Tell Congress: Save CBD Oil!

We must maintain consumer access to CBD oil, a safe, non-addictive, natural pain treatment. 

For years, consumers have benefitted from access to cheap, safe, and effective CBD oil supplements. But now the FDA says that CBD is a drug, not a supplement—a drug which will be sold for $32,500 a year. Legally the FDA could at any time remove all CBD supplements from the market, on its own volition, or if the drug company who holds drug market exclusivity requests FDA do so. Unless we change the rules rules, we may see a government-sponsored monopoly on CBD oil, and in the near future, on other cheap, safe, and effective supplements.

This is happening because of a back-channel that allows natural supplements to be turned into drugs by the FDA. It works like this: if a company is investigating a substance as a drug, FDA rules give the company market exclusivity on that substance—even if it is currently being sold as a supplement. There are two exceptions: if the supplement was “marketed in or as a dietary supplement” before 1994, or if a supplement company has filed a “new supplement” notification with the FDA before the company’s investigation began. (Recall, too, that the FDA has not completed the policies for submitting a “new supplement” notification, so supplement companies don’t even know how to comply!) Pyridoxamine, an important form of vitamin B6 was removed from the market by the FDA through this exact same mechanism.

This is unconscionable on a number of levels. We have an opioid epidemic in this country that is killing 33,000 people a year, and growing. FDA-approved drugs are part of the problem: fentanyl is as much as 100 times more powerful than morphine and killed 4,200 people in 2014; aspirin causes internal bleeding. There are also more than 100 million Americans with untreated pain. How does the FDA look out for these patients? By denying them access to the product so Big Pharma can make a killing selling it to these same patients at an exorbitant price. 

Until we close this loophole, we will see drug companies continue to turn our natural dietary supplements into drugs. News headlines are filled with Phase II or Phase III drug trials failing; Big Pharma is in search of a sure thing, and what could be better than supplements that have demonstrated health benefits? The FDA will not protect us—they’re in on it! More drugs mean more user fees—more money—for the agency, so don’t expect the FDA to defend your access to supplements.

Write to the FDA and Congress and tell them that they must protect consumer access to cheap CBD oil, and should champion efforts to change the rules so supplements can't be turned into drugs.


  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative
  • Food and Drug Administration


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Please save CBD oil

Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]