Food and Drug Administration Official Lowell Schiller attended the National Industrial Hemp Council 2019 Business Summit. As a keynote speaker at the conference, it appears that he has had a few things to say about the FDA’s need for more CBD research. His remarks, available in a press release, recognize the increased interest in hemp products and the issues surrounding how the FDA “fits in.”
Consistent with his remarks on the FDA’s efforts to be transparent, he shared what the FDA’s “current thinking is, and where [the FDA] may be headed.”
Of the many points addressed, one was the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD.
“There’s still a lot we don’t know about the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD, but we’re excited about the possibility that new therapeutic uses of CBD might be demonstrated to be safe and effective. The last thing we want to do is to discourage that research, and potentially stunt our knowledge of potential uses of CBD. So we need to be thoughtful in our approach.”
“One thing we realized very early on in evaluating these questions is that there was still far too much we didn’t know about CBD, and about the implications of putting CBD in foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. This is part of the legacy of almost all CBD being a Schedule I controlled substance until late last year. It was difficult to research, and it hasn’t been studied nearly as much as we would like.”
After additional remarks, he raised the question of where “are we now.” He noted that the FDA group is “evaluating all the data available, including data we received through the public hearing and the public docket, and evaluating our policy options.” He also indicated that the FDA will be transparent as possible about its process, and will continue to take actions to protect public health. Even though there is a great interest in hemp and reports of its potential, the science still needs to catch up.
The full statement can be read here.