The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sent warning letters to three companies that sell oils, tinctures, capsules, ‘gummies’, and creams containing CBD.
The letters warn the companies, which the FTC is not identifying publicly, that it is illegal to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease without reliable scientific evidence to support the claims.
The FTC states one company’s website claims CBD “works like magic” to relieve “even the most agonizing pain” better than prescription opioid painkillers.
The company states it has participated in “thousands of hours of research” with Harvard researchers to bolster its claims that CBD has been “clinically proven” to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), fibromyalgia, cigarette addiction, and colitis.
Another company’s website claims 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.
The 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”.
The 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.
The letters 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 FDA is clamping down on companies illegally selling CBD products that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure serious diseases such as cancer.
In July FDA commissioner Ned Sharpless said: “Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims — such as claims that CBD products can treat serious diseases and conditions — can put patients and consumers at risk by leading them to put off important medical care.
“Additionally, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, effectiveness, and quality of unapproved products containing CBD.
Medical experts believe CBD has numerous health benefits, but there is currently only one FDA-approved medical product with CBD in it.