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Monday, March 30, 2015

FDA Cracks Down on CBD Companies - by Joe Dauphinais

     Warning letters have been issued by the Food and Drug Administration to seven companies specializing in CBD products. Among other allegations, these companies were given a warning for marketing unapproved drugs in the treatment of humans and animals.

     CBD is one of the main therapeutic compounds found in the cannabis plant, and is gaining popularity lately, due to its reported ability to “heal without the high”

The Food and Drug Administration warned:

     “It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease, and often they do not even contain the ingredients found on the label. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.”

     Further investigation showed that many of these ‘medicines’ did not actually contain the amount of CBD that was indicated on the packaging, and several of the samples tested contained no cannabinoids whatsoever. The FDA has posted a consumer warning on their website, with the company names and product test results listed.

     The legality of CBD in the United States is a grey area. Some states have made specific provisions to allow for CBD medicines. Being that cannabidiol is present in hemp, which has been used as a food source for eons, some argue that CBD is grand-fathered into the food supply and can be marketed as a supplement. The FDA offers no guidelines on how to properly label these supplements “but reserves the right to take action when appropriate to preserve and protect the public health,” said FDA spokesman Jeff Ventura.

     Some anti-marijuana crusaders are chalking this up as a triumph. “Let’s hope this is a sign of more intervention to come,” sneered Kevin Sabet, who commands the anti-marijuana legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

     Ironically enough, some members of the medical marijuana community also view this FDA interdiction as a step in the right direction. With real people finding relief everyday from medical cannabis, the concept of buying a fake or mislabeled treatment could be devastating. 

     “I’m extremely encouraged that they’re taking a look at this from the consumer point of view of safety,”  said Paige Figi, whose daughter Charlotte suffers from Dravet syndrome, a rare disease for which CBD has proven to be an effective treatment. Affectionately named after the little girl, Charlotte’s Web is a high in CBD and low in THC cannabis strain that is intentionally bred and grown to reduce the “high” associated with cannabis use. Charlotte’s family uses a third party to test the purity and strength of the plants they use to treat her.

For a full list of the companies, complete test results, and to read the letters they received from the FDA go to:

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