FDA Seeks Better Data on CBD Product Safety

The agency will examine the safety and efficacy of CBD with real-world data this year.

January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be working on filling the gaps in safety and efficacy research about CBD, Marijuana Moment reports.

In a recent letter, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy pointed to the “rapid increase in the interest and availability” of CBD products, adding that “we still have a limited understanding of the safety profile of CBD and many other cannabis-derived compounds, including potential safety risks for people and animals.”

Hahn and Abernethy noted that “we see an important public health opportunity in using novel sources of data and rigorous analytical methods to build a more robust base of scientific evidence on the safety profile and use of CBD products. … The FDA is uniquely situated to contribute its expertise in evaluating data from different sources to inform regulatory decision-making.”

This year, the agency will collect more data, even as it strives to overcome the four main challenges to getting information: limited information sources on adverse reactions, cannabis-use rates, no “specific codes that can precisely identify specific CBD products” in collecting data, and few longitudinal studies related to the consumption of CBD over the long term.

“We see significant promise in small, targeted projects that improve data methods in the near-term and point to future opportunities for collecting and analyzing data on CBD products and, potentially, other types of products in the future,” the agency said.

The FDA also said it would continue surveying CBD market stakeholders, which would include retailers selling CBD products.

Want to learn more about how convenience retailers can leverage growing consumer interest in CBD? Read “The CBD Wellness Era” by Melissa Vonder Haar in the January 2021 issue of NACS Magazine, and download the Convenience Matters podcast #203 to learn about CBD, hemp, THC and how to stay on the right side of the law.