CBD is in just about everything these days – drinks, lotions, beauty aids and even products – and while its often touted as a natural cure for a variety of conditions, the Food Drug Administration (FDA) updated its website tonight with a strong warning to consumers:
The federal agency warns that Cannabidiol, or CBD – a non-intoxicating compound derived from the cannabis plant – can “cause liver injury,” can “affect the metabolism of other drugs, causing serious side effects” and that “the use of CBD with alcohol or other Central Nervous System depressants increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries.”
The FDA also warned that side effects associated with CBD could include changes in alertness, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal distress and changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.
CBD studies in lab animals showed male reproductive toxicity, including in the male offspring of CBD-treated pregnant females. The changes included decreases in testicular size, inhibition of sperm growth and development, and decreased circulating testosterone, among others. Because these findings were only seen in animals, it is not yet clear how CBD might impact human fertility and the FDA notes that “further testing and evaluation are needed to better understand this potential risk.”
According to the FDA, other questions about the cannabis derivative that must be answered include:
- What happens if you take CBD daily for sustained periods of time?
- What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain (such as children who take CBD)?
- What are the effects of CBD on the developing fetus or breastfed newborn?
- How does CBD interact with herbs and botanicals?
In recent weeks, the FDA has warned several companies peddling CBD-related products that they are violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by selling certain CBD products as dietary supplements, touting unproven health benefits and adding CBD to human and animal foods. The agency, for example, has warned companies to stop selling CBD products they claim are intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate, or cure serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders and diabetes. The FDA has pledged to “monitor the marketplace for any product that poses a risk to public health, including those with dangerous contaminants, those marketed to vulnerable populations, and products that otherwise put the public health at risk.”
The FDA has not approved CBD for any use in animals and the concerns regarding CBD products with unproven medical claims and of unknown quality equally apply to CBD products marketed for animals. The FDA recommends pet owners talk with their veterinarians about appropriate treatment options for their pets.
Click here to read the FDA’s CBD Warning