Medical marijuana’s health benefits are well proven, even if the majority of studies take place abroad in places like Israel where research on cannabis is legal. Nonetheless, a number of companies, especially those selling products with the non-psychoactive chemical compound CBD, do make claims about how said products can benefit your health. As is well established, CBD can help alleviate epileptic seizures, pain, inflammation, insomnia, depression, and so forth.
However, now the United States Food and Drug Administration is taking a more critical look at claims upholding marijuana’s health benefits. In fact, the FDA may start cracking down on these claims that haven’t all necessarily been proven, the FDA’s commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Tuesday.
“I see people who are developing products who are making claims that marijuana has antitumor effects in the setting of cancer,” he said at a hearing with Congress. “It’s a much broader question about where our responsibility is to step into this.”
He added that the time has come to start taking a more careful look at regulations around the cannabis plant. “We’ll have some answers to this question very soon because I think we do bear some responsibility to start to address these questions,” said Gottlieb.
As is heavily criticized within the cannabis space, marijuana’s schedule I status as a federally illegal drug on par with heroin makes it nearly impossible to research in the United States. Cannabis companies often rely on scientific studies coming out of say Israel, or else anecdotal and some loosely scientific evidence from legal states that have much more experience with cannabis than the federal government does. Nonetheless, while the cannabis plant itself is illegal and therefore not approved by the FDA, the agency has approved other cannabinoid based products such as Marinol. However, the cannabinoids in marinol are synthetic, as opposed to organic such as those in the actual plant.