The long-awaited Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation hearing on cannabidiol (CBD) came on Friday, May 31st, and did not go unnoticed. Stocks in the cannabis sector of the stock market were mostly down on Monday, June 3rd, after investors had time to digest the reports from Friday’s CBD hearing.
Over 100 speakers gave insight on CBD and the potential ability or ability that it has to treat illnesses and ailments that an individual may suffer from. The more than 100 speakers consisted of researchers, health professionals, CBD advocates, manufacturers, and those who oppose CBD. An FDA hearing on CBD regulations was deemed necessary after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, but did not include any legalization language on CBD specifically.
Essentially, the FDA held a large debate on the current understanding and status of CBD as a medicinal treatment method and recreational treatment product. The health benefits of CBD were contested, even though the World Health Organization (WHO) finished its study on CBD and found it to be non-addictive and safe for consumption. The WHO did concede the fact that most experts in the scientific and medical fields feel that the available data from completed CBD trials is insufficient.
Speakers at the CBD hearing also stressed the need for quality control and for standards of safety are necessary due to the high percentage of subpar or even mislabeled amounts of CBD in CBD products. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) expects to gain clarification from the FDA on CBD within the next year.
Josh Schimmer, analyst with Evercore ISI, stated: “[The hearing] highlighted the messy state of the industry, with widespread use of CBD products with minimal standardization, evidence for benefit and understanding of safety profile.” Schimmer went on to say that the hearing was “at times quite absurd with outlandish claims, inconsistent messages and an undercurrent of potential safety concerns. Considering the extent to which the CBD cat is out of the bag, it remains to be seen how the FDA will regulate this industry; it might not have adequate resources to fully monitor and police it.”
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