The FDA appears to be looking closely at the CBD industry. 

Earlier this year, the FDA started sending out cease and desist letters to CBD companies who were making any sort of medical claims about their products; as the agency that regulates (and enforces) both food and drugs, that’s a logical oversight by the appropriate organization. 

[LISTEN: Canada, 6 months post legalization – PODCAST EPISODE]

The FDA certainly has the power to contain and control the CBD and hemp industry when it comes to food, and when it comes to claims that go beyond what’s allowed for untested and non-approved “supplements” – it’s the same fine line that herbals and nutraceutical products dance around on a daily basis.  

Scrutiny and regulation by the FDA instead of the DEA is not something that most CBD companies took into account when formulating their products, pouring tons of money into marketing campaigns, manufacturing facilities, or drafting a business plan.  

So what’s the story, morning glory?

The FDA has taken things a step further with cannabidiol, however – it’s invoked the provision that since there are studies underway regarding the efficacy and use of the compound as an approved drug, that it’s no longer qualified to be added to any food product or be sold as a dietary supplement.   That doesn’t mean it can’t be sold as ANY type of supplement, just that it can’t be “dietary” in nature.  

[FIND OUT MORE: How mobile can transform your marketing plan and budget – DEMO SIGNUP]

But wait, there’s still another way to get around this, in some situations, at least – hemp oil, instead of CBD extract, is not (yet) on the banned list, so if you’re running a chocolate company, for instance, and your CBD infusion is being added via hemp oil and not as pure CBD oil that you buy somewhere, then you are still technically in the clear, at least right now.  I’m not a lawyer, so don’t quote me if the FDA slaps you with a fine, but it appears that the wording makes it so. 

It’s still legal to extract pure CBD, and to sell that extracted product, just not as a supplement, and not as a food additive.  Even though that CBD is virtually the same thing as ‘naturally occurring CBD in hemp oil’ when you come down to the particles and particulate matter.  Crazy eh?

Why would the FDA decide to do this?

What’s the reasoning behind the sudden desire on the part of the FDA to regulate CBD so vigorously?  Given the current administration and its propensity for self serving pocket lining, one can only surmise that someone, or a few someones, must have a vested interest in keeping CBD out of food products for the time being, at least until there is a viable big corporation that’s going to be able to deliver all of your CBD needs to you in their own products.  

[READ: CBD Rules – Why Small Companies Should Take Notice – BLOG ARTICLE]

Or perhaps it’s a drug company, or some hybrid mix, that will deliver your CBD infused water to mix with your CBD infused diet powder (perhaps even chocolate flavored?) that you will take daily to make you feel better, stronger, more alert, less inflamed and all that other good stuff that we are pretty sure CBD actually does for the human body.  

We’ve long advised (again, not lawyers) that people stop wishing for the medical cases for CBD and THC and cannabis to be proven in a way that firmly moves the product out of the current landscape and wholly into the one that is ruled by big pharma, or some combination of big food, big drugs, big alcohol and big business, and that keeping the natural benefits of a natural product out of the hands of chemical companies was the smartest thing that we could do in order to maintain the industry in some semblance of how we know it today. 

What can you do, right now, today, to help the industry and yourself?  Write to your representatives.  This isn’t going to be a state by state issue like THC legalization.  This is something that needs to be addressed by Congress, in a way that is favorable to the existing industry. 


Pick up the phone, pick up the pen, just do it today and tell them what you think.