The FDA says more research is needed before they can tell us whether it is safe…
Apparently, despite millions of Americans who are legally smoking marijuana, eating edibles, and using marijuana or CBD products for medical uses in states where marijuana is legal, the FDA is having difficulty conducting research on the drug and deciding whether it is safe.
There is a process, you know – you must be a part of a research program that is approved by multiple federal agencies, you must get approval from the DEA before obtaining marijuana products to use in your research… wait, hold on a minute. It’s legal for recreational or medical uses in over half of the states.
Is the FDA carefully conducting and compiling research to tell us whether marijuana products and even food containing CBD oil is safe? Or are they just dragging their heels, doing their part to prolong prohibition as long as possible, and doing the bidding of the pharmaceutical companies?
Why is Food Containing CBD Oil Illegal According to the FDA?
Are dispensaries in marijuana-legal states going to stop selling edibles? No…
And those edibles contain THC as well as CBD. Yet the FDA’s failure to approve CBD oil for use in food is SC’s newest reason to ban CBD products.
The FDA (and the SC Department of Agriculture) says that food containing CBD oil is illegal because, under the Food and Cosmetic Act, “CBD oil cannot legally be added to any human or animal food products for public sale:”
“CBD is completely legal, but when you put it in a food it changes the definition, so a gummy bear or chocolate coffee or drink anything that’s sold with CBD oil added into it no longer allows that food to be defined as a food it actually puts it to another realm,” said Derek Underwood, Assistant Commissioner for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.
Note the acknowledgment that “CBD is completely legal.”
Food containing CBD oil is illegal according to the FDA because they just can’t be sure it’s safe. Despite the ease of access to marijuana and CBD products that are being used by millions of people across the country, it is apparently too difficult to obtain marijuana or CBD and study its effects…
CBD Oil and Marijuana Need Further Testing Before FDA Approval
What does the FDA have to say about why food containing CBD oil is illegal? Not much… let’s take a look at their questions and answers about marijuana on the FDA website:
Is Marijuana or CBD Approved by the FDA for any Medical Uses?
The FDA has approved Epidiolex, which contains CBD, “for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and older.” As far as I can tell, this is the only use that CBD has been approved for by the FDA.
The FDA has also approved the drugs Marinol and Syndros for some therapeutic uses, including for treatment of weight loss in AIDS patients. It has also approved Cesamet, a synthetic form of marijuana.
Specific brands of drugs manufactured by pharmaceutical companies have been approved… but not the actual plant, THC, or CBD – widespread use of which will shut down the pharmaceutical industry’s ability to profit from them.
Apart from these specific drugs that are sold by pharmaceutical companies, the FDA has not approved CBD or marijuana for any uses.
Is it Dangerous to Treat Medical Conditions with Marijuana?
The FDA says that it “has received reports of adverse events in patients using marijuana.” Without identifying these “adverse events,” they go on to say that, “information from adverse event reports regarding marijuana use is extremely limited.”
Why is information extremely limited? Because “the FDA primarily receives adverse event reports for approved products.”
Because the use of marijuana for medical purposes is not approved, they don’t receive reports of “adverse events.” Yet, because of the risk of adverse events, they don’t approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes…
Can CBD or THC Products be Sold as Dietary Supplements?
According to the FDA, CBD or THC products cannot be sold as dietary supplements because they are not approved as safe for dietary supplements.
What Does the FDA Do if a State Sells CBD or Marijuana Products for Medical Purposes?
They do nothing:
The FDA is aware that several states have either passed laws that remove state restrictions on the medical use of marijuana and its derivatives or are considering doing so. It is important to conduct medical research into the safety and effectiveness of marijuana products through adequate and well-controlled clinical trials. We welcome the opportunity to talk with states who are considering support for medical research of marijuana and its derivatives to provide information on Federal and scientific standards.
That doesn’t mean it’s legal under federal law. But, by their own admission, they are not doing anything to enforce it. Why?
Marijuana prohibition has become an ever-greater source of conflict between the states and federal government, to the point where over half of the states are now ignoring federal law and federal agencies like the FDA. Why?
Because there is an ever-increasing awareness that marijuana prohibition is not based in science and that marijuana, much less CBD, is not harmful. The federal government’s continued push for the prohibition of marijuana in the face of evidence that marijuana is not harmful is causing them to lose credibility and making them less relevant.
Is the FDA Playing any Significant Role in the Legalization of Marijuana or CBD Products?
The FDA says that they are facilitating “the work of companies interested in appropriately bringing safe, effective, and quality products to market, including scientifically-based research concerning the medicinal uses of marijuana.”
What they are doing is attempting to block the legalization of marijuana and CBD products. Ineffectively – over half the states have legalized marijuana without FDA approval.
At the same time, they have approved a limited number of drugs, manufactured by drug companies, including a synthetic form of marijuana. I suspect that the FDA, and the pharmaceutical companies, still think that they will somehow manufacture a monopoly on “pharmaceutical marijuana” for the drug companies.
The pharmaceutical companies, who profit in the billions of dollars from killing Americans with opioid addiction, oppose the legalization of marijuana. I wonder why they would do that?
The genie is out of the bottle, however, and the pharmaceutical companies have lost the ability to control this one. It’s a plant that is being grown, legally or illegally, everywhere in the country.
It’s a losing battle. Our representatives in government need to stop trying to prevent people from using it – for recreational or medical purposes (and they need to get their hands out of the pockets of the pharmaceutical industry).
The FDA’s failure to approve food containing CBD oil is not a reason for SC to ban CBD edibles. The FDA’s failure to approve marijuana or CBD for medical purposes is not a reason for SC to continue marijuana prohibition, either. It may be an excuse, but, looking at the majority of states who are ignoring the FDA on marijuana issues today, it is not a reason.
Marijuana and CBD Attorneys in Myrtle Beach, SC
If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense in SC, or if you need help navigating the complex web or federal, state, local, and regulatory marijuana laws for your business, call Coastal Law now at (843) 488-5000 or email us to talk with a Myrtle Beach marijuana defense and business litigation attorney today.