Attorney General Letitia James of New York addressed a letter to one CBD oil company advertising its products as the answer to fighting coronavirus, demanding them to stop the false claims.
A cease-and-desist order from James’ office was sent to Finest Herbalist. This Utah-based company has been promoting its Pure Herbal Total Defense Immunity Blend as a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, there is still no vaccine known to prevent coronavirus.
James told in a prepared statement that companies like Finest Herbalist falsely give consumers security, which consequently puts their lives at risk due to the misrepresentation of products and their alleged efficacy against COVID-19. She exclaimed deceptive marketing at a time of crisis like this outbreak is not acceptable as it’s an issue related to public health and the safety of citizens.
Asked for a comment, Finest Herbalist stated the company disapproves and condones the marketing strategy that has come to light following the cease-and-desist warning by the New York AG.
The company revealed a third-party advertising firm was put in charge of the product’s marketing. It instructed sellers to use the right advertisements. They were told to shun false claims saying CBD products are the answer to coronavirus and other diseases.
It also advised the vendors to take any necessary action to prevent unfounded declarations about the effectiveness of the product.
Several other similar letters were sent out by James’ office to firms that say their air purifying products can fight the 2019 coronavirus.
James sent another similarly-fashioned letter to Alex Jones, a conspiracy theory show host for advertising an alleged coronavirus-killing toothpaste. Meanwhile, Jones has denied the accusation.
Proof for health claims
The Federal Trade Commission has previously warned several companies that are claiming to have miracle treatment products for some serious health conditions. The commission stated the CBD companies could face legal action should they fail to provide factual scientific evidence to prove their claims.
Some companies have blatantly declared on their websites that their cannabidiol products have “proven” effectiveness against health conditions like cancer, autism, anorexia, and aids. Another firm claims their CBD gummies are highly effective against degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis.
The FTC demanded these companies review every claim on their product, which includes consumer feedback, to ensure that such claims are real and valid.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) also sent out warnings to several companies since early 2019 for illegally selling CBD products that have unsubstantiated claims to cure Alzheimer’s disease, pain, and anxiety, among others.
In July, the body has notified Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Inc. for selling unapproved cannabidiol products illegally, alleging to treat several health conditions. The FDA stated such claims could impede the consumer’s decision to seek medical care.
It also cited the lack of answers concerning safety, science, and quality standards regarding unapproved products, particularly those that trick customers into buying by highlighting unfounded therapeutic claims.
Known CBD facts
As of this writing, there is only one cannabidiol-incorporated product approved by the FDA. Epidiolex is a prescription drug used as an adjunct treatment to two severe epilepsy forms. Additionally, it is illegal to use cannabidiol as a food additive or marketing it as a dietary supplement.
Cannabidiol, shortened to CBD, is a derived substance from Cannabis sativa L., the source plant responsible for producing marijuana. However, CBD does not have the psychoactive effect or the ‘high’ that users experience when using marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound also present in the cannabis plant, causes the intoxication but is present in low amounts in CBD.
While companies and manufacturers tout the many benefits of CBD, the FDA cautions that this substance may cause potential side effects that could harm the user’s health. Some studies show CBD may cause liver injury, and one study involving CBD-exposed animals suffered male reproductive toxicity.
More recently, several users have complained about CBD causing false-positive results on random drug testing, with some getting fired from their job because of it. A John Hopkins study found that vape users incorporating cannabidiol in their tincture have received positive urine drug screening tests.
In the paper printed in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, two out of six participants vaping 0.39% THC-containing vapes tested positive in urine-test methods. These tests are commonly used in random employment drug screening, or justice-related or school system-related drug tests.