By Stephanie Stahl


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Even though there is a lot of confusion about its legal status, CBD products have surged in popularity. Now the Food and Drug Administration is considering regulating the industry.

The FDA on Friday held its first hearing on regulating CBD products that are made from cannabis compounds.

More than 100 people spoke Friday and there is a lot of interest in the $100 million industry that’s making a lot of health claims.

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CBD has spread like a weed into food, cosmetics and supplements. Now, even the industry itself is begging for closer government oversight.

“The FDA does not have the luxury of time,” Council for Responsible Nutrition assistant general council Megan Olsen said. “They must act quickly to address a market that is out of control.”

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On Friday, the FDA took its first step toward regulating the exploding the CBD market, hosting an all-day hearing, live-streamed to the public.

“There is significant confusion in the market, businesses don’t know what is legally permissible and some are making health claims in the absence of clear regulation guidelines,” National Cannabis Industry Association director of public policy Andrew Kline said.

CBD is derived from cannabis, but unlike marijuana it contains only trace amounts of THC – the ingredient that creates a high.

It’s been marketed as a remedy for everything from anxiety to pain to insomnia, but researchers say the science is still undecided.

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“I think the public should just again have healthy skepticism,” Margaret Haney, a neurobiology professor at Columbia University Medical Center, said. “Don’t believe everything you hear or see about CBD.”

Experts say for the thousands of CBD products being sold there is little data to guide dosage levels, expiration dates or manufacturing protocols.

“We hope we get better guidance from the FDA,” Natural Releaf owner Jerry Lin said.

No decisions are expected any time soon from the FDA, however.

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But the hearing is considered an important first step in corralling an industry that some describe as the Wild West.

For now, the FDA has said CBD is not allowed in food and drinks.

But some states like Colorado allow it.

In New York City, restaurants and stores continue to sell CBD food products despite being warned.

Stephanie Stahl