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FDA Flouting Congress on Pain-Relieving CBD

FDA Flouting Congress on Pain-Relieving CBD
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While Congress gives CBD the green light, FDA still has its stop sign up. Action Alert!

For a while now, we’ve been telling you about the threats to cheap CBD oil. One of those threats has been that the DEA includes hemp and CBD in the definition of marijuana, which is a Schedule 1 drug—that is, it has no recognized medical benefit. This was plainly inaccurate, and Congress has rectified the error: the Farm Bill removes “hemp” from the definition of marijuana. While there are still some challenges and uncertainty, this is an important step towards ensuring consumer access to affordable CBD oil.

The legalization of hemp means that so long as CBD oil is extracted from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC (the compound that gives the “high” associated with marijuana), it is no longer considered a controlled substance.

The main hurdle that is still in place is the FDA. After the Farm Bill was approved, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb released a statement reminding us that, while CBD may no longer be a controlled substance, it is still subject to FDA jurisdiction. The statement reiterates the FDA’s position that CBD is not a dietary ingredient (and thus illegal to put in a supplement) because it is the active ingredient in an approved drug and was the subject of clinical investigations before it was sold in supplements. For more background on these issues, read our article on the back channel at the FDA that allows Big Pharma to turn supplements into drugs.

CBD shows much promise. There are also thousands of published scientific studies on CBD and its beneficial health effects on pain, inflammation, seizures, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. If the FDA’s position doesn’t change, the only way for consumers to legally get CBD will be by buying the FDA-approved drug, which will cost $32,500 a year.

While we work to eliminate this nutrient-to-drug pipeline at the FDA, this is still an important victory for CBD. Let’s express our appreciation by writing to Congress and thanking them for this step.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and thank them for taking steps to legalize CBD oil; write to the FDA and tell them to back off CBD oil supplements. Please send your message immediately.

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