Curaleaf Holding Inc., the most successful company in the CBD industry is being targeted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing claims made on its website and social media accounts.
The company was issued a letter by the FDA on Monday warning that their marketing efforts made claims of being able to treat certain conditions with CBD as a drug would. Curaleaf has fifteen days to respond to the FDA about how they plan to correct this matter.
This message from the FDA was loud and clear. By going after the top company, they are setting an example, that any company that doesn’t comply with the FDA is at risk of being targeted and potential shutdown.
Since the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, the production of hemp became legalized in the United States. The bill led to a wave of CBD hemp products entering the market. This has created a lot of confusion around the already complex subject of CBD.
Products are entering the market in places such as Gas stations, hair salons, mom & pop stores, and many others. However, just because CBD products are sold in stores, doesn’t mean they are safe or that the labeling is accurate.
This is a mess that the FDA is left to clean up. The FDA is in charge of deeming CBD products safe or unsafe. However, due to massive amounts of brands and products entering the market, along with little research due to cannabis being a Schedule I drug, this is an overwhelming task.
The FDA has even offered public hearings, inviting experts and CBD company owners to weigh in with their thoughts and opinions. The invitations were intended to help the FDA understand CBD in more depth and also expedite this large task.
Curaleaf Incident in More Detail
This incident will be a catalyst for CBD companies to be extra careful when issuing marketing claims for their products. The claims made by Curaleaf were exemplified on the FDA’s website. Here’s what the FDA wrote on their site:
“As described in the warning letter issued to Curaleaf, the company used product webpages, its online store and social media websites to make unfounded claims about more than a dozen different CBD products. Examples of the unsupported and unapproved claims made by the company include:
- “CBD has been demonstrated to have properties that counteract the growth of [and/or] spread of cancer.”
- “CBD was effective in killing human breast cancer cells.”
- “CBD has also been shown to be effective in treating Parkinson’s disease.”
- “CBD has been linked to the effective treatment of Alzheimer’s disease ….”
- “CBD is being adopted more and more as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical-grade treatments for depression and anxiety.”
- “CBD can also be used in conjunction with opioid medications, and a number of studies have demonstrated that CBD can in fact reduce the severity of opioid-related withdrawal and lessen the buildup of tolerance.”
- “CBD oil is becoming a popular, all-natural source of relief used to address the symptoms of many common conditions, such as chronic pain, anxiety … ADHD.”
- “What are the benefits of CBD oil? …. Some of the most researched and well-supported hemp oil uses include …. Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, and even schizophrenia …. Chronic pain from fibromyalgia, slipped spinal discs . . . Eating disorders and addiction . . ..”
- “[V]ets will prescribe puppy Xanax to pet owners which can help in certain instances but is not necessarily a desirable medication to give your dog continually. Whereas CBD oil is natural and offers similar results without the use of chemicals.”
- “For dogs experiencing pain, spasms, anxiety, nausea or inflammation often associated with cancer treatments, CBD (aka cannabidiol) may be a source of much-needed relief.”
The FDA has requested responses from Curaleaf within 15 working days stating how the violations will be corrected. Failure to correct the violations promptly may result in legal action, including product seizure and injunction.”