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Cannabis compound set to have its day in court, as CBD market explodes

Concerns over the lack of regulatory oversight has some in the food industry concerned.

By now, it’s everywhere.

CBD, the shorthand term for Cannibidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has been mass marketed to the American public in droves following the recent re-legalization of hemp in America.

For the uninitiated, CBD is a compound believed by many to have medicinal effects, but is not intrinsically tied to the mind-altering “high” of THC – a different compound contained only in certain hemp plants that are harvested for use as marijuana.

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Hemp is a miracle plant in and of itself, with its fibrous tissues able to recreate cotton, burlap, rope, and even plastic at times.  It is for this reason that its recent change in legal status was deemed a common sense move, long overdue.

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CBD, however, is more like a modern day version of snake oil at this point.  There are certainly some health benefits to speak of, but it has been understudied and nearly unregulated in its brief time of modern legality.  And, sure, some of it is likely bunk.

Now, as CBD products continue to flood the market, the federal government is looking to determine exactly how its regulation of the substance can best serve the nation.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a hearing Friday to collect information about cannabis compounds such as CBD, which is already available in candy, syrups, oils, drinks, skin patches and dog food.

No decisions are expected immediately, but the hearing is seen as an important step toward clarifying regulations around the ingredient.

There are perfectly good reasons to be concerned.

“There is mass confusion in the marketplace,” said Peter Matz of the Food Marketing Institute, one of dozens of speakers who addressed the FDA panel.

Other speakers including academic researchers, businesses and consumer advocates urged the FDA to move quickly, noting that the industry is growing rapidly with little oversight. That is raising concerns about the accuracy of product labels and people not realizing how much they may be consuming through various products.

CBD has been shown to decrease the instensity of certain anxiety and depression disorders, as well as treat epilepsy – particularly in children.

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