FTC Joins FDA in Sending Warning Letters to Companies Advertising and Selling Products Containing Cannabidiol (CBD) Claiming to Treat Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and Other Diseases
As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure that dietary supplements and other health-related products are advertised truthfully, and that efficacy claims made for such products are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence, the Federal Trade Commission joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in sending warning letters to three companies marketing products containing cannabidiol to treat and cure a variety of serious diseases and conditions.
According to the letters, which the agencies sent to Nutra Pure LLC; PotNetwork Holdings, Inc.; and Advanced Spine and Pain, LLC (d/b/a Relievus), the FTC believes that the advertised products may violate the FTC Act by making false or unsubstantiated health claims.
The three companies advertise a range of supplements they say contain cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, such as “Hemp Oil,” “CBD Softgels,” “Liquid Gold Gummies,” and “CBD Oil.” According to their advertisements, the products can effectively treat diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, and “neuropsychiatric disorders.” In addition, ads for products sold by Nutra Pure, LLC claim that, “Science also shows that CBD has anti-emetic, anti-convulsive, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties,” and that, “CBD is a viable option for minimizing these effects within the brain.”
The joint FTC and FDA letters warn the companies about the potential legal consequences of making unsupported health and efficacy claims in advertising, and strongly urge them to review all product claims they are making to ensure they are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. The letters instruct the companies to notify the FTC within 15 days of receipt of the letter of the specific action taken to address the agency’s concerns.
The FDA sent the warning letters, which the FTC co-signed, on March 28, 2019. (The staff contact is Richard Cleland, FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3088.)
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