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CBD News Roundup: Consumers ‘Lack Fundamental Knowledge’ About CBD, Says Report

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Written by The CBD Insider

Here’s the latest CBD news:

  • The CBD Insider has released the highlights from its 2019 US CBD Consumer Report, which noted that consumers “lack fundamental knowledge” about CBD and hemp.
  • After weeks of delay, the FDA has released a progress report on its regulatory policymaking for CBD.

CBD News Stories

  1. Report: Consumers ‘Lack Fundamental Knowledge’ About CBD and Hemp
  2. FDA Releases Releases Report on Progress of CBD Policy

Report: Consumers ‘Lack Fundamental Knowledge’ About CBD and Hemp

Consumers “lack fundamental knowledge” about CBD and hemp, according to a report.

The CBD Insider released the highlights of its 2019 US CBD Consumer Report this week, which contained several findings gathered from over 1000 respondents to an online survey.

One such finding said that four in five CBD consumers—current, past, and potential consumers—do not know the difference between full-spectrum hemp extract, broad-spectrum hemp extract, and CBD isolate.

Nearly two in three current CBD consumers also did not know the difference between the three hemp extracts.

“The fact that most current consumers lacked knowledge about an essential aspect of CBD products underscores how important it is that brands provide consumers with education,” said the report.

Another finding was that almost half of potential consumers said they had not tried CBD yet because they did not know enough about it.

“Almost half of the potential consumers said they had not used CBD because they did not know enough about it,” said the report.

A large number of consumers were also not sure how much CBD they were taking, according to the report.

Among current and past consumers, 27.6% did not know how much CBD they take per serving.

The report also found that more than half of current consumers started using CBD in 2019.

“The full legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill and retailers such as CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, and Kroger introducing CBD products to their customers has likely contributed to the number of people who are new consumers,” said the report.

Another notable finding was that 82.6% of current and past consumers said they did not experience side effects while using CBD.

Among those who did report having side effects, the most popular were dry mouth and drowsiness.

The full report is expected soon.

FDA Releases Releases Report on Progress of CBD Policy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent Congress a delayed report about its progress on CBD policy.

In the report, the FDA “outlines an action plan that includes evaluating issuance of a risk-based enforcement policy that would provide greater transparency and clarity regarding FDA’s enforcement priorities while FDA potentially engages in the process of a rulemaking.”

When federal spending bills were signed into law on December 20, 2019, attached to them was a 60-day deadline for the FDA to provide this progress report to Congress on CBD policymaking.

The agency missed the deadline in February and sent the report on March 5, 2020.

Initially, the report details the work the FDA has done up to this point and the concerns it still has regarding CBD, including its potential to harm the liver, mislabeled products, and the potential for “contamination” with compounds like THC or heavy metals.

The FDA also noted there is “limited systematic data exist to inform our approach.”

“As more data on CBD become available, we will be able to refine — and, perhaps in some cases, revise — our thinking and approaches,” said the FDA.

The agency made note of several specific questions it wants to answer:

  • What happens if you use CBD daily for sustained periods of time?
  • What level of intake triggers the known risks associated with CBD?
  • How do different methods of exposure affect intake (e.g., oral consumption, topical,
  • smoking or vaping)?
  • What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain (such as children who take CBD)?
  • What are the effects of CBD on an unborn child or breastfed newborn?
  • How does CBD interact with herbs and botanicals?
  • Does CBD cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been reported in studies of animals?
  • Are there differing safety concerns for use in certain animal species, breeds, or classes?
  • Are any residues formed in edible tissues of food producing animals?

The agency also said it is seeking information on full-spectrum and broad-spectrum hemp extracts, which “will be critical to informing our evaluation of the regulatory status of such products.”

The FDA is also currently preparing to conduct a product sampling study “to determine the extent to which products are mislabeled or adulterated,” as mandated by Congress in the appropriations legislation.

Stakeholders in the hemp industry found value in some of the FDA’s insights but were not happy with how long it has taken the agency to create a CBD policy.

“The agency’s delay results in the worst of both worlds,” said the US Hemp Roundtable, a leading organization in the industry, in an email, “U.S. hemp farmers are denied profitable markets for their crops, while unregulated products continue to proliferate, with no safeguards for public health and safety.”

The Roundtable encouraged its supporters to contact their representatives in Congress to pass H.R. 5587, a bill that would define CBD as a lawful dietary supplement and allow the FDA to regulate it as one.

“We call on Congress to force FDA’s hand, declare CBD and other hemp constituents as lawful ingredients, and require the agency to implement a regulatory plan to protect consumers and unleash U.S. hemp farming,” said the Roundtable.

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