What You Need to Know About Testing CBD Products
Though the medicinal use of hemp plants dates back to 1400-2000 BC, domestic use of hemp plants was restricted from the mid-20th century through 2018. With the Agricultural Improvements Acts of 2018, industrial hemp—including its extracts and derivatives—was newly defined as a legal agricultural commodity which now provides opportunities for using hemp-derived chemicals in products.
Hemp-derived chemicals may come from cannabis—a hemp plant commonly used to produce marijuana and cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemicals reported to interact with the central nervous system. Over 80 cannabinoids have been identified and grouped based on the structural chemistry of each compound. Some cannabinoids are known to be psychoactive (e.g., delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)) while others are not psychoactive (e.g., cannabidiols (CBD)).
Of these compounds, non-psychoactive CBD is the primary therapeutic cannabinoid of interest. Under the current federal Controlled Substance Act, CBD from industrial hemp containing less than 0.3% THC (dry weight) is no longer classified as a Schedule 1 (i.e., high potential for abuse, illegal) controlled substance and is legal. This also includes derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts of isomers of industrial hemp. (Marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law.)
Food, drug and personal care products containing CBD are still subject to FDA regulation. Presently, three FDA-approved drug products containing pure or synthetic cannabinoids exist on the market. The use of cannabinoids in dietary supplements, as food additives or in new drug products is subject to regulatory evaluation and approval following appropriate testing. As such, claims made for products that contain cannabinoids may influence how the product is viewed by regulatory agencies like the FDA.