As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) struggles to formulate a regulatory framework for the CBD industry, several factors are likely to play a major role in determining what form the future of the industry will take. We share an overview of those critical factors in the discussion below.
The Cannabinoid Pipeline
CBD is just one of the hundreds of compounds in cannabis plants, and any regulations formulated for this trending ingredient are likely to have an impact on the other compounds which are still being studied for commercial or pharmaceutical exploitation.
For example, the FDA argues that CBD cannot be used as a food ingredient or dietary supplement because it was first investigated as a pharmaceutical. The key question therefore becomes, if the FDA takes this exclusionary approach for CBD, will it do the same for all the other compounds that pharmaceutical companies admit that they are researching? There is more than CBD at stake, and how this question is answered may shape the hemp industry for decades to come.
The Quest for a Uniform CBD Language
At the moment, it is hard for a consumer to understand CBD products and compare one to another because the language used in the industry differs from one manufacturer to another. The terminology and even product claims can get confusing or contradictory, and this is causing states a lot of headache since they cannot regulate such an industry.
Another aspect of lexicon has to do with the dosage of CBD. This isn’t as easy to determine as it may at first appear because each person’s endocanabinoid system may be unique from that of another person, but most CBD manufacturers are likely to consider a system where a certain dosage is recommended for each kilo of body weight.
The FDA will therefore have to come up with a uniform lexicon for the industry in various aspects like product testing, dosage and how ingredients are described. This lexicon will be pivotal in mapping the future for CBD manufacturers.
The Role of Congress
A lot is at stake for the CBD industry and many actors have started putting lobbyists and legal teams in place. These behind-the-scenes maneuvers could be pointing to the likelihood of Congress eventually getting involved to straighten out the legal kinks the industry faces.
The question now becomes, what do industry leaders want Congress to do? Do they want the exclusivity rule changed so that a compound can be both a therapeutic ingredient as well as an ingredient in food and other products? The way Congress is stepping in to push for marijuana law reform after the majority of U.S. states legalized some form of marijuana could indicate how the lawmakers on Capitol Hill may respond in the wake of numerous states legalizing CBD as an ingredient in cosmetics, supplements and food. But, there is more than one cannabis compound at stake, so things can get very complicated, very fast.
It would be eye-opening to get a glimpse into how CBD industry actors like Sugarmade Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) and The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) think about the three issues above that could make or break the industry.
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