Published on April 26th, 2021 | by Sumit Bhowal0
What’s The Legal Status OF CBD In Dietary Supplements In The US
Over the last few years, CBD has managed to become a buzzword. Given the recent research proving its therapeutic properties and a wave of legalization worldwide, the cannabinoid finds a place in almost every industry. The latest addition to the list of sectors adopting CBD as an essential component is health and wellness. Despite clear regulations, you can find CBD in a wide array of foods and even dietary supplements.
Are you wondering whether CBD dietary supplements are legal in the US or not? Is there any bill or law that focuses on using CBD as an ingredient in supplements? Keep reading to find out the answers to the above questions.
Impact of Farm Bill 2018
The year 2018 was essential for the CBD momentum as the US government passed the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill or the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018 removed the plant hemp from the Controlled Substances Act list. In simple terms, the bill made hemp and hemp-derived CBD products legal, provided they contain 0.3% or less THC content. The law also granted more authority to the USA’s states to regulate the production, growth, and even distribution of hemp products. Since then, high quality hemp cigarettes are available in many stores, and people are becoming more open to incorporating them into their life.
Although the bill’s passing changed the CBD arena and added to its popularity around the country, it has no impact on the FDA’s authority in regulating the plant. Similarly, it also did not affect the use of the cannabinoid CBD in dietary supplements. However, FDA still has the power to regulate CBD products derived from hemp. Much like other foods and dietary supplements, Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act control CBD supplements.
FDA’s stance on CBD supplements
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US has always had a rigid stance that it is unlawful to produce and sell dietary supplements or foods that contain CBD. Given the fact that it comes from cannabis, CBD has had the status of a drug for a long time. Even the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act states that it is illegal to manufacture or even sell foods that contain any drug. The rule has an exception to allow the addition of substances that were already a part of foods before experts studied them as drugs, like caffeine and baking soda. However, CBD is not a part of this list of exclusions.
To this date, the FDA only tried to regulate the packaging or labels of CBD products with claims that it can mitigate, prevent, or even treat a physical or psychological ailment. The authority has been issuing warning letters to CBD brands not to use the prohibited language or make any direct claim about the efficacy of CBD. It has directed the companies to take immediate and direct action to rectify these violations. The failure to take any action could result in the seizure of their products, injunction, or other severe punishments.
The new bill proposed by Congress
Over the years, Congress has been trying to pressurize FDA to give a clear stance on the legal status of CBD. The senators are putting pressure on FDA to push the policymaking on CBD and regulate the market. In September 2020, a new bill called the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act 2020 (H.R. 8179) was introduced to Congress. The bill’s main aim is to regulate the use of CBD as a part of dietary supplements. If the bill gets approved, it would be a revolutionary move as this will be the first non-medical CBD product to get approved and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US.
There has been no tangible action taken on the bill yet, although it is gaining popularity. The US Hemp Roundtable or USHR is working behind the scenes to garner 30 co-sponsors for the bill. With inputs from the FDA and the bill’s recent support, there is hope in the industry that the bill might pass. The efforts of the USHR have already resulted in bipartisan support – 12 sponsors of the bill are Republicans, and 18 are Democrats. However, since most Congress members are not well-versed with CBD and its nuances, gaining the support of 30 co-sponsors is a big feat. Besides that, the bill has also received the support of over ten industry organizations and more than 50 companies.
According to this new bill, the companies manufacturing supplements will have to comply with existing dietary supplement guidelines, including safety procedures, labeling, and even Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). For now, the bill only talks about the addition of CBD only in dietary supplements and not any other products. As per FDA, CBD is only legal in Epidolex, a cannabidiol-based drug used to treat epilepsy.
The CBD industry is continually evolving. The CBD market is expanding by the day, from more players entering the market to new products being launched every day. Even the regulations on CBD remain in flux, but it depends primarily on how the government and FDA will address the legality of the cannabinoid in dietary supplements. While CBD foods and dietary supplements continue to be available on the market today, it will still take time and resources to make them legal in the US. Industry experts are hopeful that introducing the new bill will ensure it becomes a reality soon!