Topical Collection on Herbal and Natural Supplements under law in Virginia

Natural Supplements

Although they are exempt from the FDAs regulation for Investigational New Drugs, a growing number of clinical trials have been registered on NIHs Web-based Clinical Trial Registry ( for herbal products and food additives. Under existing U.S. laws, all food additives sold in the United States, including herbal supplements, are regulated under a specific category of foods by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Under this designation, regulatory scientists do not regularly assess the effectiveness of all supplements sold domestically before they are sold, despite the content variation and phytochemical complexity that frequently characterized them. Manufacturers of herbal products are not required to submit evidence of safety and effectiveness to the FDA before marketing.

Dietary supplements spiked with drugs or controlled substances adulterants cannot legally be sold because all drugs-containing products must have been approved by FDA prior to marketing and are subject to the proper controls on access to consumers. Herbal products, which are analogous to vitamins and mineral supplements, are classified by FDA as food additives, not drugs. Herbals and botanicals are sold as dietary supplements, regulated differently from pharmaceutical drugs. Despite the natural origins of many herbs and botanicals, these substances are considered food additives and should be taken carefully, since use can cause adverse effects.

Dietary supplements include not only herbs and botanical products, but also vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and some other nonprescription products that enhance diet. Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, enzymes, and other substances that can be complemented, or added to, a diet in order to fill nutritional needs or make up for nutritional deficiencies. Dietary supplements have stricter manufacturing and quality-control regulations to comply with than foods, and must thus be manufactured at CGM-compliant manufacturing facilities approved to manufacture dietary supplements. Herbs are not standardized, and dosages vary from capsule to capsule of herbs, and product to product.

Supplements are not required to undergo the same rigorous testing that prescription and over-the-counter medicines do, nor are they regulated by the FDA in the same way. While the FDA dictates what is required in a facility to keep them safe, local and state regulations have the final say in where you are allowed legally to manufacture your products. While it is completely legal to prepare your own tinctures, tea blends, and salves for sharing with friends and family, you need to comply with regulations in order to sell your plant-based products or medicines at retail or online. The DEA can legally target any business selling or marketing products making CBD-based health claims, particularly if these products include the interstate commerce of cannabis extracts.

The fast-track legalization of cannabis and CBD has placed the Drug Enforcement Administration in an uneasy spot. The FDA bans the sale of CBD in any health products, dietary supplements, or foods that are not approved – that pretty much means anything but seizure medication Epidiolex. The only approved medical application of CBD is for the seizure drug Epidiolex, even though it has a number of other suspected benefits.

These federal provisions, as written, also contain a loophole, in which a store is allowed to sell any amount of CBD they wish, so long as they make no health claims on their products, put it into foods, or put it into supplements. Fortunately, in 2013, the laws were amended to allow for a lot more types of products. After that, although developers of pharmaceutical drugs were required to submit to FDA regulations and conduct clinical trials to establish drug effectiveness, dietary and botanical plant-based supplements were exempted from that requirement .

Supplements are not supposed to replace standard treatment for diabetes. Alongside these treatments, diabetics have tried a number of herbs and supplements to help them manage diabetes. These alternative treatments are supposed to help manage blood sugar levels, decrease resistance to insulin, and prevent complications related to diabetes. More and more people are turning to alternative medicines and supplements.

A growing number of Americans are using herbal products for both prevention and treatment. The market for herbs is growing consistently by approximately 20% per year, and in the U.S. alone, sales of herbal food supplements were estimated to be over $5.3 billion in 2011. Current studies suggest that there are limited health benefits to taking herbs and botanical supplements, and there is no convincing evidence that herbs should be used for treating or preventing any medical condition.

There is only limited current evidence to suggest some supplements do provide the benefits mentioned above for humans. Although the ADA does not typically recommend the use of micronutrient supplements for individuals with diabetes, they recommend that individuals at increased risk of micronutrient deficiencies (e.g., individuals following very-low-calorie diets, older adults, and strict vegetarians) might benefit from supplementing with multivitamins. In fact, according to the ADA, diabetics are more likely than non-diabetics to use supplements.

Some of each supplement may interfere with other treatments and medications. Even if a product is not included on this list, consumers should exercise caution before using some products. Depending on where you live, this might or might not include your own home (most states do not permit the manufacture of food additives in homes), a shared-use commercial kitchen space (a rental space for small businesses), your own manufacturing space, or the restaurant or other eating establishment in which you are employed. The patient reported that she did not use insulin or any other medication to reduce her blood sugar; however, she did disclose that she had recently used V8 supplements purchased from a Lynchburg area local convenience store. The individual had no known exposure to insulin or other hypoglycemic medications; however, he disclosed recent use of the V8, an oral male enhancement supplement, purchased from a local convenience store in the Richmond metropolitan area.