While the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s regulatory oversight, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to oversee foods, drugs or cosmetics that contain hemp or hemp products, the most popular of which is currently CBD. Although this moves hemp oil and CBD products to the non-approved food supplement category, the FDA has not yet made an official ruling.
On Wednesday, former Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the FDA will hold its first public hearings on CBD in April to gather public comments before issuing new CBD regulations. Until then, the FDA will continue to evaluate CBD as a pharmaceutical substance that is unlawful in food and dietary supplements. However, with Commissioner Gottlieb’s recent resignation this timeline may change. It is our understanding that the next step is probably for the FDA to consider them to be supplements, and then work on any actual drug development much later on. However, as more states legalize hemp bipartisan Congressional action becomes more likely.
Although the priority to enforce these regulations is risk-based and currently considered “low”, under current federal and state law, veterinarians who administer, dispense, prescribe, or recommend hemp products that are not approved for use in animals, or for animals or people in accord with FDA extralabel drug use regulations, face increased potential legal risk if there is an adverse event.
It has always been MVMA’s policy to not recommend something until we are absolutely sure you can use it to practice safely, and that will not change until we get official word from the FDA. For more information on this subject, we recommend viewing the webinar “What Veterinarians Need to Know About Cannabis” by the AVMA available to their members under the Lead & Learn On-demand CE Webinars section of their website: