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Only drugs the FDA has reviewed as safe and effective can make claims that they treat or prevent diseases or medical conditions. Many CBD producers attempt to sidestep the issue by using only vague language about general health and well-being.

First published on April 3, 2019 / 8:52 AM

Skin creams and cosmetics may be on safer footing with the FDA, but that too remains uncertain, said Camille Gourdet of RTI International, a nonprofit research institute in Durham, North Carolina. Though cosmetics aren’t subject to premarket approval by the FDA, they could run afoul of regulations if they make specific health claims.

Any side effects?

A product labeled as containing 100 milligrams of CBD may only have 5 milligrams, or it may have 200, said Bonn-Miller, now an adviser for a company that sells CBD and other cannabis products. He didn’t work in the industry when he did the research. “I wouldn’t trust any of it until I knew independently it was safe,” Bonn-Miller said.

The FDA’s authority is over interstate commerce, and local officials have taken differing approaches. In New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere, officials are warning eateries to stop selling it in food and drinks. Maine passed a law allowing it in foods and other products in the state.

Here’s a look at what we know as U.S. regulators work out what will and won’t be allowed:

CBD often comes from a cannabis plant known as hemp, which the U.S. government defines as having less than 0.3 percent THC. That’s important because THC is what causes marijuana’s mind-altering effect.

“The actual effectiveness from a scientific point of view is really difficult to define because there’s a lack of well-done scientific studies,” Welty said.

“Drowsiness is common and then GI complaints,” Welty said. “Then there’s the potential concern about damage to the liver.”

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“What did you first notice when you started to use it?” asked CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula.

All but four states allow its use. But CBD does not have FDA approval. The supplements are largely unregulated and haven’t been studied at length.

Cannabis data analytics firm New Frontier Data predicts CBD sales will nearly quadruple over the next four years, from $535 million in 2018 to over $1.9 billion by 2022.