In recent months it seems CBD is everywhere you turn, kind of like car insurance commercials during TV sports telecasts. Just a few short years ago you had to know where to find CBD on the internet to be able to order the mystery compound from companies you never heard of. That has all changed, as we discussed last month in this column. CBD is now available at retail outlets in virtually every dosage form imaginable and at prices only dreamed of before. You may be wondering what types of dosage forms exist besides oils, gummies and creams. Here is a partial list:
Workout recovery beverages. Patches. Suppositories. Hard candies. Chocolate. Gum. Macaroni and Cheese. Jelly Beans. Salty Snacks. Cereal. Hummus. Mustard. Honey. Olive oil. Massage oil. Intimate lube. Bath salts. Skin lotion. Inhalers. Nasal sprays. Make-up. Deodorant. Coffee. Tea. Alcoholic drink mixes. We were surprised too!
The availability of CBD in so many inconspicuous products raises one concern immediately: how do you keep track of how much CBD you are actually consuming in a day? Just as our modern diet makes it difficult to monitor how much sodium or sugar we consume daily, CBD available in so many foods may make tracking CBD consumption impossible in the future.
However, when one looks at a few of these dosage forms from a purely practical point of view, they do seem to make some sense, particularly inhalers and nasal sprays. Since CBD oil is virtually insoluble in water, the popularity of sublingual drops has made it the standard delivery method, not because it is preferred by most people, but because it is the only way to get an adequate dose into the body. When taking an oral dosage form that is not structurally-enhanced to allow for greater bioavailability, the absorption rate is about 5%. Inhalers and nasal sprays offer advantages that may someday be useful, but until there are clinical studies that justify such delivery methods, they raise more red flags than benefits.
Medically, ethically and legally speaking, there are several problems with most of the products on this list. Not that using or possessing any of these products will have you at odds with authorities, but we believe that manufacturing or selling any one of them might put you on a short list for an FDA cease and desist letter. The FDA has been very clear in prohibiting CBD as an additive to any food product. The FDA has also been very clear in declaring that manufacturers and retailers are not permitted to make claims regarding CBD’s effect on specific disease states or to make claims of any therapeutic actions in the body.
We are not debating the wisdom of such statements by the FDA, merely puzzling over the fact that even in spite of the FDA warnings, these products are still readily available. From a legal standpoint, we would caution any Pharmacist who is considering selling these types of products to first familiarize themselves with statements the FDA has published on their website as well as statements from your own State Board of Pharmacy.