Could CBD Be Considered a Dietary Supplement?

CBD pillow

Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota), House Agriculture Committee Chairman, filed a H.R. 5587 bill on Monday, 1/13/2020, to classify cannabidiol (CBD) as a dietary supplement. Dietary supplements fall under a product class similar to vitamins the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve for marketing without needing to go through a required pharmaceutical testing process.

The FDA claims to have concerns with CBD, and this has kept large retailers from stocking their shelves with CBD:

  • Dietary supplements
  • Foods
  • Drinks

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, this past week, introduced the bill, which will order the FDA to approve of CBD marketing as a food additive and dietary supplement, thereby removing a regulatory barrier.

While the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp and hemp-derivatives, the FDA is still coming up with regulations for allowing companies to market it as nutritional supplements or in their food supply. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA Commissioner, commented that it could take years before these regulations are developed without congressional action.

This legislation might be one way of fixing this issue, since it would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) to where CBD would be included in the class of dietary supplements.

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) said in a press release that hemp was a success due to the last couple Farm Bills, but it's still quite early in this process yet, and growers require certainty about the regulations.

Since the year 2015, the FDA has repeated itself that it first authorized CBD as a new drug for investigation, and the subject of significant GW Pharmaceuticals plc clinical investigations. But, under the FDCA, according to the FDA, CBD can't be:

  • Added to conventional food
  • Marketed in dietary supplements.

Even so, CBD, mainly CBD-infused oil, has thrived on the market in the U.S., and is sold almost everywhere from grocery stores to gas stations to restaurants.

The public stance of the FDA regarding CBD not being sold in supplements and food hasn't been adjudicated in the courts or added in a formal regulation.

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