NPA Tells Congress: Regulate CBD, or Vaping Crisis Will Repeat

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Washington, D.C.—The Natural Products Association (NPA) is warning Congress that the vaping crisis will repeat itself within the CBD industry if FDA doesn’t act, according to a press release.

NPA notes that, given that all CBD products except for Epidiolex are technically illegal, they aren’t subject to any safety, purity, or scientific standards set by the federal government—but the product is available for purchase in a range of concentrations and applications. The release cites a Gallup poll that found that 1 in 7 adults use CBD, compared to less than 1% of adults who vape daily.

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Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., president and CEO of NPA, said in the release: “The tragic vaping crisis makes fatally clear that FDA inaction has life and death consequences. The number of people vaping in the U.S. is miniscule compared to the number of Americans who use some sort of CBD, or what they think is CBD, on a daily basis. The problem is no one has any idea what is in these products, where they come from, or whether they contain deadly ingredients or additives. And no one knows how much CBD is healthy and at what consumption levels. That is why it is imperative for Congress to direct FDA to immediately begin its oversight and regulation of CBD products.”

The release notes that NPA worked with Congressman McNerney (D-CA) to include a provision in the FY2020 House Agriculture Appropriations bill that would lead to FDA regulation based on sound scientific standards that have been adopted by the World Health Organization and appropriates $100,000 for FDA to perform a Health Hazard Evaluation and set a safe level of CBD for consumers to use each day.

In an example of precisely Dr. Fabricant’s point, USA Today reported that in May 2018, a freshman named Jay Jenkins attending a military college in South Carolina, suffered acute respiratory failure and then fell into a coma for a day after vaping what he thought was CBD, but was actually a type of synthetic marijuana. USA Today goes on to cite a 2017 JAMA article that found that 70% of CBD products were mislabeled.

“Policymakers should not only address vaping but also establish a well-regulated marketplace for CBD,” warned Dr. Fabricant, “otherwise we’ll be back here in a few weeks or months talking about death tolls from another unregulated product.”

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