By Teeka Tiwari, editor, Palm Beach Daily
One doctor called it “by far, the most dangerous drug ever made.”
Each year, nearly 150 Americans die from it… and another 80,000 who use it are hospitalized.
And just recently, the drug eclipsed hepatitis C as the No. 1 cause of liver damage in America.
It’s so dangerous, just 25 of these pills could kill you. That’s barely twice the daily recommended dosage. By comparison, you could take 500 four-milligram Valium tablets and still survive.
The name of this highly toxic drug is acetaminophen. You might be more familiar with its trade name, Tylenol.
Let me be clear… When taken correctly, Tylenol is safe.
An estimated 50 million people take Tylenol every week. However, few are likely aware of the massive damage it can cause when taken even slightly above its recommended dosage (3,250 milligrams – or 10 tablets – per day for regular strength).
That’s why Tylenol is now the leading cause of liver damage in America.
Clearly, many Americans are misusing this drug. Yet the FDA allows Johnson & Johnson to market Tylenol with impunity.
Now, I’m not suggesting it shouldn’t. What I am suggesting is the FDA should be more even-handed with how it applies its rules.
And today, I’ll tell you why that’s important for one of the megatrends we’re following…
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FDA Using Flawed Science
Last month, the FDA released a scathing review of cannabidiol (CBD), the active compound in a legal type of cannabis called hemp.
You’re probably already familiar with one type of cannabis: marijuana (also known as pot or weed). It contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. It’s the psychoactive compound that makes people feel “high.”
Now, the federal government lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. So it gets the same treatment as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.
But hemp is another type of cannabis that’s already legal at the federal level. And unlike THC, the CBD from hemp doesn’t make you feel intoxicated.
The FDA review linked CBD to everything from liver damage to diarrhea. As an avid user of CBD for its anti-inflammatory effects, it concerned me.
Had I missed something in my research?
After all, the World Health Organization (WHO) had given CBD a clean bill of health. In a 2017 research report, it wrote:
To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.
Numerous other studies have also proven CBD is safe to use.
So I dug deeper… and what I found shocked me: The FDA based its review on biased and sloppy reporting.
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It appears the FDA may have drawn some of its preliminary conclusions from a deeply flawed study involving mice.
In the study, researchers gave 246 to 2,460 mg of CBD to mice – or the equivalent of 16,728 to 167,000 mg for a 150-pound human. That’s about 11 to 111 times more than the highest daily CBD dosage studied to date.
The study found this dosing level – in combination with other drugs given to the mice – caused liver damage.
If I conducted a similar test on myself, I’d have to consume over 80 bottles of high-potency 2,000 mg CBD pills per day. And they cost $75 apiece (about $6,000 per day).
Let’s compare that to Tylenol…
If I take just 25 pills – or about $10 worth – it could kill me. So you can see the potential for accidental misuse of Tylenol is much greater than with CBD.
So what does this FDA review really mean?
Helping Big Pharma
The truth is, thousands of people report that CBD is a world-class treatment for inflammation and pain. It’s cheap, and studies show it’s easily tolerated by most people and non-habit forming. Plus, it has very low toxicity.
As I see it, the problem is that widespread CBD use threatens the $2 billion per year Johnson & Johnson makes from Tylenol.
It threatens the nearly $95 billion per year made from all anti-inflammatory drugs… and the $26.4 billion a year made off opioids.
In short, this low-risk, non-intoxicating drug directly threatens the bottom line of at least 17 major pharma companies.
Is it any wonder the FDA – an agency stuffed full of current, former, and future pharma executives – is using poor science and fearmongering to slow down patient adoption of CBD?
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The facts are, CBD has changed many lives for the better.
That’s why the World Anti-Doping Agency just took it off the banned substance list. It’s why the NFL is considering removing it from its own banned substance list. And it’s also why retailers like CVS, Walgreens, Barneys, and even Sephora have been offering it in products on their store shelves.
Here’s the key takeaway: The FDA’s negative stance on CBD won’t stand up under the light of rigorous scientific review. That means the sell-off we’ve seen in CBD stocks due to its review is a buying opportunity.
According to Research and Markets, the global cannabis market is expected to reach $75.7 billion by 2026.
And Merrill Lynch estimates that non-intoxicating cannabis alone will disrupt $2.6 trillion worth of industries in the next few years, including drugs and industrials.
We’re still early in the legal cannabis trend. There will be more hiccups in the coming months and years. But there’s no doubt about it… this megatrend is here to stay.
If you want broad exposure to this trend, consider the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ). It tracks 37 of the top cannabis companies. Just make sure to position-size rationally.