Things would be so much easier for medical cannabis patients and for the entire cannabis industry if cannabis was just made federally legal. Unfortunately, that does not look to be “on the cards” anytime soon. As a result, cannabis is still a Schedule I drug on the Controlled Substance Act. The CBD oil industry is largely unregulated and there is a whole lot of misleading marketing and deceptive advertising. Quality control practices of many CBD products are nonexistent. The FDA, the DEA and the cannabis industry are at odds as to how to protect the American public from unscrupulous CBD oil companies.
It is all rather confusing, but I think I have it straight. In the first place, the DEA does not have the authority to reschedule CBD oil or any drug, for that matter. The job of the DEA is to enforce already existing drug laws and regulations. It should be the job of the FDA to decide how to classify CBD oil. Originally, CBD oil was considered a “dietary supplement” and was not subject to FDA approval. But, CBD gained a lot of popularity recently with success in controlling epileptic seizures and relieving pain. In the interest of protecting American consumers from harmful or ineffective CBD products, the FDA sought to re-classify it as a “new drug.” Companies that made unsubstantiated, potentially harmful claims on the labels about its effectiveness, were reprimanded by the FDA. Several companies claimed that it worked as effectively as prescription medications to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease.
The DEA did not actually reschedule CBD oil to a Schedule I drug. It is already considered a Schedule I drug as are all compounds in cannabis. The recent “misunderstanding” between the DEA and the cannabis industry was exactly that. The DEA actually established a “new code” for cannabis extracts in order to keep better track of these compounds internally. They have been working on the Federal Register for the past 5 years. The intention was to allow more opportunities for research, not to deprive medical patients from using it. That’s their story and they are sticking to it!
And FYI, here are 3 rules of thumb when choosing CBD products:
1. Request 3rd party lab results. You want to know about the potency, pesticide levels, residual solvents and mycotoxins in each product.
2. Many companies try to mislead customers with confusing dosage information on the label. Make sure the dosage (mg) is the actual active CBD content in the product as opposed to the total dosage (mg) of the CBD hemp oil.
3. Don’t trust a product because it is a “known brand.” Read the customer reviews. Unscrupulous companies take advantage of sick, desperate people. Be aware that the majority of CBD oil is imported from other countries due to our laws about growing hemp.