The confusion surrounding CBD products among the public has
been laid bare by new research.
A report by the Grocery Manufacturers Association shows that consumers are confused about what CBD is, what it does, and whether CBD products are safe.
And with one-in-three Americans using CBD, the overwhelming
majority (76%) assume CBD products are subject to federal regulations and
safety oversight – when no such regulations exist.
Instead, today’s multi-billion-dollar CBD industry operates
within a disjointed, patchwork system of state regulations, the report states.
Upon learning no federal agency oversees CBD products, 82% percent of Americans expressed alarm, 67% of whom say they are “extremely” or “very” concerned, and another 84% are worried about the varying regulations arising from the current state-by-state patchwork system.
GMA President and CEO Geoff Freeman said: “It is the role of federal agencies to ensure a safe and transparent consumer marketplace – but the CBD market is currently the Wild West.
“Without a uniform federal regulatory framework in place,
consumers lack the basic information they need to make informed decisions about
CBD. GMA will build a broad-based coalition and lead an aggressive campaign to
protect consumers by advancing regulatory clarity.”
GMA’s survey reveals that six-in-ten Americans are familiar
with CBD, but confusion is rampant.
Four-in-ten Americans (39%) incorrectly believe CBD is just
another name for marijuana and more than half mistakenly think it can get you
Despite clear confusion, two-thirds (66%) of Americans say
they believe it is safe.
Survey respondents use CBD for a variety of different
reasons — most commonly for pain management (52%), stress or anxiety reduction
(50%) and sleep issues (43%).
And, despite the lack of reliable research, testing or uniform regulatory oversight, 21% report using CBD to alleviate cancer symptoms or treat the effects of a neurological disorder.
To date, CBD has only been approved by the FDA for use in
the treatment of epilepsy.
“CBD is a case study in the federal government’s struggle to keep pace with consumer demand,” said Dr Betsy Booren, GMA’s senior vice president for regulatory and technical affairs.
“Industry and consumers alike need government to determine
safety and provide regulatory clarity.
“Until this occurs, the most trusted, experienced and highly
regulated brands cannot enter the market.”
A total of 70% of respondents said they would be more
confident in the safety of CBD products if they were manufactured by large,
Those consumers believe well-known brands have more safety
controls in place (55%), employ higher manufacturing standards (54%), would be
more cautious to avoid brand damage (53%) and have more experience in making
high-quality, consistent products (53%).