Health claims about cannabidiol (CBD) products are facing new scrutiny from yet another federal government enforcer. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it sent warning letters to three undisclosed CBD companies. Though the FTC did not release the names of the companies receiving the warning letters, the warnings were stiff, reminding these entities that advertising CBD products can prevent, treat, or cure human disease, without competent and reliable scientific evidence to support such claims, is illegal.
In the letters, the FTC also encouraged these companies to review all their advertising claims and customer testimonials to ensure they are supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence; reminded them that unsubstantiated health claims could violate the FTC Act; and instructed each to notify the FTC of the specific actions they have taken to address the FTC’s concerns.
This latest round of letters follows similar warning letters from the FTC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this year. Both signal enhanced legal exposure for CBD companies. This time, however, the FTC acted independently, which amounts to a declaration that the agency views itself as having an important and differentiated law enforcement role, and one they fully intend to assert.