FDA warns CBD is potentially harmful in consumer update

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said CBD has the “potential to harm” consumers, sending marijuana and hemp stock prices down.

The federal agency said Tuesday that the drug has the potential to harm consumers, including causing liver injury, drowsiness and affecting the ability of other medicines to work effectively within the body.

“Based on the lack of scientific information supporting the safety of CBD in food, the FDA is also indicating today that it cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe among qualified experts for its use in human or animal food,” the agency said.

CBD is a derivative chemical found in hemp and marijuana that is thought to have painkilling properties, but not the high of consuming THC.

The FDA also said it sent warning letters to 15 companies, including one in Lakewood, for alleged violations of federal ingredient-labelling laws. The agency also said it could update its guidance later depending on when new medical studies are released.

BizWest previously reported that, while it is illegal to use CBD as a food or drink additive, the FDA is enforcing the rule only against companies that make excessive claims about CBD’s benefits, especially as medical studies are only starting to collect scientific data about how the drug interacts with humans.

The U.S. Marijuana Stock Index, which follows the stock prices of companies in the U.S. and Canadian markets, fell 3 percent from $55.85 to $54 at the opening of trading Tuesday. It closed trading on Wednesday at $54.24.