Healthy INSIDER podcast: reporters explore, debate Impact of FDA approval of CBD medicine

In this podcast, reporters Todd Runestad and Josh Long review last week’s landmark event—FDA approval of Epidiolex, a CBD medicine to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy—and debate the potential impact on the natural products industry.

Todd Runestad, Content Director,

June 29, 2018

In this podcast, Informa reporters Todd Runestad and Josh Long weigh in on FDA's recent approval of Epidiolex, a CBD medicine to treat seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

Runestad—ingredients and supplements editor with New Hope Network—described the development as a "landmark move" and "quite earthshaking."

"This flies in the face of decades of political rhetoric, public policy and the legal standards underpinning cannabis prohibition," Runestad, a veteran journalist who has been writing on nutrition science since 1997, said.

Long—legal editor for Natural Products INSIDER—noted FDA has consistently asserted CBD can't be lawfully sold in dietary supplements.

He argued the risks of enforcement action from FDA have increased now that a CBD drug has been approved by FDA. He also maintained the sale of so-called hemp extracts doesn't insulate a company from FDA enforcement action.

"You can call it a hemp extract, but if FDA goes out there and tests and finds that the majority of your product consists of CBD, and the other cannabinoids are found in minute amounts, I think there could be a serious problem there," Long said.

Runestad, however, argued it's less risky now to be in the CBD space, and he suggested FDA's recent decision will serve to increase the already widespread consumer awareness of CBD.

Concluded the reporter: "I'm beginning to buy into the idea that cannabis is the biggest natural product in the history of natural products."

Click the play button to hear the podcast in its entirety.


About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director,, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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