What the FDA Says About CBD Oil

Updated on July 28, 2020

With so many claims floating around about CBD oil, it’s natural to have questions about what is genuinely fact and what is fiction. Although there is a lot of peer-reviewed research on the efficacy of cannabinoids, there’s also a lot of bold claims that a simple tincture or gel-capsule can’t live up to. 

As the federal authority, it’s important to take the opinion of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into consideration. And as with many claims about health or effectiveness, their stance can be confusing. Here’s the breakdown of where the FDA stands on CBD oil – both the good and the bad. 

The good recognized in CBD by the FDA

There is good news when it comes to CBD and its effectiveness. Last year, the FDA formally admitted the first prescription medication with CBD as the active ingredient. Epidiolex was approved for the treatment of two very rare and severe forms of Epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. The medication was allowed after three double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials. Of the 516 patients tested, Epidiolex was proven to work in concert with other medications to reduce seizures. 

Although this is one very specific case for the use of CBD, the approval shows there are potential recognizable benefits for CBD oil in the future. In addition, the FDA is researching additional uses for CBD through public hearings and reviewing research on the subject. In the near future, organic, full spectrum CBD oil – like those produced by NuLeaf Naturals – could be recognized as a true dietary supplement, no different than vitamins. 

FDA warnings on CBD oil

For everything that the FDA does recognize on CBD oil, there’s also a lot that is still under question. Any concrete statements about the effectiveness of CBD oil have not been evaluated by the FDA, and CBD oil alone is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Because of this, the FDA warns that any conclusive statements should be taken with some care and consideration. 

The FDA further warns that CBD oil has the potential to do some harm. Those on medication should carefully weigh the potential benefits of CBD oil against what they are taking, as it can create harmful interactions with certain prescription drugs. In addition, the FDA notes that excessive use of CBD can cause liver injury, or lead to increased drowsiness and sedation. 

Finally, the claims some products make can be over-reaching, leading to FDA sanctions against companies. In Nov. 2019, the FDA sent warning letters to 15 different CBD oil producers for a range of questionable concerns, including marketing oils as “dietary supplements,” selling items classified as “drugs” for human and animal use, and adding CBD to certain foods. Before you purchase any CBD oil, be sure to do your research to make sure you’re getting the best available CBD for the concerns you wish to treat. 

Does the FDA discourage CBD oil use? 

While the FDA does not encourage CBD oil use for the treatment of any disease or condition, they have not outright banned the use of CBD oil either. This creates a gray area in the law: While organic, full spectrum CBD oil could offer potential benefits based on university research and case studies, the FDA has not endorsed the use of CBD for any condition – with the one exception of Epidiolex. 

Before starting a CBD oil regimen, be sure to talk to your doctor. With the assistance of a medical professional, you can determine if using CBD oil is the right decision, and discover any potential conflicts with the medication you are taking. 

Although the FDA does not take a definitive stance on CBD oil, it doesn’t mean that there are zero possible health benefits. By understanding the whole perspective the FDA is working with, you can make an educated decision on if using CBD oil is right for you.

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