FDA and FTC issue warning letters to CBD-manufacturing companies making false claims
Recently, three companies marketing cannabidiol (CBD) products were issued warning letters by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against making false claims that their CBD-infused products were useful in the treatment of diseases like fibromyalgia, neuropsychiatric disorder, Alzheimer’s, and cancer without adequate evidence. The companies which received these letters from the agencies were Nutra Pure, PotNetwork Holdings, and Advanced Spine and Pain.
The companies misleadingly advertised that supplements containing cannabidiol or CBD were effective in managing certain disorders. The marketed products for which these claims were made were Hemp Oil, CBD Oil, Liquid Gold Gummies, CBD for Dogs, and CBD Softgels. Nutra Pure went to the extent of claiming that one of its CBD products was backed by scientific evidence and was useful for the management of seizures.
Unsubstantiated claims regarding CBD
Although the FDA and FTC have issued a joint warning letter for the first time together, the agencies have been actively involved in cautioning companies against unfounded claims on CBD. Previously, in 2017, four companies were warned by the FDA to stop making unsubstantiated claims that their marijuana products and cannabis-based hemp could treat cancer. Also, the use of CBD products was banned in food products in 2018 by the FDA.
Considering the interest in CBD products, the FDA held its first ever public hearing on May 31, 2019 for exploring the safe usage of CBD in cosmetics, supplements, and food. However, a lot of concerns and issues emerged from this meeting and the FDA is still in the process of finding the answers to the same. One major area of concern that arose from this meeting was regarding the dosage. Various doctors, already prescribing CBD, were neither able to give satisfactory answers to the FDA panel about the proper dosages nor were they able to identify and talk about specific effects of this on consumers.
CBD is approved for epilepsy treatment
Nonetheless, the FDA is open to approving products that are backed by strong scientific evidence. Till date, the strongest scientific evidence available for its efficacy has been presented for the treatment of epilepsy in children. Two treatment-resistant and the harshest childhood epilepsy syndromes – Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, have responded well to CBD treatment.
Several studies have established that the number of seizures were drastically reduced and in some cases stopped altogether with the use of CBD. In fact, several remarkable videos are available on the internet showing the effectiveness of CBD in children. For these conditions, the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medication called Epidiolex which contains CBD.
The bottom line
Several CBD manufacturers have come under the government scanner for making wild and indefensible claims regarding the therapeutic efficacy of CBD. However, extensive research is warranted to establish CBD as an option for treating conditions like chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety. Moreover, the exact effective doses of CBD can’t be established without adequate high-quality evidence from human studies.
Since CBD is marketed as an unregulated supplement, it is exceedingly challenging for a consumer to know what exactly they are getting. It is therefore, important that if someone decides to take CBD, they must speak to their doctor to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with other medications and medical conditions.
Seeking treatment for marijuana addiction
In spite of its touted effectiveness, it is important to understand that CBD has several side effects like irritability, fatigue, and nausea. It can also increase the level of the blood-thinning medication, Coumadin, and the levels of other medications as well in the blood. Prolonged use can also lead to the risk of developing an addiction, which if left untreated, can lead to multiple complications.
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