Serious health claims for CBD products need proof

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By Bridget Small
FTC Consumer Education Specialist
September 11, 2019

Three companies that tout their cannabis-derived products as miracle treatments for serious illnesses have gotten letters from the FTCwarning that they’re at risk for legal action unless they have sound scientific evidence to back up their claims. The companies sell oils, capsules, edible gummies, and creams that contain cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant.

One company claims that CBD works like “magic” to relieve even the most agonizing pain. The company claims CBD has been clinically proven to treat diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. The second company’s website says CBD products are proven to treat twenty health conditions, including autism, anorexia, cancer, and AIDS. The third company’s site promotes CBD edible gummies as highly effective at treating the root cause of most major degenerative diseases. It also claims its CBD cream relieves pain and that its CBD oil may effectively treat depression, PTSD, epilepsy, and other diseases.

This week, the FTC sent letters that urge the companies to review all claims — including consumer testimonials — made for their products, to ensure they’re backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence. The letters tell the companies to notify the FTC within 15 days of the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns.

Talk with your doctorbefore you try a healthcare product you find online. Find out about the product’s risks, side effects, and possible interactions with any medications you’re taking

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