On September 10, 2019, the FTC sent warning letters to companies advertising their CBD-infused products as treatments for serious diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.
This isn’t the first time that CBD companies have been sent warning letters reminding them to stop making medical claims.
Several companies that sell products with cannabidiol, or CBD, are facing scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission for advertising them as treatments for diseases and serious medical conditions without evidence to support the claims.
The FTC announced that it has issued warnings to three companies that sell CBD “gummies,” tinctures, oils, capsules, and creams, though the agency didn’t identify the firms. The businesses were given 15 days to inform regulators how they were addressing their concerns, which could lead to legal action and an order to refund consumers.
The FTC is not joking when it comes to sending warning letters.
One company promoted CBD as working “like magic,” and better than prescription opioid painkillers to relieve pain, according to an FTC statement. To support its claims that CBD had been “clinically proven” to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and other conditions, the company “states it has participated in ‘thousands of hours of research’ with Harvard researchers,” the agency said.
A second company endorses CBD as a “miracle pain remedy” for acute and chronic pain, including pain from cancer treatment and arthritis. Its website claims CBD products are proven treatments for a range of afflictions, from bipolar disorder to traumatic brain injuries and AIDS.
The third company promotes CBD gummies as highly effective at treating “the root cause of most major degenerative diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, fibromyalgia, cancer, asthma and a wide spectrum of autoimmune disorders,” according to the FTC.
In the letters, the FTC urges the companies to review all claims made for their products, including consumer testimonials, to ensure they are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. The letters also warn that selling CBD products without such substantiation could violate the FTC Act and may result in legal action that could result in an injunction and an order to return money to consumers. The letters instruct the companies to notify the FTC within 15 days of the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns.
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