Washington, D.C.–The Federal Trade Commission announced that, as part of its regular monitoring of health-related advertising claims, it sent warning letters to three companies that sell oils, tinctures, capsules, gummies, and creams containing cannabidiol (CBD) from cannabis. The FTC did not identifying the three companies publicly, but said the letters warned that “it is illegal to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease without competent and reliable scientific evidence to support such claims.”
FTC reported that all three of the companies advertised that their CBD products treat or cure serious diseases and health conditions. A few of the concerns noted by FTC:
- Information on one of the company’s website claimed CBD “works like magic” to relieve “even the most agonizing pain” better than prescription opioid painkillers. The company also said it has participated in “thousands of hours of research” with Harvard researchers bolster claims that CBD has been “clinically proven” to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), fibromyalgia, cigarette addiction, and colitis.
- Another company, which advertises CBD as a “miracle pain remedy” for acute and chronic pain, including pain from cancer treatment and arthritis, claims on its website that CBD products are proven to treat autism, anorexia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), stroke, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, MS, fibromyalgia, cancer, and AIDS.
- A third company’s website 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, this company also claims its CBD cream relieves arthritis pain and that its CBD oil may effectively treat depression, PTSD, epilepsy, heart disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and asthma.
Related: FTC/FDA Warning Letters Issued to CBD Companies
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FTC urged the three companies to review all claims made for their products, including consumer testimonials, to ensure they are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. FTC warned 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 companies were instructed to notify the FTC within 15 days of the specific actions they have taken to address the concerns outlined in the warning letters.
As WholeFoods previously reported, FTC took action against companies earlier this year, in Aprile 2019. That story here.