The Food and Drug Administration is seeking “robust information about potential safety problems or adverse events associated with FDA-regulated products, including [cannabis-derived products (CDPs)].” To do that, this federal agency is turning to a longstanding bastion of journalistic standards and ethics, Reddit.
The method to the FDA’s madness is that by sourcing Reddit, they are looking at consumer-generated content, which can help to “identify issues that may not be easily captured via traditional systems.”
The agency’s new Cannabis-Derived Products Data Acceleration Plan explains that the federal agency is particularly interested in studying other cannabis-derived compounds such as delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and cannabigerol (CBG).
Additionally, the agency is working to improve CBD product identification, increase product sampling related to reports of adverse effects, look at market research data, and evaluate the best strategies “for safety and quality monitoring for different types of CBD products.” The goal is to utilize new approaches to detecting safety issues and respond as quickly as possible.
The concern is that the CDP market for these products is growing faster than the science and understanding of public health implications.
In a statement, the FDA wrote, “The size and complexity of the CDP market… require the efforts of diverse stakeholders, including FDA and other federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal government entities, academia, and industry, to identify new ways of detecting safety signals and accelerating appropriate research studies, including but not limited to rigorous toxicology studies.”
The FDA examined existing data collection and analysis methods, including “third party purchase data and surveys to traceability systems and mobile apps,” which enabled them to identify data gaps and refine their process.
Another potential project involves comparing the FDA’s database of CBD product samples with Certificates of Analysis to identify “inconsistencies and quality issues.”