Is CBD Considered A Drug Or A Dietary Supplement?

CBD is all the rage among consumers looking for new ways to benefit from cannabis without the psychoactive effects. From oil and tinctures to topicals and gummies, and even skin care products, CBD is everywhere.

According to the Hemp Business Journal, an industry publication that tracks the sales of hemp, the CBD market is likely to hit $1.3 billion by 2022. Currently, the market size is about $390 million in the U.S.

The growing popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) has encouraged manufacturers to come up with a variety of CBD-infused products. But there is some confusion about how these products are classified. Is CBD considered to be a drug or dietary supplement? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is CBD Anyway?

CBD is one of the naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis plants. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural component extracted mainly from hemp plants, which are a type of cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce psychoactive effects. Consumers can get CBD pills, tinctures, vapes, and even lotions from CBD manufacturers and retail stores.

Is CBD Classified as a Drug or Dietary Supplement?

Some consumers may wonder if CBD is considered to be a drug or a dietary supplement. The simple answer is no. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges the potential benefits that cannabis or cannabis-derived products may offer, the agency does not consider CBD to be a dietary supplement. The agency has made it clear that it does not want businesses or manufacturers to market CBD as either a drug or supplement. There is only one FDA-approved CBD product, which is Epidiolex. Epidiolex is used to treat seizures and epilepsy.

What About CBD Pills?

CBD can be consumed in the form of a capsule or pill. For this reason, it’s common for consumers to make the mistake of thinking that CBD is an FDA-approved drug. But while CBD may look like many prescription or over-the-counter medications, it is not considered to be a drug.

Warnings from the FDA

Over the past few months, the FDA has issued several warnings to CBD companies that are violating its laws and regulations. According to the FDA, these companies have marketed CBD in illegal ways, by either adding it to food or drink products, claiming that it can be used to treat certain diseases, marketing it as a product for children or infants, or marketing it as a dietary supplement or drug.

How does this violate FDA regulations? According the FD&C Act, a drug is a product that is intended to treat a disease or affect the function or structure of a human or animal. Since we do not know for certain how CBD affects the human body, or its affect on certain diseases, companies cannot call it a drug. The same thing can be said for marketing CBD as a dietary supplement. It does not fit the FDA’s definition of what a dietary supplement is.

The FDA has stated that they will continue to closely monitor the market and conduct their own research on CBD. But as of today, they cannot confirm that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for consumers.

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