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article imageFDA — It's still illegal to add CBD oil to food, health products

By Karen Graham     Dec 22, 2018 in Politics
There is still a lot of work ahead for hemp farmers to win legal status for hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD oil as an ingredient in food or health products, even though President Donald Trump signed the farm bill making hemp an agricultural crop.
The good news for farmers growing hemp in the United States is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated three ingredients from hemp plants - hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein, and hemp seed oil — as safe and won’t require additional approvals, as long as marketers do not make claims that they treat disease.
Therefore, according to the FDA, these products can be legally marketed in human foods for these uses without food additive approval, provided they comply with all other requirements and do not make disease treatment claims.
Hemp farmers will also be able to buy crop insurance, apply for loans and grants, and write off their business expenses on their taxes like any other farmer, reports the Associated Press.
CBD oil has become increasingly popular in the U.S. While very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives users a "high," hemp has another important compound called cannabidiol (CBD). While CBD oil has been used in foods, tinctures, and lotions, the compound's legal status remains murky.
Many claim that CBD can reduce pain and depression as well as other health problems although research needs to be done to give solid evidence of this. These claims cannot be used in the advertising of any CBD products, according to the FDA.
Close up to hemp seeds which were not seperated from the hemp plant.
Close up to hemp seeds which were not seperated from the hemp plant.
D-Kuru (CC BY-SA 3.0 AT)
In a statement following Thursday's bill signing in Washington, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb restated his agency's stance that CBD is a drug ingredient and therefore illegal to add to food or health products without approval from his agency. This statement goes back to December of 2016 when CBD was added to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances as reported by Digital Journal.
FDA is open to discussion on cannabis-derived compounds
The biggest positive to come out of the farm bill relating to hemp farming is the FDA's willingness to have public discussions on the relevant and lawful pathways by which products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds can be marketed.
The FDA writes: "We recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledge the significant interest in these possibilities. We’re committed to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers that meet the requirements under our authorities to lawfully market these types of products."
This one statement is good news for the many thousands of people in the U.S. who depend on CBD oil for its therapeutic uses, and this will also, hopefully, open the door to further studies on CBD oil.
More about CBD oil, Farm bill, Fda, hemp oil, Illegal
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