FDA chief ‘very committed’ to making progress on CBD, other cannabinoids

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The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says he is “very committed” to making progress on CBD, but his agency needs more authority to do so.

The comments by FDA Commissioner Robert Califf came Thursday during a U.S. House of Representatives budget hearing.

Asked about “hemp products,” Califf noted there are an “amazing plethora of derivatives of the cannabis plant,” calling it “quite profound and astounding,” Cannabis Wire reported.

He acknowledged that hemp extracts and derivatives are “already in widespread use,” then noted that the FDA’s work to date has been focused on research to assess risks.

“I am very committed to taking a path on this,” he said.

But, for that to happen, Califf said Congress would need to give his agency more authority.

“And just to put a marker down, I don’t think the current authorities we have on the food side or the drug side necessarily give us what we need to have to get the right pathways forward. We’re going to have to come up with something new. I’m very committed to doing that.”

He did not elaborate.

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A Wisconsin Democrat, Rep. Mark Pocan, pressed Califf to suggest a timeline for possibly allowing CBD as a food additive.

“The research so far has shown that there are some risks with CBD, so we’re going to need a different pathway than just the standard pathway,” Califf responded.