DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Cannabidiol or CBD can’t be marketed as a dietary supplement or food additive based on current Food and Drug Administration regulations. 

The decision comes after the FDA explored potential regulatory pathways for CBD products.

“I’m not really surprised,” said Dr. Mark McClellan, Director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and former commissioner of the U.S. FDA. 

“It would have been nice if [the] FDA could have made the decision sooner, but they tried to look very closely at the evidence that is available on CBD and didn’t find that much,” McClellan said. 

The FDA says the hemp or marijuana-derived ingredient raises safety concerns, especially with long-term use.

“Some of the concerns have been around damage to the liver especially if it’s used for long term and at high doses, very little evidence on whether pregnant women or kids who use CBD might have unusual effects too.”

Some studies have also shown possible harm to the male reproductive system and McClellan says these potential health risks can be difficult to pick up.

“People might feel better in the short term when they’re using it but only over time develop say a problem with their liver or problem during a pregnancy or a problem with kids’ development,” McClellan said. 

The FDA says it’s prepared to work with Congress to create new rules for these products that would protect the safety and health of consumers. New rules could include clear labels, regulations regarding contaminants, limits on CBD levels and a minimum purchase age.

“Many people swear by CBD, and I don’t think that’s going to change. I would encourage people to think about long-term use, think about the doses they’re using,” McClellan said. “It’s a little bit buyer beware for now until these issues are sorted out.”

The growing CBD market is projected to reach sales of $22.05 billion by 2030.