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Don't believe all the claims about CBD products, says BBB

ABC24 spoke with Randy Hutchinson from the BBB of the Mid-South about what consumers need to know about CBD products and their claims.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Beware of companies claiming their CBD products can treat a variety of illnesses, said the Better Business Bureau.

The Federal Trade Commission has launched several enforcement actions against companies which are making claims their CBD products can treat everything from arthritis to cancer.

The most recent involved a company called Kushly, which sells CBD gummies, tinctures, and even toothpicks laced with CBD.

The company claimed its products could treat what the FTC called a "laundry list of medical conditions," including arthritis, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer's. The FTC said Kushly falsely claimed to have scientific research backing up its claims. The company settled with the FTC in June 2021, and it is required to do human clinical tests and studies or have verified scientific evidence to prove any of the claims it makes. The company was also fined more than $30,000.

In an earlier initiative called Operation CBDeceit, the FTC alerted about seven other companies making unsubstantiated claims about products which also included oils, coffees, creams, and sprays.

So what do consumers need to know about CBD products?

  • The FDA has only approved the use of a CBD product to treat certain forms of childhood epilepsy.
  • Experts said more research is needed to verify other beneficial effects, including the proper doses.
  • The FDA recommends caution in relying on any ad claiming a CBD-based product is scientifically proven to treat an illness.
  • It's concerned that people may mistakenly believe that CBD "can't hurt."
  • The FDA said limited data it's seen about CBD's safety points to real risks people should consider before using any CBD product.
  • Consult a health care professional before using any alternative medicine.

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