Reality and Legality: Disentangling What Is Actual from What Is Tolerated in Comparisons of Hemp Extracts with Pure CBD

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Manufacturers of hemp-based cannabidiol products have argued that their products should be federally regulated as dietary supplements in the U.S. The justifications offered for this suggestion often focus on a variety of assumptions that either are commonly invoked in marketing strategies of the cannabis/hemp industry or are codified in the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health Education Act. Three such assumptions are addressed herein and are characterized as: 1) the false dichotomy of herbs vs drugs, 2) the entourage fallacy, and 3) the false equivalence of incomparable evidence. An argument is presented which is intended to persuade that the legality or mere composition of phytochemical products do not speak to the reality of their pharmacological effects. It is further argued that non-prescription cannabidiol and hemp extracts should not be afforded regulatory protection by designation as dietary supplements.

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