Just when you thought it was safe to use CBD…
Last April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued warnings to three CBD companies about the medical claims they were making about their CBD products. These companies, who offer a variety of CBD products including full spectrum CBD oil, CBD isolate, and CBD vaporizers, were accused of using their website and social media platforms to promote “unfounded, egregious claims about their products’ ability to limit, treat or cure cancer, neurodegenerative conditions, autoimmune diseases, opioid use disorder and other serious diseases.” These unfounded claims include blog and social media headlines such as “How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety” and “CBD Benefits: Top 5 Research-Backed Benefits of CBD.”
Curaleaf, one of the companies served with this letter, went so far as to delete its entire company blog and pull a number of products from their shelves. Their offerings are now limited to topical CBD products, as well as CBD for pets.
We can thank the historic reputation of cannabis and its classification as a Schedule 1 drug for all this backlash, as well as the tendency of some companies to try to cash in on the CBD trend by making outsize, often dangerous claims about their products. Despite the large body of evidence of CBD’s potential to treat physical, mental and emotional conditions, the grey cloud of illegality around cannabis has made it difficult for CBD companies to obtain funding for scientific studies that would prove CBD’s medical use.
Despite the setback for the CBD industry at large, this development could be the catalyst needed to study the compound in greater detail, so that its applications can be supported by high-quality human-based evidence. In the meantime, the FDA says it is exploring “potential regulatory pathways” that would allow some CBD products to be legally marketed to the public.