CMC decides to get started small by regulating the CBD market at a micro level
CBD oil is everywhere and hard to be ignored. In the UK alone the CBD market is touted to swell to One Billion pounds by 2025. CBD oil is everywhere, and good or bad, people are talking about it. CBD oil has a good number of supporters in the form of patients and parents of children who are suffering from epilepsy. When Epidiolex, a CBD infused drug became legal in the UK and US, it was a winner for those who have been demanding the legality for a long time. Seizures in many cases have come down to zero helping these patients lead a normal life which they deserve.
But, while the hitherto pressing problem dealt with if CBD is as effective as people claim it to be when another problem has opened its wings. Yes, the other and a far pressing issue is if the bottle of CBD oil that you just bought off the rack has CBD in it or not!
This doubt erupted when Centre for Medical Cannabis picked some samples in June in the UK and studied them for CBD content in it. None of the products they studied contained CBD contents despite their expensive costs. While this was one side of the coin, the other side showed that manufacturers also labeled the product containing acceptable levels of THC, while the product contained more of the toxic substance. THC is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana that results in addiction. CBD has less than 0.03% of THC which makes it non-addictive.
Although the products did not contain an alarming level of THC, it does point out how the market is cheating its way to banks. It seems as though as these genuine CBD companies are slipping away illegal products in reputed market spaces. The question arises on why the regulators aren’t doing anything about it. The answer to this mystery is the lack of any proper evidence or research helping people understand the compound. As it is, it contains more than 400 micro compounds that are hard to study, and to top it with changing laws, it has created grounds for confusion. Domain experts in this field are not visible yet because CBD development is still at its nascent stage.
CMC has indicated that these are not manufacturing errors, but the errors could have been avoided if there were lab analysts. Harry Sumnall who is a professor of substance at a reputed university also connects the issue to the lack of any standard or benchmark that defines manufacturing procedures and quality control. He also pointed out that the UK has many research agencies that could have looked into the issue, but the lack of funds pulls them away from it.
CBD’s anti-inflammatoryproperties have made it a product in much demand. There is also the added benefit of no feeling of euphoria which is making people change their minds regarding it. In just 3 years the market has grown by 300 million pounds. The retail space is huge and regulation can get extremely complicated. But, the UK also has certain rules and does not allow the sale of products based on medical benefits. Also, if given for medical reasons, then it has to be backed by a license from the Home office. But CMC also has confirmed that rule no 2 has been broken and not followed strictly now. CMC believes that media hype, content on the internet and a whole lot of videos are primarily responsible for people using their mindset to consume it. Now with several celebrities also endorsing it, CBD is under huge limelight.
Sumnall says that despite such neglect, no serious case has yet been reported. People are only benefitting from it by easing the symptoms of cancer, providing relief for joint pains and injury pain and also playing the role of an anti-depressant. He even points out that WHO also has added that no serious causality as yet been reported due to CBD. In the middle, the hugely unregulated US markets reported vaping incidents but no corroboration has yet been gathered.
CMC’s regulatory head Parveen Bhatarah is clear that they will come up with standards that will have to be followed by all CMC members to tackle this issue. This will surely begin as a small attempt to regulate the giant market. Dragonfly CBD which is one of the members of CMC welcomes this move and willing to indulge in every possible conversation that will better the market. They believe that incorrect labeling and not providing content as promised can lead to serious problems and it is best to nip it in the bud.
CMC now believes that with proper funding many independent agencies will be able to fund research and do independent studies so that people are in general aware and not take risks with their well being.