FDA Warns: CBD Has The Potential To Harm You

WWJ News
December 02, 2019 - 11:50 am
CBD products

(WWJ) Metro Detroiters can find it at the farmers market, gas station, Family Video, and even American Eagle at Somerset mall — but is CBD safe to use?

According to a federal government agency: No. 

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a derivative of the cannabis plant that's said to treat pain, relieve anxiety and help you sleep, without the psychoactive effects that come from the THC in marijuana. 

While it's available in a variety of products — from foods, to supplements, drops, cosmetics and creams — the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers that CBD has the potential to harm you; and that harm can happen even before you become aware of it.

In a consumer update, the FDA warns there are "real risks" that need to be considered before taking CBD for any reason, including the following:

  • CBD can cause liver injury.
  • CBD can affect the metabolism of other drugs, causing serious side effects.
  • Use of CBD with alcohol or other Central Nervous System depressants increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries.
  • CBD can cause side effects that you might notice. These side effects should improve when CBD is stopped or when the amount ingested is reduced.
  • Changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (drowsiness or sleepiness).
  • Gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite.
  • Changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.

The FDA said it has approved only one CBD product: a prescription drug product to treat two rare, severe forms of epilepsy; and it remains illegal to market CBD by adding it to food or labeling it as a dietary supplement. 

If you're considering trying CBD to treat an illness or condition, the FDA urges you to speak to your doctor about it first. And if you're thinking about giving it to your pet, ask your veterinarian, because CBD products haven't been approved by the FDA for use on animals either. 

Learn more from the FDA, here: What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD

The advice for consumers comes as the FDA last week sent warning letters to 15 companies for selling CBD products that violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, for marketing the products to treat illnesses or for therapeutic use, claiming it's a dietary supplement or adding it to food for humans and animals. The companies were given two weeks to state how they plan to correct the violations, or else face legal action, including product seizure and injunction.