Cannabidiol (CBD) is in greater demand than ever before, which has led to its being added to a rapidly expanding variety of consumer products. Today, enthusiasts can enjoy it by eating food products with CBD, ingesting CBD oils, taking CBD isolate, applying CBD body lotion, and practically everything in between.
Moreover, as our scientific understanding of CBD continues to grow and its legal status continues to spread across the country, we’re very likely to see an even greater diversity of bulk CBD products developed in the future.
Of course, this is great news for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to step into the industry. Greater diversity provides the potential for larger profit. However, there are some important legal restrictions to keep in mind when formulating new products with bulk CBD isolate and oil. And many of the rules apply to cosmetics.
In this article, we’ll discuss the legality of CBD in cosmetics, as well as what new businesses and brands need to know when it comes to product formulation.
CBD in Cosmetics
In recent years, the market for cosmetic products containing CBD has expanded greatly. CBD cosmetics are in high demand among consumers, but the FDA is skeptical and has implemented some strict prohibitions.
Most of us associate “cosmetics” with make-up or beauty products, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines the category more broadly, as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.” Simply put, cosmetics technically include everything from hand lotion, to shampoo, to mascara.
With all of that in mind, let’s now take a look at the legal status of infusing and selling cosmetics with CBD.
Is it Legal to Add CBD to Cosmetics?
The short answer is that yes, it is – but just like any other cannabis products, the FDA’s attitude towards cosmetics containing CBD is complicated and subject to change.
A watershed moment for the cosmetic CBD industry occurred in early 2019, when pharmacy chain giants CVS and Walgreens both announced that they would begin selling topical products containing CBD. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, then the head of the FDA, expressed concern over the announcements and took the opportunity to issue a warning to other retailers about the FDA’s “obligations and…commitment to protect consumers against products that can put them at risk.”
Shortly thereafter, the FDA updated the FAQs section of its website to address the question of the “FDA’s position on cannabis and cannabis-derived ingredients in cosmetics.”
The bottom line is this: as things currently stand, the FDA is unable to closely regulate topical CBD products, which contrasts sharply with the oversight privileges that are granted them for food and drug products that contain CBD. The administration has, in recent years, been lobbying in congress for more control over the sale of CBD cosmetics sold in bulk; but thus far they have been unsuccessful.
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