FDA Turns to Reddit to Understand ‘Emerging’ Cannabinoids

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The FDA announced on October 16 they plan to look into ‘novel’ data sources. Therefore, they hope to understand any safety issues or adverse events associated with Delta 8 and CBD. These ‘novel’ data sources are social media sites, like Reddit, where consumers post product reviews, opinions, and reactions on a real time basis. 

The FDA hopes to learn concerns not typically seen in traditional studies by looking at consumer sites like Reddit. Additionally, the FDA now has a new report, called the Cannabis-Derived Products Data Acceleration Plan. There, the FDA explained how these sites will help them collect and understand these ‘emerging’ cannabinoids.

The FDA “needs information about general patterns of product use and emerging trends—and it needs this information in close to real time, so that the FDA can deploy its limited resources quickly and effectively,” the FDA’s report said. “The FDA believes that new approaches to detecting safety signals and other insights using diverse data sources and rigorous analytical methods can contribute significantly to FDA’s ability to respond to emerging and rapidly evolving product areas, like the CDP market.”

Next Steps

Before publishing their initial report, the FDA explained that they have already examined existing data. These include, but are not limited to: purchases, surveys, traceability, and mobile apps. From there, they hope to use social media to fill in the gaps. The report from the FDA explains

“Overall, the growth of the CDP [cannabis-derived products] market continues to outpace the growth in the science and our understanding of the public health implications of these products. The size and complexity of the CDP market—coupled with the public health concerns associated with CDPs—requires the efforts of diverse stakeholders…to identify new ways of detecting safety signals and accelerating appropriate research studies.”

Reddit offers a great variety of discussion boards involving almost everything, including cannabinoids. The Delta 8 subreddit is a place for people to post their opinions on different products. Additionally, consumers ask general questions, discuss dosages, and share their stories and experiences. For the FDA to now go through Reddit will show the government agency how the public feels about products and make more positive decisions surrounding their needs.

Future

The FDA stands to gain information from sites like Reddit. If they say it’s useful, there could be future reports on other ‘novel’ cannabinoids. Those include Delta 10, CBN, THCV, and CBG. Until then, we will wait for the FDA’s findings. We will update you with the latest as more information becomes available. 

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