From 2015 to July 2019, the FDA issued 48 warning letters to 23 American manufacturers of CBD products for false advertising and illegal interstate marketing of CBD as an unapproved drug to treat diseases, such as cancer, osteoarthritis, symptoms of opioid withdrawal, Alzheimer's disease, and pet disorders.[91][92] The FDA said that the letters were issued to enforce action against companies that were deceiving consumers by marketing illegal products for which there was insufficient evidence of safety and efficacy to treat diseases.[91] In July 2019, the FDA stated: "Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims — such as claims that CBD products can treat serious diseases and conditions — can put patients and consumers at risk by leading them to put off important medical care. Additionally, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, effectiveness and quality of unapproved products containing CBD."[91]


Psychoactive – Any chemical substance that can enter the brain from the bloodstream and directly affect the central nervous system is considered psychoactive. Many psychoactive substances have medical applications (such as anesthetics, psychiatric drugs, etc.), but some of these substances are used solely for recreation, causing dangerous side effects and addiction.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a potent, non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp oil. It is typically extracted from industrial hemp plants that are naturally high in CBD and other phytochemicals. It is the most prevalent of over 80 different cannabinoids found in natural hemp. It is commonly used for its therapeutic properties. Cannabidiol is responsible for a wide-range of positive health benefits through its interaction with the body's own endocannabinoid system.
Similar to energy drinks and protein bars which may contain vitamin or herbal additives, food and beverage items can be infused with CBD as an alternative means of ingesting the substance.[48] In the United States, numerous products are marketed as containing CBD, but in reality contain little or none.[13][49] Some companies marketing CBD-infused food products with claims that are similar to the effects of prescription drugs have received warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration for making unsubstantiated health claims.[13][50] In February 2019, the New York City Department of Health announced plans to fine restaurants that sell food or drinks containing CBD, beginning in October 2019.[51]
Food and beverage products containing CBD were introduced in the United States in 2017.[dubious – discuss][47] Hemp seed ingredients which do not naturally contain THC or CBD (but which may be contaminated with trace amounts on the outside during harvesting) were declared by the FDA as GRAS in December 2018. CBD itself has not been declared GRAS, and under U.S. federal law is illegal to sell as a food, dietary supplement, or animal feed.[13] State laws vary considerably as non-medical cannabis and derived products have been legalized in some jurisdictions in the 2010s.
As of April 2019, CBD extracted from marijuana remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance,[13][72][73][74] and is not approved as a prescription drug, dietary supplement, or allowed for interstate commerce in the United States. CBD derived from hemp (with 0.3% THC or lower) was delisted as a federally scheduled substance by the 2018 Farm Bill. FDA regulations still apply: hemp CBD is legal to sell as a cosmetics ingredient, but despite a common misconception, because it is an active ingredient in an FDA-approved drug, cannot be sold under federal law as an ingredient in food, dietary supplements, or animal food.[75] It is a common misconception that the legal ability to sell hemp (which may contain CBD) makes CBD legal.[75]
Cannabis – A type of flowering plant that includes three distinct variations: Cannabis ruderalis, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis sativa. Cannabis has a wide range of industrial and medical applications. It has been used since antiquity for its sturdy fiber, for oils, and for medicinal purposes. However, it has also been used as a recreational drug, a fact that renders the cultivation of cannabis strictly regulated because of some variations including high concentrations of THC.
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