The Feds Make a Stern Warning to CBD Companies Regarding Unfounded CBD Health Claims

The days of baseless health claims by CBD companies appears to be coming to an end. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is scrutinizing companies selling CBD products for releasing advertised statements that their products treat diseases and medical conditions.
Trista Best
Written by Trista Best, Registered Dietitian
Last Updated
Law and CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type compound known as a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is one among many of these compounds, one of which is tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the cannabinoid known to produce a psychoactive effect.1

CBD has been studied since the early ’90s since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body.1 This system contains two known receptors that interact with CBD to produce some anecdotal health benefits that are primarily supported by personal experience.

This is where the Feds step in.

Companies selling CBD products have made claims regarding these supposed health benefits without adequate science and studies to back them up. This doesn’t mean CBD doesn’t do what is being claimed, there just needs to be more evidence by specific companies.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is scrutinizing companies selling CBD products for releasing advertised statements that their products treat diseases and medical conditions.

The FTC issued an official warning to three specific CBD companies regarding their advertising claims. The names of the businesses were not released, but they were given 15 days to provide regulators with concrete steps of how they were addressed their concerns.

If the companies refused to adhere to the regulatory requirements they face legal action and will be required to refund their customers.

It is known that one company made the claim that CBD worked, like magic, and even alluded to the idea that it could be better than a prescription opioid painkiller for relieving pain. The company allegedly went a step further to claim their CBD product could treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s among others.

A second company made a similar statement regarding their CBD product as being a miracle pain remedy specifically for acute and chronic pain. The issue lies in the company’s claims that CBD is proven to treat physical, mental, and emotional conditions.

The final company on the hot seat stated their CBD gummies could treat, “the root cause of most major degenerative diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, fibromyalgia, cancer, asthma, and a wide spectrum of autoimmune disorders,” per the FTC statement.2

In April three similar companies were sent warning letters by the FTC as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These company names were released; Nutra Pure, PotNetwork Holds, and Advanced Pain.

Why the sudden attention by the FTC and FDA on the CBD market? In 2018 CBD products reached $600 million dollars in sales and are expected to reach $22 billion according to Brightfield Group in just five years.3

Sources:

  1. Shenglong Z, Ujendra K. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signalsing and Function in the Central Nervous System. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(3):833.
  2. Federal Trade Commission. FTC Sends Warning Letters to Companies Advertising Their CBD-Infused Products as Treatments for Serious Diseases, Including Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Multiple Sclerosis. Website: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2019/09/ftc-sends-warning-letters-companies-advertising-their-cbd-infused. Published September 10, 2019. Accessed September 17, 2019.
  3. In-Depth Insights on the CBD and Cannabis Industries. Brightfield Group website: https://www.brightfieldgroup.com. Accessed September 17, 2019.
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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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