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Former FDA Commissioner Expresses His Skepticism on CBD Benefits

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FDA Commisioner CBD

While the research on Cannabidiol and its benefits are still ongoing, there’s no doubt that many of them have yielded results in favor of its benefits. Sure, there is more research to be done, but completely disclaiming the current findings is something that not many would prefer to do. However, Scott Gottlieb, the Former Commissioner of FDA, expressed his skepticism on these ‘findings’ and the potential benefits it comes with, during a news interview with CNBC

CBD Benefit Claims are “Pretty Hokey”

Scott Gottlieb, during his recent interview with CNBC news, claims that supporters of CBD are making claims about CBD’s benefits that are yet to be confirmed by research. Although he didn’t completely discount the proven results of experimentations, he did, however, claim that CBD’s ‘calming effects’ are yet to be proven.

He expressed this notion in a statement where he claimed that the idea of being able to use CBD in dog food to providing ‘calming effects’ for the canine is “pretty hokey”. Furthermore, he says that “there’s no science to that” claim so to speak. As evidenced by the response the video got on Youtube and the CNBC News Website, the supporters of the CBD Bandwagon are enraged by his baseless claims, since research did support and prove the theories of CBD’s calming effects.

Why is this a concern?

According to Scott Gottlieb, these “unproven” claims are a cause for concern since these are giving different companies the opportunity to add CBD in just about anything; ranging from adding them in pet treats to coffee and beverages. He insinuated that not only these claims are misleading, but are also encouraging people to buy more products through false advertisements.

The former FDA commissioner’s claims have become a cause for concern for the supporters of CBD as well. Sure, some are happy, behind the scenes, since Gottlieb is the “former” commissioner, hence, can’t do much harm anymore; but his claims can and will put doubts in the minds of CBD users who are benefitting from its use.

What We Know About CBD?

Not to totally disregard Mr. Gottlieb’s claims, his statements hold true to some extent. It’s true that he might have been wrong about some already established facts, but it’s also true that the supporters of CBD are believing way more than they should. Taking a look at the contemporary studies, we can conclude without a doubt, that CBD’s effects on anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and pain are proven through science.

The sketchy sections about its benefits are usually pertaining to the magnitude of these effects and whether or not they are sufficient by themselves to act as a medication for the aforementioned problems. Furthermore, the benefits of CBD in Arthritis treatment, relieving menstrual cramps and its benefit on a person’s skin are yet to be proven. Regardless, that doesn’t stop capitalists exploiting these rumors and releasing body creams and lotions in the market to prey on the believers, is what the commissioner is really trying to say.

Sure, he has a point. But just like the supporters, he is opposing, he too, has made some unverified claims during the interview that most people cannot agree upon. Hopefully, future research will clean up more of the confusions among its supporters and shine some light on the matter, laying the debates to rest once and for all.

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CBD Crackdown Backed By the Attorney General

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AG Backs CBD Crackdown

Leevin Camacho, Attorney General supports the recent crackdown on hemp-derived CBD products and has issued a statement regarding the issue. Since the 2018 Farm Bill passage, cannabidiol associated products have been on a rise in the market in various island stores across the nation.

The statement mentioned that the passage of the bill has given an impression that hemp has been legalized and that CBD containing products are decriminalized. Majority of the people believe that selling CBD is legal everywhere and anyone can do it. The Attorney General assures that “decriminalization does not mean there will not be any regulation.”

Guam Officials Question CBD Crackdown

The statement provided by the Attorney General was issued as a response to a letter delivered by the Guam Officials. Speaker Tina Muna Barnes and acting Gov. Josh Tenorio asked for a written statement on Monday from the Attorney General on his thoughts on the extent to which individuals and business can sell or import CBD products in Guam.

The letter was sent in response to local island businesses who issued complaints because their products containing CBD were seized by Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency officers. Director of the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services Linda DeNorcey denied that her officials have rejected the release of products containing CBD because they “might contain THC and also because these products have not been screened by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.” DeNorcey stated that her department did not instruct CQA to confiscate any CBD containing products. Despite the Public Health department’s zero involvement, officials question the reasons behind CQA’s confiscation of these products.

CQA Director Tested Shipments

Ike Peredo, the Director of Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency mentioned to The Guam Daily Post that his officers did start testing some CBD products that arrived through air cargo shipments in February. These products were found to contain trace amounts of THC, the major component of the psychoactive marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law. Since THC is related to CBD, despite its non-psychoactive effects, CBD is classified as a drug. According to Camacho, the FDA can regulate these products containing CBD, most of which still require approval for interstate trade and commerce.

AG Concerned About Consumer Health

Camacho referred to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association which observed that more than 70% of the products containing CBD which are usually bought online were not labeled properly. Thus, a consumer might as well be ingesting THC instead of CBD, which is still illegal. The AG said that his office is worried about consumer safety and that it’s his responsibility to ensure that the products contain the proper ingredients and are properly labeled.

By regulating these products, he wants to ensure that there is minimum harm done, and it may stop businesses from stating false claims about their products. The FDA had previously warned businesses about advertising CBD products as miracle cures to diseases such as cancers, anxiety, depression and other serious ailments.

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Do Pet CBD Supplements Really Work?

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CBD Pets

The CBD Bandwagon has gathered such momentum that people are now even investing in CBD products for not only themselves but their pets as well. But how much of the presumed benefits of these products on their pets are legit? What should be the things that a pet-owner should be aware of? These are the questions asked by the Seattle Times with some collaboration with veterinary experts.

Pet CBD Products

With many of the CBD products available for people out there, there are CBD products available for dogs as well. Although the effectiveness of these products in animals is still in question, it’s definitely not doing anything to stop people from experimenting with their beloved animals with these products. While some of these products help the animals, others inadvertently lead to a waste of time and money in the best case scenario and cause harm to the animals in the worst (As seen in the experimentation with rats).

General Skepticism

Obviously, the grey lines in its usefulness will bring about a lot of controversies from different organizations and individuals; especially when CBD is gaining such popularity at such a rapid pace. While the supporters of CBD can blow it off as “haters hating”, the opposition does take these skepticisms as weapons to fuel their beliefs.

Actual Data from the Proper Sources

With arguments from both sides, it’s actually very easy to get lost amongst the truths and differentiate the myths from the facts. So, like the Seattle Times, we believe that the best way to get rid of these confusions is to refer to actual sources of knowledge and the unbiased statements from the experts in the field.

One such source, is PetMD, a pet-focused version of WebMD. It details everything, with clear details on the benefits as well as the side-effects of these “medications” on pets. Going through this source does reveal some alarming information about these products. However, they do also do not deny some of the perceived benefits that these products can have on dogs.

What to Do?

So, if CBD infused treats and medications for your pets come with both benefits and side-effects, what to do? The answer is simple: Moderation. According to the Seattle Times, experts did not completely discount the use of these products, but rather advised its users to use them with caution. They should refer to their better judgment when purchasing their products from different companies and only use the products that have demonstrated effectiveness rather than just assumed or self-proclaimed ones.

Nowadays, it’s easy to find products for your pets in stores and online, Vet CBD is a notable example. But not all of the sources might be able to provide what they claim to deliver. Some of these products might just be a dud, with little to no effects on your pets. While others might even go as far as to harm your pets. Regardless of which, your pet product is, it’s always safe to administer these products to your pets in moderation and after careful consideration of the sources.

 

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Payment and Compliance Companies Now Playing a Huge Role for CBD Products

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Payments company CBD

Compliance issues among CBD products

CBD has faced a good amount of controversy surrounding its efficacy and abuse potential in the past. While it doesn’t give a high like marijuana or other THC-containing products, it’s been reported to help with pain and anxiety.

Nowadays, issues with payments and compliance are huge concerns in the cannabis industry, as well as other CBD-containing products. Among the issues are the exceeding amounts of CBD or THC in the products. For this issue, LegitScript comes into the rescue. They are an online service that verifies and monitors online pharmacies.

They have since launched a program that certifies websites selling CBD products that are legally compliant. As of today, USDA, FDA, and DEA- approved U.S. manufacturers and traders can apply for certification via LegitScript. Currently, the site provides a 10-page introduction regarding marijuana laws and regulations. It aims to help people understand the state restrictions and payment processes involving medical marijuana.

Having the LegitScript certification gives consumers and banks assurance that CBD merchants are compliant with state-specific laws, as well as regulations provided by various U.S. agencies. Even though cannabinoid or CBD-containing products have been made legal in the U.S., some products that contain THC in more than legal amounts are still illegal. This is why it has become difficult to pinpoint which merchants are selling compliant products.

CBD payments made easy

Even though the CBD industry has its regulation difficulties, major companies like Target and Walmart have been reported to be having discussions with CBD manufacturers. Many are also asking for lab and research results on top of CBD samples.

With this, the fact that the CBD industry is increasingly growing is undeniable anymore. Thus, digital payment companies such as Square, have gone into the CBD industry by providing access to basic financial services. This happened just when Elavon recently backed out from CBD companies.

A year after the legalization of CBD in the U.S., Square has stepped in to give businesses in the CBD industry a good financial service that makes it easier to process payments.

A growing industry

It’s been reported that over 7 percent of Americans are using products that contain CBD as of February. Cowen & Co. surveyed 2,500 adults and have found that the CBD market would be worth over $16 billion by 2025. Meanwhile, in a study by Vivien Azer, analyst, there are over 2.7% more people who use CBD more than e-cigarettes. Because of the rapidly growing industry, more people would definitely be in need of safer and more efficient payment options. In the future, more research will back up most of CBD’s health claims, thus attracting more attention from consumers. There will come a time that these certification programs will be a necessity amongst many consumers.

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