Cannabidiol, or CBD as it’s more commonly called, is derived from cannabis or hemp plants, and as such it has faced a long history of restrictions that came with its former Schedule 1 classification.
While CBD is in fact a cannabinoid like THC, it does not produce any psychoactive effect and the medical community generally accepts that it’s useful for treating a range of health problems.
Last Thursday, the DEA announced that FDA-approved CBD drugs are now classified as Schedule 5 drugs. Of course, the CBD industry wasn’t waiting for the agency to make this announcement, as hundreds of new products have sprung up the past few years prior to the rescheduling.
CBD Gummies Rising in Popularity
There are countless ways to consume CBD, but gummy bears have become a huge trend as they’re tasty and easy to eat. CBD gummies are also more discreet than the stigmatized alternative of dabbing CBD isolate or the hassle of having to prepare CBD-containing edibles. Gummy bears have always been a popular method of consuming supplements, so it makes sense that this is a growing new sector that many CBD investors have their eye on. Companies that produce CBD gummies are posting higher revenue numbers year after year, so it seems that the DEA’s decision is at least partially in response to the growing public demand for an acceptance of CBD.
Are CBD Gummies FDA Approved?
Not all CBD products are FDA approved which means that, for now, all CBD products that are not approved by the FDA are still considered Schedule 1 drugs. However, the industry has been able to thrive to the tune of billions of dollars of annual revenue despite that negative classification. Luckily, if the FDA has its way then there won’t be any approval process because three months ago they wrote a letter to the DEA stating that CBD does not meet any requirements to be placed on the controlled substance list under any classification.
CBD Becoming a Bigger Industry than Cannabis?
Surprisingly, the CBD industry is set to become just as valuable as the cannabis industry as a whole, as some experts estimate that it will soon grow from its current estimated value of $1 billion to more than $20 billion. The FDA’s approval of the CBD-containing epilepsy drug Epidiolex marks the first time that the agency has approved any non-synthetic product derived from cannabis. With the medical potential of CBD making many headlines, cannabis stocks like GW Pharmaceuticals have become hot talk in the investment community, and many pharmaceutical companies have started staking their claim in the industry even before the DEA’s recent rescheduling of FDA-approved CBD drugs.
The Beginning of Cannabis Leniency at the Federal Level?
While CBD is a cannabinoid that can be extracted from marijuana flowers, it can also be extracted from the hemp plant, which contains little to no psychoactive THC. Thus, lenience towards CBD doesn’t necessarily equate to heightened acceptance of cannabis as a whole. However, it seems that fully legalizing one compound from the cannabis plant is at least a start.