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You’re scrolling through Facebook; you notice one of your college pals has once again changed his relationship status to “it’s complicated” with that girl that he has been “seeing” off and on for the last couple of years.

Now, maybe you chuckle and keep on scrolling, or maybe you think to yourself “just date already!”

In an odd way, this metaphor is very similar to the Food and Drug Administration’s relationship with the hemp derivative known as CBD.

If you are still a little lost on what CBD is, allow me to introduce you. CBD’s full name is cannabidiol. It is extracted from a species of cannabis that you know as hemp, but don’t let that “c” word give you the wrong impression, CBD is non-intoxicating unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC. THC is derived from marijuana, a different species of cannabis. Though there is a small amount of THC in industrial hemp (only 0.3 percent to be exact), it is not enough to induce psychoactive effects when topically applied, consumed, or inhaled.

While both THC and CBD have proven to have an abundance of medicinal properties, research shows that CBD can treat the symptoms of anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, inflammation, and more!

As of the last couple of years, the cannabinoid has officially gone mainstream. A compound that was once associated with drug culture is now being used by your church-going grandmother, her dog, and maybe even your personal trainer. Even your favorite celebrities use it on the red carpet so that their feet don’t hurt after a night of walking around in stilettos!

How did this happen?

Well, in December of last year President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill to effectively legalize all industrial hemp and their byproducts (i.e. CBD).

In the past, CBD was a schedule 1 drug as the government reported that CBD had little medicinal value and a high probability of addiction. Keep in mind that a schedule 1 classification puts it on the same level as cocaine and heroin.

When the President signed the Farm Bill, CBD was reclassified as a schedule 5 drug, the same category as your over the counter cough medicine you purchase at CVS.

Why such a drastic change? Well, as you previously read, CBD is non-psychoactive and has very little to no side effects. In fact, due to recent legal strides with cannabis, more research is proving that CBD is an effective treatment for a wide range of users to treat the ailments I listed earlier.

With all that being said, why hasn’t the FDA approved CBD yet? Let me break down this complicated long-distance relationship.

At the beginning of relationship saga, industrial hemp was just legalized; however, the federal government still gave agencies such as the FDA the authority to approve or disapprove the marketing application of CBD in food, drinks, and health supplements. When the government shutdown happened earlier this year, it further stalled the approval.

At this point, you may be wondering why you can purchase CBD online (like on our website) or even in stores?

Well, though it is not yet approved, it is still legal. However, this doesn’t mean that every CBD product you see is effective or even safe! In fact, the FDA has issued several warning letters to a variety of CBD companies that are marketing false claims to sell more products.

Specifically, companies like NaturePure LLC and PotNetwrok Holdings listed unfounded claims that CBD can stop cancer cells in multiple different cervical cancer varieties or that CBD can slow to the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Don’t get me wrong, CBD is but it there is still a ton of research to be done, especially regarding these drastic claims!

Other CBD companies out there that claim to have a pure product may contain harmful ingredients and fillers that could be damaging to your health! Until the FDA approves and regulates CBD, consumers will need to be educated and do their due diligence so that they are buying a safe product.

Now, this is where the relationship gets a little complicated.  You may have heard about a few FDA approved CBD-based medications that were approved last year. Epidiolex was approved to treat seizure disorders associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Additionally, Marinol and Syndros have been approved to treat patients with anorexia in AIDS patients.

This is a good sign for CBD, it means that all the research and clinical trials have proven effective for pharmaceutical usage. So why is it taking so long for the FDA to approve other forms of CBD?

To this point, I have some good news. Just last week the FDA announced that they will be rekindling their relationship with CBD!

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb sent out a press release saying that the FDA will soon begin creating a pathway for approval.

In his statement, the commissioner says, “We recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledge the significant interest in these possibilities. We’re committed to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers that meet the requirements under our authorities to lawfully market these types of products.”

With that being said, the FDA and CBD finally have that spark. As the pathway to approval continues to get sorted out, CBD users and CBD companies can look forward to a healthy and safe relationship between cannabis derivatives and governmental agencies like the FDA.