Tuesday July 5, 2016

By Abby Hutmacher

Don't Listen to the FDA -- CBD Products Are Still A Great (Legal) Option News

CBD hemp products range from tinctures to concentrates, capsules, vaporizer oils and more. They’ve been known to have incredible medical benefits for a variety of people, plus they won’t make you high and can actually counter the psychoactivity of THC. And no, the FDA has not banned them as many suspect.

Recently, a slew of articles flooded the internet claiming that the FDA had banned CBD and hemp oil supplements. Though headlines like “HEALTH FREEDOM ALERT: The FDA just Outlawed CBDs and Hemp Oil Extracts by Claiming that all Plant Molecules Now Belong Exclusively to Big Pharma” is great for clicks and shares, the unfortunate nature of internet surfers means that most people never made it past the headline before chiming in about their disapproval. Hence, false information about the legality of CBD supplements has spread like wildfire.

But we can assure you that your CBD oils are still legal in America -- distributors just have to be more careful about their labeling. When product manufacturers and distributors purport that their product can work as effectively as prescription drugs to treat illnesses like epilepsy and schizophrenia, the FDA is compelled to remind them that their claims (which have not been scientifically-proven) have no place on a product label or advertising campaign.

In early February, the FDA did just that when they sent letters to eight CBD companies describing violations in product labeling and advertising (just like they did a year earlier, when they issued six violation letters). According to the letters (which can be read in full on the FDA website), these companies were in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because they were being marketed as drugs which are intended to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease.

The letters go on to describe problems regarding CBD marketed as a dietary supplement due to its potential to be used as a new drug. Because of the extensive research on CBD – and public knowledge about therapeutic qualities of CBD – it is inaccurate to market CBD as a mere dietary supplement (this isn’t ginger root here, people).

So what does this mean for consumers? Well, it certainly does not mean you won’t be able to buy CBD supplements online anymore, or that you will be involved with shady operations if you do. It just means that the FDA is trying real hard to have your back when it comes to acceptable advertising methods.

Way back then drugs could be purchased with or without a prescription, many pharmaceutical companies would advertise their drugs to consumers by boasting over-inflated benefits while downplaying (or not mentioning at all) any potential negatives. Many companies would also keep a drug’s ingredients to themselves, never once accounting for potential allergens or other dangerous drug concoctions.

Since then, the FDA has adopted a number of regulations surrounding what is and isn’t appropriate to advertise to consumers. In 1938 (after more than 100 people died from taking a non-regulated drug), the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act passed requiring that all drugs be proven safe to consume and requiring that drugs come with labels containing a list of ingredients.

Fast forward 50 years to the dawn of direct-to-consumer advertising. For the first time in years, consumers were being educated about prescription drugs without even leaving their couch as magazine and television ads became the norm. To slow the chances of public misinformation about drugs, the FDA began regulating marketers the same as physicians, requiring that all pertinent information about a drug be presented in every advertisement.

In keeping with the regulatory drug system, CBD products cannot be marketed as drugs without FDA approval, and they cannot be sold as supplements due to the promising nature of CBD as a medicine.

So where does that leave us? With consumers acting as voluntary Guinea Pigs while the FDA paves way for more conclusive CBD research. In the meantime, it is legal to purchase CBD products anywhere in the U.S. – you can even have them legally shipped to your door – but advertisers and distributors need to be careful with their marketing strategies along the way.

If you think you’d like to try CBD hemp products like oils, tinctures, capsules, etc. for your health, check out our friends at Direct CBD. They offer quality products, great pricing and again -- it’s 100% legal and can be shipped anywhere in the country.

Have you tried CBD products? Tell us what you think.

Abby Hutmacher Abby Hutmacher

Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.


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