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Federal government warns consumers of CBD

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Posted at 9:43 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 05:50:37-05

(LEX 18) — Over the past year, CBD craze has swept the nation. Now, the craze continues to sweep the nation and according to one recent industry study, CBD products are expected to bring in north of $1 billion by 2024.

But, amidst the rising popularity, the federal government is sounding the alarm and reminding consumers that it is not clear yet whether this compound found in the cannabis plant is safe for human or animal food.

In Louisville, the Kentucky Hemp Summit came this week just about one year after President Donald Trump signed the farm bill into law that legalized hemp and opened the door to the CBD craze.

"A few years ago, we started out with 33 acres in the ground," Sean Southard, with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, told WAVE. "This year alone, we had more than 26,000 acres."

But there are renewed safety concerns about products that the federal regulators said still need vetting and approval.

The FDA released a report last week that reminded consumers that the agency has only seen limited data about CBD safety and some potential side effects include liver injury, drowsiness and changes in mood.

The FDA also sent letters to 15 companies, including one in Lexington, putting them on notice for illegally marketing CBD products.

"And their interpretations is... if you call out an article, whether it be the journal of medicine or whatever... even referencing that on the website... their interpretation is that we're promoting that as a cure to an illness or disease," said Bob Estes.

Estes is the founder of the Daddy Burt Hemp Company in Lexington. The company's website had referenced peer review scientific articles, which discuss potential benefits of CBD.

But, the FDA has cautioned against businesses portraying their products as a cure-all. Estes said they have taken down those testimonials.

"For us, we've always strived to do things the right way... and we're gonna ask them to review our website again and our labels," said Estes.