FDA Sends a Shot: Stop Making CBD Claims

FDA Sends a Shot: Stop Making CBD Claims

“America’s booming CBD market received a cold splash of reality this week when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a letter to Curaleaf, a major US cannabis and CBD brand, warning that some of its product marketing violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Reaction from vendors and investors was swift and harsh. Within 24 hours the national drug store chain CVS announced it would remove some Curaleaf CBD products from its shelves. Shares of Curaleaf stock fell 8% in a day.”

Original Source: Leafly.com

FDA Flexes, The CBD Industry Shudders

Ouch. 

Anybody assuming that the FDA is helpless in the face of the CBD movement should think again.

With one well-directed warning letter, the agency has slapped down one of the biggest cannabis companies and sent ripples of alarm throughout the whole CBD industry. 

I guarantee you that the number one priority today in the marketing departments of hemp extract retailers is to pore over every word of content on their websites, packaging and social media to edit out any potentially offending words or phrases. 

They have their work cut out for them. 

Claims Rules Are a Bitch

CBD product with FDA disclaimer

Believe me, the FDA considers even the slightest whiff of a hint of a health claim to be unlawful.  

Even the old tried and true phrases like “is used for” or “has been shown to treat” or “may help”  are verboten. 

Other nice words like wellness, goodness well being are also out of bounds.

Positive testimonials from customers are not allowed. They might be able to say “Great product”, but anything more specific – no way. 

Even citing scientific studies can get you into hot water – if you only reference ones that support your products. 

FDA Trying to Herd Cats

These rules are not anything new.  All supplements are bound by them. But retailers often take liberties because the FDA can’t police every word. 

But no amount of asterisks will protect your CBD claims.

That’s because FDA in under enormous pressure to get a handle on CBD.  And federal agencies are not the most agile of organizations. 

So they will leverage the claims rule as a way of gaining control. 

To be fair, they have made plenty of public statements warning against implying any CBD health benefits.

It’s their one hammer right now. And it works quite nicely. 

Time to Behave, CBD

Frankly, this is a good thing (maybe not for Curaleaf).

Anyone with a little knowledge of FDA regulations has to cringe at the marketing tactics – more like shenanigans – of CBD makers lately.

This industry has to grow up and play by the rules like any other. 

The best companies are already doing so. 

John Astrab

Breath in the Goodness* of CBD

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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