US – A new study conducted by Validcare at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that Cannabidiol (CBD) products do not cause liver damage when taken orally.
The seven-month analysis which evaluated the impact of CBD on liver health through clinical trials involving 839 participants comes on the heels of a summer 2019 study involving mice that suggested that there may be a link between CBD and liver damage.
Its results allay a lot of fears by food industry players who may have feared heavy restrictions, should the 2019 results have raised red flags.
The eyes now shift to the FDA which has been under pressure from policymakers and food manufacturers seeking to have the agency clarify its stance on CBD, which is currently not regulated for use in products.
Manufacturers have been particularly eager to capitalize on the growing demand for CBD to develop products that can be sold.
Consumers are showing increasing eagerness to add CBD to their daily regimens, with 40% saying in March 2019 that they would try CBD, according to a study by High Yield Insights.
The ingredient got a boost during the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers sought ways to relax, ease tension and improve sleep quality.
Even without FDA regulations on CBD, food manufacturers have been flirting with the compound, using it to develop new products for thirsty consumers.
Drink makers seem to be leading the charge when it comes to getting CBD products on store shelves with Ocean Spray’s Lighthouse incubator launching a line of sparkling CBD water called CarryOn.
Constellation Brands’ Canopy Growth has, on the other hand, launched its own bubbly CBD beverage, Quatreau while Truss CBD USA, a partnership between Molson Coors Beverage Company and Canadian cannabis grower Hexo, has also debuted a sparkling CBD drink called Veryvell in the U.S.
Other companies have also been working to bring completely new offerings and reimagined versions of existing ones.
Unilever-owned ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s was the first to hint at the possibility of adding CBD to some products after hemp cultivation was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Soon after, Mondelez’s CEO announced that the company is exploring CBD snacks. Smoothie maker Bolthouse Farms has also expressed interest in developing a CBD-infused line of its drinks, but progress has been slow due to regulatory ambiguities, said the company’s vice president of marketing.
There are still plenty of other health-related questions about CBD to tackle. These stem from the relative newness of the ingredient and the lack of long-term research on side effects or how it may interact with medications.
As a result, the FDA has cracked down on CBD-containing products making health claims or statements about what the ingredient can accomplish.
With the number of states legalizing cannabis increasing and a new administration that appears more favorable toward the substance, momentum around CBD is gaining speed.
FDA’s regulations on CBD would probably play catch-up, if the current trend is anything to go by.
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