An unsubstantiated and inaccurate article written for the website Natural News by “Health Ranger” Mike Adams has caused a big stir for the cannabidiol (CBD) industry. The article claimed that the FDA (The Food and Drug Administration) had just outlawed cannabidiol (CBD) oils. He claims the FDA said that “all plant molecules now belong exclusively to Big Pharma.” The article states, “The FDA just criminalized one of the most miraculous healing medicines in the world.” He adds “Because a drug company is investigating CBDs for use as a medication, the FDA now says it is illegal for CBDs to be sold in any dietary supplement.”
CBD Oil Companies Contacted
However, this article is completely false. The FDA has not outlawed CBD oils, they’ve simply been regulating the way CBD oil companies market and brand their products. A number of companies were recently contacted by the FDA regarding inaccuracies with the oil labels.
The FDA wrote in their letters to the CBD oil companies “the claims on your websites establish that the products are drugs under section 201(g)(1)(B) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)(B)] because they are intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. As explained further below, introducing or delivering these products for introduction into interstate commerce for such uses violates the Act. You can find the Act and FDA regulations through links on FDA’s home page at www.fda.gov.”
Specific to Packaging and Branding
This means companies can’t label or market their oils in a way that claims to diagnose, cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent a disease. The message is solely specific to marketing and branding. There is no implication that CBD oils are banned or “outlawed” in any way whatsoever. In the case of many CBD companies targeted with warning letters, the oil labels, websites, or marketing indicate that CBD oils have been scientifically proven to be as effective as traditional medicine. These claims are in opposition to the FDA Act in question. It’s this marketing and branding regulation violation that is being scrutinized. The CBD oils themselves are not being banned.
Alarm Stemming from Exaggeration
Mike Adams apologized for alarming the cannabis industry by using the term “outlawed” saying “essentially my use of the term ‘outlawed’ in the title of my original article was misconstrued. By ‘outlawed’ I meant the FDA essentially writes its own ‘regulatory laws’ and has posted a clear statement on its own website which states that CBDs cannot be sold as a dietary supplement.” The article has since been edited many times, but still contains inaccurate information. He says the FDA called CBD oils “adulterated products” which is not true. He also says a pharmaceutical company is behind the FDA’s regulation, which is completely unsubstantiated. The alternative health site has been known to publish unverified and incorrect information in the past. Many of these incorrect articles were written by Mike Adams.
Let’s hope in the future, this experience inspires publications to be more accurate about the articles they publish. Mistakes can easily be made that can result in public anxiety and the spreading of misinformation, which is the last thing the cannabis industry needs.