FDA nominee: CBD shows promise, but many ‘open and unanswered questions’

The nominee to take charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says he wants to see more research to answer “open and unanswered questions” about CBD.

Dr. Stephen Hahn, a cancer specialist from Houston who is awaiting Senate confirmation to lead the FDA, is telling U.S. senators that CBD already has “a pathway for medical products.”

But he has concerns about CBD products that haven’t undergone pharmaceutical review.

“There are some open and unanswered questions that have to be filled in by research,” Hahn told Sen. Jacky Rosen, a Nevada Democrat who asked during the nominee’s confirmation hearing about expediting research on cannabis medical treatments.

Talking specifically about CBD, Hahn said he wants to know:

  • Appropriate dosing.
  • Implications of long-term use.

Hahn pointed out that CBD is approved by the FDA to treat certain types of epilepsy.

“There are also some indications – cancer, palliative-care setting – where CBD might be of benefit,” he said.

However, Hahn said the FDA has reason to worry about how CBD products are being marketed.

“I think unsubstantiated claims, like we see in the marketplace, are of concern, in terms of things like curing Alzheimer’s or curing cancer.”

The nominee did not say how he would approach the agency’s CBD review, but he concluded that he’s a “huge supporter of getting research and clarity and transparency around the processes to allow us to get the medical products to patients.”

The hemp industry says the FDA’s inaction on allowing over-the-counter CBD use is costing profits and shelf space.

3 comments on “FDA nominee: CBD shows promise, but many ‘open and unanswered questions’
  1. Thomas Phelan on

    GWPH products containing CBD have been tested for a decade and approved by the FDA. Why not use that data as a starting point regarding efficacy. Why wouldn’t that product have expanded use since it is safer than Tylenol and much safer than opiods.

    THC should be more closely looked at and only allowed when proved medically necessary.
    However, THC can’t be worse than nothing. And better than the current treatments for many indications.

    THC is a gateway drug. Then again, so is alcohol.

    • B Nie on

      THC is a gateway drug. Then again so is alcohol. Add caffeine and tobacco to that “list”. THC should be legalized across the board as CBD should. You can not die from CBD/THC/cannabis, you might feel like you’re gonna die if you are irresponsible but you won’t unlike alcohol.
      One has to wonder why a plant is illegal to posses/use, yet I can go home and legally brew enough beer to kill myself through alcohol poisoning. Be responsible for your own actions and take things in moderation. I will agree that something should be done about the false claims some are making about CBD’s benefits and correct labeling on products.

      “Why wouldn’t that product have expanded use since it is safer than Tylenol and much safer than opiods?” Because the pharmaceutical companies don’t make money off of natural CBD products. It’s all about greed. Why can’t we grow our own medicine? Because some corporation/government isn’t making profits from it, its all rooted in greed. Money over life.

  2. T Par on

    This may all be wishful thinking;
    FDA should consider benchmarking the 20+ yrs of intensive research that the cannabis industry in Israel has completed and continues to expedite using natural and synthesized Cannabinoid compounds for a variety of disease states; very much in line with FDA’s recent focus on using RWE.

    Secondly a US patent for Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and neuroprotectants was approved and has expired, why not revisit the enormous research, testing and evidence that was completed , reviewed and documented to receive approve of that patent, to expedite new product reviews and as a reference for new product development;
    See US Patent

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