Demand is high for CBD and hemp-derived products. Every aspect of the industry is growing exponentially. There are more industrial hemp growers than ever. More companies are producing CBD products and goods made from hemp, and the industry is expected to reach somewhere around 20 billion dollars in revenue by 2024. So, if you’re in the CBD game, like cbdMD, you’re probably winning.
However, a recent FDA hearing addressed the concerns of stakeholders both for and against the distribution of CBD. While the agency promises that they are paying close attention to the matter and will set further guidelines soon, those decisions will be based solely on scientific data. Unfortunately, the science community is still lagging a bit behind.
Science Marches On
As interest continues to grow, science continues to study. Research has already conducted multiple human and animal studies on the various effects that CBD has on the natural systems in the body. It has demonstrated a variety of positive properties across different trials, but certain factors make the results inconclusive, at least as far as the FDA is concerned.
For starters, human studies are severely lacking. There are a handful that demonstrate a wide range of potential, but there is plenty of more research needed. Advocates for CBD report a great deal of potential and assert that it can help with a wide variety of issues, but that evidence remains colloquial.
Where Science is Going
One of the biggest problems is that the conclusions scientists reach are hit or miss. For instance, a recent study conducted by the University of Colorado looked at the application of CBD for stress and rest. What they found is that 78 percent of 103 adult individuals in the study reported reduced stress across the course of the trial.
It’s the lack of consistency in research results that gives agencies like the FDA pause in fully endorsing CBD products for widespread use.
Inconsistency is Common
However, for CBD proponents, all is not lost. Drugs as standard as Tylenol also fall victim to similar discrepancies in controlled clinical trials. Now, it’s common knowledge that Tylenol is a universally accepted pain reliever that works wonders for millions of people almost every day. That means inconsistency isn’t specifically a disqualifier for the kinds of approval that the CBD community is searching for from government agencies. So, what is?
Safety is Key
Long term safety is the answer to that burning question. While many scientists attest to the minimal, almost non-existent risk posed by long-term use, there is little concrete scientific data to back this up. This lack of evidence to date leads the FDA to conclude that CBD safety is ambiguous. Specifically, a follow-up to their recent hearing questioned effects of long term use on the liver, cumulative effects of taking multiple CBD products, and what an appropriate dose would be. They did state that potential risks could be mitigated and useful quantities could be determined if the compound is under medical supervision when taken.
None of these uncertainties have curbed the demand for all of the CBD-based products derived from industrial hemp. Until the guidelines are better laid out and understood, consumers will continue to purchase and take CBD based on the recommendations, colloquial evidence, and personal experiences anywhere they look. Eventually, the science will surpass the demand, providing a clear picture of CBD potential. Until then, the industry shows no signs of slowing down, and the demand is expected to remain high. It will just take time to see what the science has to say.