There are all sorts of claims out there about CBD: It can cure cancer. It can protect against Alzheimer’s disease. It can treat autoimmune diseases and autism.
These and other claims about cannabidiol were advertised by companies that sell those products. And they all had one thing in common, according to the Federal Trade Commission: They were false.
The FTC announced on Thursday that it was penalizing six CBD companies for making such claims, including requiring some of them to pay more than $246,000 to the government from shares of their revenues.
“Over the last couple of years, there has been a proliferation of CBD-based products,” Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said on a conference call with reporters.
“Some of the CBD products promise to fix all sorts of ailments. But do any of these products have the scientific evidence to back up their claims? The answer to this, unfortunately, is no.”
The FTC said the six companies were ordered to stop making such claims, several were ordered to pay some of their profits from selling those products to the federal government, and told the firms that if they didn’t stop the false advertising they could face fines of up to $43,280.
Graciela Moreno, a spokeswoman for the CBD Industry Association, said such companies who make false claims “hurt the industry as a whole.”
“In such a new and uncharted industry, we need to continue to elevate and hold ourselves to a higher standard and do better” she said.
Smith acknowledged the “bit of a Wild West attitude about advertising” when CBD products first came onto the market, but over the last two years the agency has started to go after companies making false claims, forcing the industry to follow rules as those selling dietary supplements.
Published: December 18, 2020