The world of CBD has been convoluted and even somewhat confusing at times. Mixed messages about CBD and where it comes from, what it does, and its relation to THC and marijuana seem to be commonplace.
CBD is widely available at this point and is growing into a multi-billion dollar business. So why do we still have all of this confusion? Is there one set of standards for CBD products that are governed by the FDA like most other things? And where can I go to just buy CBD oil that has already been approved by the FDA?
These are all logical questions and ones that you would think are pretty straightforward at this point in the game. Unfortunately, things are not quite that simple.
How Does the FDA View CBD?
The 2018 Farm Bill became law in late December of 2018. This bill made hemp and all parts of the hemp plant legal so long as the delta-9 THC concentration was not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
Hemp is specifically defined as the Cannabis sativa L. plant. The designation of hemp was specifically given to it to differentiate it from cannabis and marijuana because it has a lower THC concentration.
Making the distinction between low THC hemp was important because prior to this bill hemp was still controlled under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The Cannabis sativa plant is where marijuana is derived from. Cannabis and marijuana are part of Schedule 1 drugs because it has a high potential for abuse because of THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana.
When the 2018 Farm Bill was made law it immediately removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act as long as it met the 0.3 percent THC threshold. So immediately CBD became federally legal as long as it was being derived from hemp plants that were under the 0.3 percent THC threshold.
Is Any CBD Oil FDA Approved?
The short answer is no. The FDA has not approved any specific CBD oil for use. In fact, there is only one drug product containing CBD that has been approved by the FDA to date. The name of the drug is Epidiolex. It is a drug that is used to treat seizures in patients who are at least one year old. Epidiolex contains a purified form of CBD as the active ingredient has been determined to be safe and effective.
At this time there are not any other drugs that contain CBD that have been approved by the FDA.
The Legality of CBD Even Though Not FDA Approved
So we just told you that CBD and CBD oil has not been officially approved by the FDA for use. Can you still buy and sell CBD products without getting into trouble?
On the Federal level, there is absolutely no danger of you getting into trouble for buying CBD products online or in a store. The caveat is that they need to be derived from hemp which is under the 0.3% THC threshold that we mentioned earlier. This keeps it from being classified as a controlled substance by the FDA.
Various states can and have enacted their own rules and regulations surrounding CBD. It’s important to know the local regulations around CBD as well. However, what you are most often going to find is that CBD products made from hemp are entirely acceptable. What you will need to pay closer attention to are Delta-8 THC products and of course marijuana.
Selling CBD products could be a bit more tricky. First off, CBD obviously needs to be derived from hemp with a THC content of less than 0.3 percent to be legal. If it goes over that threshold then you can’t sell the CBD.
Another determining factor is based on the intended use of the product. To go even further it really depends on how you are labeling and marketing your CBD. This is important even if the hemp is less than 0.3 percent THC.
CBD is not permitted by the FDA to be sold and marketed as a dietary supplement. You also can not make specific health claims about what CBD can do or what diseases it treats or what it can cure. You can’t make specific health claims about CBD. The way companies are getting around this is to say things like CBD may promote a sense of calm or help manage stress. But you can’t offer any specifics.
CBD is also not permitted by the FDA to sell food and drinks that have had CBD added to them for interstate commerce.
The Future of CBD and the FDA
Even though the FDA has not specifically approved any additional CBD products it does not mean that they are necessarily against CBD products. The FDA relies on data from applicants and researchers to be submitted to them.
Once the FDA has research data the role of the FDA is to then review the data and then they can make a final determination from there as to whether they want to approve the product. The FDA is well aware of the market situation that CBD is presenting.
What This Means For You as a Consumer
If you landed on this page hoping to get a list of the best FDA-approved CBD oil then we apologize for the disappointment. We would have been happy to provide that list for you but unfortunately, it just doesn’t exist at this point in time.
Because the FDA has not actually approved CBD products for safety and effectiveness it really does put a lot more burden back onto you as a consumer. You may be asking should I even try CBD, is it safe, or where do I even start?
These are all good questions and we would like to help you answer them so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
How To Find CBD That Is Safe
Even though it may not be approved by the FDA you can still buy CBD products that are safe. The lack of oversight and federal regulations surrounding CBD does not mean you should turn your back on CBD as a whole. It does, however, mean you should be a bit more careful about where you are buying your CBD.
We all want to find CBD products that work for us. If they don’t work then they aren’t worth buying. But above all, you need to make sure that the CBD products you are buying are safe. If they are not safe and trustworthy then you should not be purchasing them.
Finding the best CBD products that are safe starts with finding the best CBD brands. The top online CBD brands are not only trustworthy and safe but they are offering the widest range of products available. With a little research, you can find just about any type of CBD product you would want.
Third-Party Lab Testing
If you are new to CBD then this is something we recommend that you research further. In our opinion, third-party lab testing is a very important factor to consider when buying CBD. One reason that we believe it is so important is that there is a lack of federal regulation of the CBD market.
Most of the top online CBD manufacturers run their products through independent labs. This helps to verify the amount of CBD content but it also verifies the absence of harmful materials. Oftentimes you can access these lab reports directly on the manufacturer’s website so you can view the specific product that you are considering.
Other Things To Look For
When you are looking for CBD online there are a few other things you should probably pay attention to.
Price – Price is always a consideration so we don’t need to say a whole lot about that. But shopping around for CBD is really easy online. It’s easy to compare brands and products quickly.
Shipping – Shipping is something that you will obviously have to deal with if ordering CBD online. That’s one thing you don’t have to take into consideration with a brick-and-mortar store. The nice thing is that many of the top online CBD manufacturers offer free shipping options. There is usually a minimum order amount which varies depending on the manufacturer. But the order threshold is normally a reasonable amount that you can easily achieve.
Hemp Origin – Knowing where a company is sourcing its hemp from can be useful information. That information should be available on their website for you to look up. For some people, it would make a big difference if the hemp was sourced from the USA as opposed to another country. Others may even be more specific and prefer hemp that is grown from a specific state.
Return Policy – A company’s return policy and customer service can become very critical when you are purchasing CBD online. Hopefully, you find CBD products that you enjoy and don’t have any need to return them. But that’s not always the case. It is a good idea to pay attention to and understand the return policy of wherever you are ordering from just in case you need it.
Final Thoughts From The CBD Guru
We would have liked to have been able to recommend to you the best places to purchase FDA-approved CBD oil. Unfortunately, that option just doesn’t exist at this point in time. But that doesn’t mean that it will never happen either.
For now, it seems like we are just in a waiting pattern to see if the FDA will approve CBD and set some legitimate guidelines around it. It would be the best way to bring full legitimacy to an industry that has experienced its fair share of confusion.
But until that day actually comes there are still great CBD options available that you can have complete confidence in. You do need to use caution but as long as you do your homework and only buy from trusted brands we are confident you will have a positive CBD experience.