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FDA and FTC sends warning letters to three companies for marketing CBD products for false medical claims


Source of image: Marijuana Break

Three companies that market CBD based products received warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission. The departments are saying that these companies are making false claims about treating diseases as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

The three companies- Nutura Pure, PotNetwork Holdings and Advanced Spine and Pain are falsely claiming and advertising the effectiveness of their products into treating severe diseases like cancer. These supplements contain cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD.

The supplements produced by these companies are marketed with names such as “Hemp oil”, “CBD for Dogs”, “Liquid Gold Gummies”, “CBD Softgels” and “CBD Oil.”One of the 3 companies – Nutra Pure – advertise their product saying that scientific research support has found their product to be effective as an anti-seizure medication.

“According to their advertisements, the products can effectively treat diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, and ‘neuropsychiatric disorders,’” the FDA and FTC said jointly in a statement. The warning letter instructs the companies to report the FTC within 15 days of receipt of the letter for the specific action taken to address the department’s concerns.

It is the first time that the FDA and FTC have issued a joint warning letter together, however, this is not the first time that companies have tried to market their product and gain traction via false claims labelling under scientific research and studies.

In 2017, the FDA had warned 4 companies to stop making unproven claims that their cannabis- based hemp and marijuana products have the potential to treat cancer. In 2018, the FDA issued a statement which banned CBD in food products in any form.

However, the FDA declared that it will hold its first public hearing on May 31 to explore and explain how CBD can be effectively and safely used in food, supplements and cosmetics.

“We’ve seen, or heard of interest in, products containing cannabis or cannabis derivatives that are marketed as human drugs, dietary supplements, conventional foods, animal foods and drugs, and cosmetics, among other things,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in the statement Tuesday.

CBD or cannabidiol is a component of a hemp plant which falls under the cannabis family, marijuana. Hemp shares a similar gene with the marijuana plant, both have abundance of cannabidiol present in their plants which is a non-psychoactive component.

But marijuana contains high levels of THC or tetrahydro cannabidiol which is a psychoactive chemical that causes a high and if taken in excessive amounts can lead to severe diseases such as epilepsy, stress, anxiety, insomnia and even organ failures.

High potency marijuana combined with high frequency is one of the most dangerous drug substances for humans. It can lead to a wide range of mental disorders and cause death too. This is why CBD is legalized from hemp-based plants for the consumer market.

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CBD is widely being sold as a medical products in a gamut of  products including CBD-infused lattes, pills, creams, roll-ons, massage lotions and even baked goods. However, it is proven that CBD has potential health benefits and is safe for human consumption.

So far, the Food and Drug Administration claims that CBD can be used for two rare forms of epilepsy. Extensive research and studies have been going on in the U.S. to find the scope of treatment of CBD for an array of diseases.

Under the Federal law, products with negligible or as low as 0.3% THC fall under the legal cannabis category, anything above this mark is considered illegal. Nonetheless, the police has been arresting truck drivers of possessing illegal marijuana and cannabis trafficking. One has to serve a term of five years in jail for an allegation as serious as marijuana trafficking.

The strips that are used to identify drugs are extremely sensitive to THC which gives false positives for substances with even rare traces of THC. The police department has demanded for a more sophisticated way which could be used on the field to identify the precise composition of a particular substance.

The issue has been hampering various businesses to flourish and reach out to a larger consumer market with their CBD products. Crossing state boundaries and distributing products that are CBD based is becoming difficult for truckers every day.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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