Representative Jim Struzzi (R-IN) introduced two new bills that have the potential to regulate cannabidiol (CBD) and kratom sales in Pennsylvania.
House Resolutions 459 and 460 detail how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should be responsible for providing guidelines to the general public on the health benefits and risks of CBD and kratom, respectively.
CBD is derived from cannabis plants, but does not contain the psychoactive elements found in marijuana. Kratom leaves are stimulants produced from Southeast Asian evergreen trees.
Currently, CBD is legal in all 50 states as long as the oils contain less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to Medical News Today, while kratom is legal in all but six states, according to an article posted on The Recovery Village Columbus’ website.
Professor of pharmacology and former FDA official Dr. David Gortler wishes there was more data about these products released to the public so that more people can be properly educated on the drugs before they use them.
“I believe that people should have the right to choose, but I also don’t believe people should be using it indiscriminately for whatever they want,” Gortler told The FDA Reporter. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that kratom and any kind of CBD is something that really should be done under the supervision of a health care professional.”
Gortler believes the substances should not be regulated in Pennsylvania until the FDA releases the proper guidelines. He says too many youth and adults are seeking information about CBD products from people that are not in the professional medical field, which could lead to major health problems.
“I’m worried someone is going to get hurt,” Gortler said.
Gortler wants the FDA-approved guidelines to specifically state that pharmacists must be directly supervising the distribution and sale of CBD and all other related products.
“I’m all for freedom … but not when it comes to the complexities of statistics, clinical trials and pharmacogenomics,” Gortler said. “You need to leave that stuff to the professionals. Doing that on your own could lead to ghastly results.”
In June 2018, the FDA approved prescription CBD in the form of Epidiolex to treat two forms of epilepsy. The agency is not that warming towards kratom, however, warning that it has zero health benefits and was the cause of 44 deaths in 2017.