Three companies get talking-to over CBD health claims


Three unnamed companies were on the receiving end of firm but undoubtedly polite letters from the Federal Trade Commission warning them to take a long, hard look at their cannabidiol (CBD) advertising.

Using scare quotes designed to make them seem like dangerously unhip parents, the commission announced that the missives were sent to “three companies that sell oils, tinctures, capsules, ‘gummies,’ and creams containing cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant.”

Apparently the anonymous companies have been claiming that their CBD-related products cure or alleviate a variety of conditions, including (take a deep breath) cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cigarette addiction, colitis, autism, anorexia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), stroke, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, AIDS, asthma, and, as one company allegedly claimed, “most major degenerative diseases.”

The commission asked that the three recipients gather the evidence needed to back up these and other claims, warning of potential action under the FTC Act should they fail to do so.

The Takeaway

These latest letters add just a little more torque to the slowly but steadily turning wheel of federal CBD-related activity we discussed back in April, inaugurated by a statement from then-FDA Commissioner Gottlieb and a joint letter-writing campaign between the Food and Drug Administration and the commission. FDA-sponsored hearings followed, along with yet more letters, but still – no bombshells regarding a comprehensive CBD regulatory stance.

We’re keeping our eyes open.