On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a consumer update which noted the potential risks of using CBD and related products. CBD is a chemical found in the hemp and marijuana plants that has been used as an alternative method for healing, relaxation and dealing with anxiety. The FDA warned users that the chemical could cause liver damage. As a result, stock prices dropped for three of the largest cannabis companies, Cronos Group, Aurora Cannabis and Tilray.
A spokesperson from Tilray said the company welcomes more guidance from the FDA, but backs up the quality of their products. Others said that no evidence exists that the natural form of CBD causes toxic liver effect. They also expressed frustration and disappointment, claiming FDA’s statement was too alarming.
The natural health benefits of CBD are still relatively unproven by science, they remain mostly anecdotal. There is also little evidence for the negative effects either.
The FDA’s inability to research the product has caused doubt and suspicion in their eyes. As a result, they are trying to slow down the growing popularity of CBD related products – foods, oils, beverages, etc. – on the legal market. The CBD industry is expected to grow from a $5 billion dollar industry this year to nearly $28 billion by 2023.