Be wary of CBD claims

The number of Erie-area businesses that sell Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, seems to increase every week.

CBD is a compound derived from marijuana or hemp plants. It doesn’t make the user high, but people who use CBD claim it relieves arthritis pain, reduces anxiety and alleviates many other medical problems.

CBD is not without controversy. Its products are supplements, not drugs, so they are not reviewed by the Food & Drug Administration. They are tested for safety but not for how well they work.

Cannabis contains more than 80 biologically active chemical compounds, according to the Food & Drug Administration. The most commonly known compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.

THC is the component that produces the “high” associated with marijuana use. Much interest has been seen around CBD and its potential related to health benefits.

The Federal Trade Commission recently warned consumers that they should use a dose of caution when CBD sellers claim their product is scientifically proven to cure or treat their symptoms.

Earlier this month, the FTC announced six proposed complaints and settlement agreements as part of “Operation CBDeceit.” This law enforcement sweep against companies claiming their CBD products treat serious diseases and chronic health conditions like diabetes, depression, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

The FTC also says one of the companies charged people’s credit cards for bottles of CBD extract they hadn’t ordered.

These proposed settlements would prevent these CBD companies from claiming their products precent and cure illnesses and diseases without adequate scientific proof.

The FTC also provided these tips for consumers who are considering using CBD:

• Talk to your doctor before trying any alternative medicines, and definitely before you stop taking any prescription medications.

• Avoid products that say they’re “guaranteed” to treat your condition. These people don’t even know you. How can they know a product will work with your body to treat your condition?

• Find out more about miracle cure claims by visiting


Have a consumer question you’d like us to help you with? Call David Bruce at 870-1736, send an email to or send mail to 205 W. 12th St., Erie, PA 16534.

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