On January 26, 2023, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) announced that existing regulatory systems for food and beverage products infused with cannabidiol (CBD), will require improved regulatory oversight to better manage consumer risks.

According to the announcement, the FDA is using this new regulatory pathway as a tool for better addressing several consumer safety concerns – especially those regarding the long-term use of CBD infused products. Regulatory tools are also being aimed at addressing safe CBD supplement use in animals and in feed.


Better tools needed to improve risk management

Today’s CBD food and beverage products must meet safety standards to be legally sold as a dietary supplement or food additive. Unfortunately, the FDA’s existing food and dietary supplement regulations are operating with few tools in which to manage CBD product risks.

“Some risk management tools could include clear labels, prevention of contaminants, CBD content limits, and measures, such as minimum purchase age, to mitigate the risk of ingestion by children,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner in a recent press release.

Despite the urgency, the FDA isn’t crystal clear on how it will ensure that CBD products meet safety standards for humans and animals, as there isn’t enough documentation to gauge just how much and for how long CBD can be safely consumed.


Small steps

Industry experts acknowledge that although these new regulatory tools are just a small step, they are headed in the right direction.

“[This new framework is] getting the conversation rolling, and it’s just part of the evolution of where [the industry] is going to end up in terms of regulation at the federal level,” said Kathy Knutson, Ph.D.

Knutson goes on to note that this will continue to be an urgent issue, as growth in the CBD and cannabis industries show no sign of a slowdown.

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