A Call for Regulation: Former NBA player Al Harrington, believes the CBD industry needs some regulation.

Former NBA player Al Harrington, the founder of Viola Brands a cannabis company, believes the CBD industry needs some regulation.
Written by 
Trista Best, Registered Dietitian.
|Last Updated:
Al Harrington CBD FDA

The CBD industry has seen rapid growth over the past few years with no signs of slowing down. Consumers are using CBD in many forms from vaping to edibles, topicals to capsules and new forms on the horizon. Even pets are getting in on the CBD action.

We’ve known about the Endocannabinoid System since the late 1980s but over the years researchers have discovered more and more ways cannabidiol operates within this system to produce many health benefits.

These benefits have been the basis of the CBD boom we’ve seen in recent years. As with most products that experience quick growth and popularity manufacturers are quick to jump on the bandwagon and neglect quality and sometimes safety.

Former NBA player turned cannabis company owner, Al Harrington, recently expressed his concerns for the lack of regulation in the CBD industry. In an interview with FOX Business he explained his regulation worries with this example

“Right now, we could start a CBD company in our kitchen and then distribute it through the UPS mail service.”

Harrington is calling for immediate regulation of CBD products. This plea for regulation does not come from negative viewpoint of CBD, the opposite really. Harrington founded Viola Brands after he saw first-hand how tinctures, oils, and capsules helped her glaucoma and diabetes.

Why CBD Needs Regulation? 

With no regulation from the FDA, because CBD products are considered a supplement, manufacturers are left to develop their formulations with little guidance or accountability.

Guidance – From dosage to formulation there is no guidance from a governing authority. While independent researchers are conducting studies to help manufacturers make their products in the best possible manner, there is still little understanding of what dose is necessary to treat specific conditions or produce health benefits.

Accountability – Without accountability due to a lack of regulation there is little assurance of product safety. CBD products can be made without containing any CBD at all or with harmful substances, whether intentionally or unintentionally added by manufacturers.

Regulation over Elimination

Some people would like to see the CBD industry just be quiet and disappear. This view is mostly founded in lack of knowledge or understanding of the compound. Cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) are two separate cannabis compounds. THC is the compound that produces the psychoactive effects, high, associated with marijuana.

Some people view them as one in the same, but legal CBD contains less than .3% THC. This is where regulation would bring some stability to the industry. Harrington expresses in the same interview that this is a major concern for him as a former pro-athlete.

Athletes on all spectrums, amateur to pro, use CBD products to help their performance and mitigate pain. However, with a lack of regulation some manufacturers are selling CBD products with very little CBD, if any, and containing higher than allowed THC. This can be detrimental to professional athletes careers if these products make them test positive for THC.


The concerns that Harrington brings up, and more, may be alarming at first thought. In fact, they may lead some consumers to push back or quit using CBD altogether. Both of these reactions are extreme and likely unnecessary.

When choosing a CBD product many, if not all, of these concerns can be avoided by purchasing from a reputable supplier. Manufacturers who have put time and money into developing a high-quality product have done the necessary research to make the claims that make.

An easy way to know if you’re purchasing from a reputable CBD supplier is third party testing. These companies voluntarily allow their hemp and extract to be testing for safety and efficacy by unbiased labs. To take it a step further, a highly reputable company will make these results available to their consumers through their website.

Trista Best
Trista Best
Registered Dietitian
Trista Best is a Registered Dietitian, Public Health Dietitian, and former college Nutrition Professor. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2009, Masters of Public Health Nutrition from Liberty University in 2014, and Bachelors of Science in Food and Environmental Sciences from the University of Alabama in 2018. Her dietetic background is in Public Health, Medical Grade Supplements, and Childhood Nutrition.

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