The Food and Drug Administration warned companies not to promote marijuana-based products saying that these can cure cancer. Any sells and its products will be treated like others “that make unproven claims to shrink cancer tumors,” the FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
In the letters sent Tuesday to four companies that claimed their marijuana-derived products could cure cancer and other diseases, the FDA said that they would face severe consequences if they do not stop making people think their products do something they don’t.
Greenroads Health, Natural Alchemist, That’s Natural! and Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises are the companies that the FDA asked to stop the false claims. These have 15 working days to inform the Administration with their response in front of the statement.
The four companies sell oils and capsules composed with cannabidiol — also known as CBD. This component is extracted from the plant and used in their products to make them have the necessary properties of medical cannabis, without the other primary element: tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
Medicine without THC causes patients not to feel the usual effects as when the drug is smoked or consumed in any other ways.
“We don’t let companies market products that deliberately prey on sick people with baseless claims that their substance can shrink or cure cancer and we’re not going to look the other way on enforcing these principles when it comes to marijuana-containing products,” the statement said.
The FDA said that companies promoting CBD products with health claims could affect the marijuana industry. Also, it said that it would be better for everyone if they start selling their products on the recreational side of the legal cannabis market, instead of the medical.
Marijuana in the US
Although there’s knowledge that marijuana negatively affects people when they consume it, studies have shown that the drug also brings benefits to the consumers in some cases. This plant can reduce anxiety, control some types of nausea, and it can calm people who have symptoms of glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.
Other studies have shown that CBD has helped kids suffering from a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, and scientists believe it might also help people with Parkinson’s disease.
“There are a growing number of effective therapies for many cancers. When people are allowed to illegally market agents that deliver no established benefit they may steer patients away from products that have proven, anti-tumor effects that could extend lives,” Gottlieb wrote.
The federal government still considers marijuana as a controlled substance. However, an Obama era policy made each state able to regulate the drug.
In the US, 29 states have legalized marijuana — just as Guam and Puerto Rico. In eight of them and Washington D.C., people can legally consume the drug recreationally, too. In the other 21 states, citizens can only buy it for medical purposes.
With more open laws about marijuana, clinics and labs have been able to do more research about the benefits of the substance.