Who Regulates CBD? Most Americans are Unclear

A new report makes it clear that Americans are unsure about the regulation of CBD and the importance of buying their products from a reliable source.

A new report shows that nine out of ten Americans are confused about who regulates CBD.

“It is dizzying to follow and, unfortunately, too many Americans have no idea CBD is not regulated by the national agencies they know and trust,” the report’s authors wrote.

The U.S.-based company, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), conducted a survey to find out if Americans were familiar with CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating cannabis-derived compound most often used as a dietary supplement to promote wellness.

More than six out of ten Americans have heard about CBD, and 34 percent of Americans have purchased a CBD product, according to the survey. However, most do not know the facts about the compound, particularly around how it is regulated.

While CBD products and the means by which to purchase them are wide-ranging, the regulation of CBD has not yet been solidified by the federal government. The lack of CBD clarity makes consumers easy targets for misleading or unverified claims.

The new report found that 92 percent of Americans “incorrectly assume or have no idea if CBD is federally regulated.” According to federal regulation, the fact is there is only one approved use of CBD by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In July, the FDA formed the CBD Policy Working Group and pledged to expedite the regulation process. The agency also put out a message about the reality of unapproved CBD products.

“Unlike drug products approved by the FDA, unapproved CBD drug products have not been subject to FDA review as part of the drug approval process,” the agency wrote.

Other telling statistics about America’s lack of CBD understanding revealed in the recent survey include:

  • Nearly four out of ten people incorrectly believe CBD is just another name for marijuana. In case you are among those under that misconception, read about the basics of CBD.
  • One out of four people purchased CBD under the impression that it would have an intoxicating impact once consumed. Find out whether CBD is psychoactive.
  • After learning that the FDA is not currently regulating CBD products, 81 percent said they were at least moderately concerned, and 67 percent of whom said they were “very” or “extremely” concerned.
  • After learning that no federal agency currently regulates CBD products, 82 percent of consumers felt  at least moderate concern, while 67 percent of whom said they were “extremely” or “very concerned.”

The data gathered for “The Urgent Need For CBD Clarity: How Confusion and Lack of Regulation Threaten Consumer Safety and Trust” report were based on data from a survey of 2,056 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older, that took place from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15.

Find the full GMA report, here.

Americans Want to Know More About CBD

While the lack of regulation and false claims continue to confuse consumers, interest in CBD is growing in record numbers. In one month (April 2019), Americans Google searched CBD 6.4 million times.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego analyzed CBD interest rates using Google search data. CBD interest search rates increased by 126 percent from 2016 to 2017 and then increased again another 160 percent over the next year (2018).

The escalation of CBD interest is set to increase. Researchers predict rates to climb by the end of the year, to a nearly 118 percent increase over 2018.

CBD retail sales are on track to surpass $1 billion this year.

CBD Information and News

Because of the current lack of FDA oversight, consumers must take care to purchase CBD products from trusted manufacturers that employ rigorous testing and safety standards. Learn more about what to look for in a CBD manufacturer to help ensure that the CBD products you buy are safe and high quality.

To read the latest reports on CBD and other cannabis news, visit our cannabis news page.