – September 24

Last updated on January 31st, 2020

Take a look through the latest news and updates about CBD.

CBD in Food – What’s the deal?

Last month Washington state joined several other states like North Carolina, California, and New York City in explicitly declaring CBD-infused food products illegal. That means legally, you won’t be able to get CBD coffee at a cafe or find packaged food goods containing CBD in these places.

This is consistent with current federal law – CBD is classified as a drug ingredient by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is not currently approved for use in food. 

However, national and regional drug stores like CVS and Walgreens* currently sell CBD creams, cosmetics, and roll-on oils. Since those are not ingested, they are not considered food products. CBD tinctures can also be found in some stores.

The FDA has sent warning letters to organizations that use CBD in ways that don’t comply with state and federal law, including both its addition to food and for unsubstantiated claims of its effectiveness to treat medical conditions. There has been a lot of confusion among retailers and auditors about what these types of bans or fines mean to businesses. In some states where cannabis is legal for recreational use, psychoactive products that contain CBD are available in edible form. 

It is important to check in with the rules of your state as the conversation around CBD policy evolves. Ohio recently saw changes that have softened regulations around approved cannabidiol products, making it legal to sell properly inspected CBD products in the state.

*Walgreens has announced that it will sell CBD products, but does not currently.

“As of July 1, 2019, the Health Department is embargoing food and drink products that contain CBD — the products will have to be returned to the supplier or discarded.”

New York State Department of Health

“We also urge consumers to be smart shoppers and ask questions before choosing to purchase any tincture that contains CBD or hemp extract. Find out how the product is manufactured, if the company has purity standards and what the potency may be.”

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

“…although California currently allows the manufacturing and sales of cannabis products (including edibles), the use of industrial hemp as the source of CBD to be added to food products is prohibited.”

California Department of Health Food and Drug Branch

“While CBD is not allowed as a food ingredient, WSDA licensed food processors can currently use other hemp products in food, such as hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein powder and hemp seed oil, provided they comply with all other requirements.”

Washington State Department of Agriculture

Some CBD Vape Cartridges, Edibles Spiked With Artificial Cannabinoids

Laboratory testing of some brands of CBD products have found little to no CBD content, but a variety of synthetic cannabinoids. About a quarter of the contaminated products were gummies or other edibles, while the remainder were vape products, such as Juul cartridges or vape pens. Companies whose products have been found to be contaminated usually place the blame on counterfeiters or supply chain problems.

Customers worried about counterfeit or tainted CBD products should look into the manufacturers before making a purchase. A reputable CBD manufacturer will provide certificates of analysis that indicate the content of each product, which will often include details on not only CBD and other cannabinoids, but also potential contaminants like mycotoxins and heavy metals.

Senator McConnell Introduces CBD-Related Report Language

Senator Mitch McConnell has submitted amendment language to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture* (complete subcommittee hearing here) which would shift the FDA’s enforcement posture on CBD for the foreseeable future . This language would require the FDA to report to Congress within 90 days regarding its hemp CBD enforcement policies, issue an enforcement discretion policy within 120 days, and keep that policy in effect until it implements a final regulatory process. It would also require the FDA to enable CBD manufacturers to share their safety data through FDA notification procedures.

This language encourages the FDA to work more quickly, setting a specific time table for each step of the regulatory process. In the long run, it should also ease the development of new drugs utilizing industrial hemp products like CBD.

*This is draft language.

U.S. Military Issues Guidance on CBD Use In Troops

Several branches of the U.S. military have told service members not to use cannabidiol products at this time. These directives warn service members that traces of THC in hemp products could cause drug test failures. Service members who have valid prescriptions for Epidiolex, an anti-seizure medication which includes CBD, can still fill their prescriptions, but other CBD products are prohibited at this time.

Not all products fall under each branch’s restrictions. Under Navy policy, for instance, personnel can still use topical products like shampoos and lotions, but may not use products designed to introduce CBD to the bloodstream.

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