CBD is one of the fastest-growing health and wellness products in the country. Unheard of just a few years ago, it’s now common to find Organic CBD Oil and CBD products at your grocery store, doctor’s office, or your local gas station. CBD is soaring in popularity even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could end CBD’s soaring sales with a few strokes of a pen.
At first, only available in oils and tinctures, you can now find CBD in drinks, beverages, and a host of other products regulated by the FDA. According to baking industry resource Baking Business, functional ingredient sales of CBD in the US hit $185 million in the yearly period ending on August 11 of 2019.
The surging market reports come as the FDA is deciding to do with the ubiquitous product. Though you can find CBD in many different types of products, CBD as a dietary supplement is not currently allowed by the FDA. “The FDA position, for now, is CBD cannot, absolutely cannot, be used as an ingredient” in a dietary supplement, food or beverage, said Todd Halpern, a partner with the law firm Venable L.L.P.
The new ruling is a result of the FDA’s approval of a drug with CBD as the active ingredient. Because the drug was put through several clinical trials before being approved as an active ingredient, CBD oil cannot be treated as a food or dietary supplement though enforcement is lax. “The FDA hasn’t really enforced this all that vigorously,” Mr. Halpern said.
The surge in CBD’s use and popularity stems from the US Agriculture Act of 2018, which removed CBD and industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. Despite the Farm Bill, CBD companies are wary of pharmaceutical companies stepping into the CBD arena. “It (the pharmaceutical industry) doesn’t want to spend billions of dollars in developing a drug and go through the regulatory process and then have a dietary supplement company come in and ride on its coattails into the market,” said Halpern.
The wellness-focuses research firm SPINS points to three reasons CBD has skyrocketed: increased consumer awareness, an influx of new products and suppliers, and new large investments in the CBD world.
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has added provisions as part of a Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill that could aid CBD manufacturers. The measure would encourage the FDA to issue a formal guidance pathway for CBD products until the agency can figure out a permanent status for CBD and a path to full legality for the existing CBD companies.
Despite the murky FDA status, BDS Analytics doesn’t believe the bubble is likely to burst anytime soon. “We’ve concluded CBD and other cannabinoids will be incorporated into products that will become part of everyday consumption,” said CEO Roy Bingham.