by Marion Nestle

Currently browsing posts about: Cannabis

Dec 10 2019

What is the FDA saying about Cannabis products?

My main interest in Cannabis politics has to do with edibles.

I am not alone in this interest.  A recent posting from Pet Food Industry magazine came with this headline: 13 CBD pet product companies warned by FDA.

Pet foods, like human foods, are subject to FDA regulation.  The FDA has a page devoted to the topic: “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD.”

This page points out, among other things, that:

  • It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.
  • The FDA has seen only limited data about CBD safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered before taking CBD for any reason.
  • Some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and are of unknown quality.
  • CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.

The FDA makes it clear that the agency does not consider Cannabis to be Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for human (or pet) consumption.

by statute, any substance intentionally added to food is a food additive, and therefore subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by qualified experts under the conditions of its intended use, or the use of the substance is otherwise excepted from the definition of a food additive (sections 201(s) and 409 of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. §§ 321(s) and 348]). Aside from the three hemp seed ingredients mentioned in Question #12, no other cannabis or cannabis-derived ingredients have been the subject of a food additive petition, an evaluated GRAS notification, or have otherwise been approved for use in food by FDA.  Food companies that wish to use cannabis or cannabis-derived ingredients in their foods are subject to the relevant laws and regulations that govern all food products, including those that relate to the food additive and GRAS processes.

I’ve seen plenty of food products containing THC or CBD.  Their legal status is questionable, which is why this industry wants the FDA to make CBD legal.

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Dec 5 2019

Annals of marketing: functional (CBD, vitamins) gummy candies and chewing gums

ConfectionaryNews.com, a daily newsletter from this industry, has a Special Edition: The Rise of Functional Jellies.

“Functional,” you may recall, means something added over and above what is in the food to begin with.  In the case of gummy bears, it means added vitamins, minerals, herbals, or, these days, CBD.

The demand for functional jellies is growing with herbal extracts, cannabinoids and vitamins proving a good fit with the mainstream candy sector.

One of the quickest ways of getting nutrients into the body is via gums or jellies.

“Gummies have a slightly nostalgic feeling of something that we had as children, but in this version, it is completely transformed into a product that we can feel good about eating and that can easily fit into a healthy diet for kids and adults,” said ​Amanda Vagochik, VP of innovation at SinnovaTek.

In the articles below we look at how street-smart entrepreneurs are disrupting the industry with innovation and a fresh attitude and how CBD edibles are also changing the landscape of functionality in candy.

Aug 16 2019

The latest on CBD edibles: sales booming, but no science or regulation

I’m watching what’s happening with Cannabis edibles with much interest.  Sales are booming.  Regulators are stymied.  Regulation is virtually absent—nobody seems to know how—and science, alas, hardly exists.

BakeryandSnacks.com fills the information gap with an Editor’s Spotlight on CBD [cannabidiol]-Infused Snacks, from the business perspective, as always.

And I’ve collected a few more from other sources.

And here’s a free White Paper on Cannabis edibles—a cross-industry analysis.

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Jul 5 2019

Enjoy the weekend: Beverage Daily’s Beer Supplement

Beer is a hot topic these days, so hot that the industry newsletter Beverage Daily collects its articles on the topic into MONTHLY BEER SPECIALS.  I’ve picked these from the June and July Specials.  The big issues: craft, low or no alcohol, cannabis, and sustainability.

Craft 

Low and no-alcohol 

Cannibis

Sustainability

May 30 2019

The latest on CBD edibles and supplements

NutraIngredients.com, one of those informative industry newsletters I subscribe to, has a collection of articles on CBD (cannabidiol, the component of hemp and marijuana that does not make you high but may have some health benefits).

Manufacturers are rushing to produce CBD edibles and supplements, despite concerns about their legal status, as you can see here.

And from this and other sources

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Apr 18 2019

Another update on CBD and marijuana edibles (and drinkables)

I’m trying to keep up with what’s happening with Cannabis edibles and drinkables, still with borderline legality in most places, but gradually working their way to supermarkets near you.

Here’s what’s come up lately.

And then there are the health claims.  As early as 2017, the FDA sent out warning letters to makers of CBD products; they were marketing their products as drugs not supplements or foods.

For example, the FDA sent a letter to That’s Natural, complaining that the company published testimonials saying things like this:

  • “Scientific research by doctors have shown it actually kills cancer cells and provides a protective coating around our brain cells.”
  • “as a Type 1 diabetic, my blood sugars have noticeably leveled off.”
  • “My blood pressure and heart rate have also significantly improved as well.”

The FDA also sent a letter to Green Roads of Florida objecting to claims like these:

  • “CBD .[has] anti-proliferative properties that inhibit cell division and growth in certain types of cancer, not allowing the tumor to grow.”
  • “Almost all studies recognize CBD’s potential in preventing both cancer spread and growth…”
  • “The following are some of the many ailments CBD oil can potentially be therapeutic for:  asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, autism, bipolar disorder, various types of cancer….

Food, medicine, supplement, or snake oil?  We shall see.

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Mar 21 2019

Supplements for pets: NutraIngredients-USA.com

NutraIngredients-USA.com has collected articles on this topic into a Special Edition: Supplements for pets

The market for supplements for pets is valued at around $2.6 billion, according to the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).

Issues driving the market growth include an increasing market share of premium supplements positioned as natural and organic; the rise of obesity/weight management among the nation’s pets; and maintaining the health of older pets, which are living for longer.

In this special edition, we explore the key trends (including CBD!), opportunities, and a couple of brand success stories.

Malden Nesheim and I discuss pet supplements in our book, Feed Your Pet Right (which is actually an analysis of the pet food industry).  Just as with supplements for humans, little evidence exists to demonstrate that supplements do any good for pets.  But they make owners feel like they are doing something useful.  As for CBD for pets?  That may make owners feel better too.

Jan 1 2019

Where are we on Cannabis edibles (and drinkables)?

Let’s start the new year off with a look at what’s happening with Cannabis, a food politics topic because of its edibles.

First, the legal status

The word is that the market for Cannabis products—including edibles and drinkables—constitutes a the “21st century gold rush,” despite their illegal regulatory status in the U.S.

Illegal?  Here’s what the the FDA says:

12,  Can products that contain THC or cannabidiol (CBD) be sold as dietary supplements?

A.  No.

13,  Is it legal, in interstate commerce, to sell a food to which THC or CBD has been added?

A. No

As for the status of Cannabis in Canada, the details are here.  Cannabis became legal in October, with some amusing results, here.  And then, there’s the question of Cannabis-infused beer, of all things:

Cannabis-infused beer gets lots of attention, but craft brewers worried about the competition.

What about research on the effects of THC?

It’s been difficult to do it because of restrictions on illegal substances, but because the Farm Bill took hemp off the list, observers are hopeful that research possibilities will open up.

In the meantime, some research is ongoing.  For example: Cannabis increases appetite but whether it causes weight gain is still uncertain.

We will be hearing a lot more about this topic, I predict.  Stay tuned.

Happy new year, stoned or not.

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