Jan 27, 2023 - Health

FDA declines to regulate CBD products

Illustration of a marijuana leaf on a scale

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Food and Drug Administration says its current rules for regulating drugs and supplements don't work for determining the safety of CBD products and is calling on Congress to help with a new approach.

What they're saying: "Given the available evidence, it is not apparent how CBD products could meet safety standards for dietary supplements or food additives," FDA principal deputy commissioner Janet Woodcock said in the statement.

Why it matters: Walk into many retailers and it's not hard to find products — everything from oils, body lotions, lip balms, soaps, nail polish, makeup and bath bombs to candies, sparkling water and beer — containing CBD.

The big picture: The global cannabidiol market size is expected to top $22 billion by 2030, up from about $5.2 billion in 2021, according to Grand View Research.

  • Yes, but: "Studies have shown the potential for harm to the liver, interactions with certain medications and possible harm to the male reproductive system," Woodcock's statement read.

The other side: "The FDA continues to rely on pharmaceutical studies that show risk at significantly larger doses that are not commonly found in CBD products sold at retail," U.S. Hemp Roundtable president Jonathan Miller said in a statement.

What to watch: The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability plans to investigate the decision, officials confirmed. The FDA did not respond to requests for comment.

Go deeper