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Central State To Research Smokable And Vaporized Hemp Products For The FDA

An advertisement for CBD at a gas station in Wilberforce
Chris Welter
An advertisement for CBD at a gas station in Wilberforce

Central State University in Wilberforce has received a $1.3 million hemp research contract from the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Central State hopes the work from their three year research contract will help the FDA better understand the chemistry of smokable and vapable hemp products, so the agency can determine how to regulate them. Dr. Brandy Phipps is a professor of Natural Products at Central State. She says the “natural” marketing around smokable hemp masks the truth.

“Because, as you know, anybody who has been looking at smokable hemp flowers and smokable vape products: It's safe. This is better for you than everything else, right? We don't know that,” she said.

Despite the unknowns, smokable hemp products are widely available. You can find them at all sorts of places: from big box stores to gas stations.

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is the Managing Editor at The Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.

Chris got his start in radio in 2017 when he completed a six-month training at the Center for Community Voices. Most recently, he worked as a substitute host and the Environment Reporter at WYSO.