Tag Archives: FDA

FDA Warns CBD Products Can Be Dangerous

The proliferation of CBD products in the “wellness” industry seemed to happen overnight. CBD, a byproduct of marijuana and hemp that does not get users “high”, has been marketing as a cure-all to everything from arthritis to anxiety. Some sellers even claim that CBD can help fight cancer by lowering inflammation levels. Now, the FDA is stepping in and warning users and manufacturers that these products not only may be modern-day “snake oil” but also can cause real damage to some people’s health.

What is CBD, Exactly?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a chemical that’s found in all types of cannabis, even the male plant which is not smoked or used as a drug. Instead of getting a user high, CBD is supposed to have a host of health benefits and has been proven to help with rare seizure disorders in children. However, that’s where the clinical testing has stopped. CBD is being marketed and sold by hundreds of companies, yet it hasn’t been undergone a clinical trial for most other health conditions advocates say it helps.

Nevertheless, it’s available for purchase practically everywhere, from Amazon to your local drug store. The upscale beauty brand even sells CBD in their skin products. There are even products for pets, although they haven’t been tested in any clinical trials, either. There are tinctures, pills, smokables, candy bars, lotions, mints and more.

CBD has been viewed as relatively harmless by the mainstream media, but the FDA has begun investigating claims made by manufacturers, and they’re ready to shut down and misuse that they can.

FDA Calls Out Dangers of CBD

CBD has never been officially declared legal, which is interesting considering how many companies have decided to make products for the market. While the FDA has only started investigating products, they say that most of them, as well as their uses, are illegal.

The FDA sent letters to at least fifteen companies last Monday telling them to stop making health claims and manufacturing their products. The administration says that the companies broke federal law by marketing the unproven health benefits of their CBD products. They did not get approval to mix the drug into food and are deceptive when they sell CBD as a dietary supplement. What’s more, these companies may have placed their customers at unknown risk, the FDA said.    

“We remain concerned that some people wrongly think that the myriad of CBD products on the market, many of which are illegal, have been evaluated by the FDA and determined to be safe, or that trying CBD ‘can’t hurt,'” Dr. Amy Abernethy, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner, told reporters. “In reality, the FDA does not have enough data to say whether CBD can be “generally recognized as safe.”

They point to data showing that many CBD products being sold have contaminants such as fungus or pesticides, and the amount of CBD in each product makes them highly unreliable. Some studies have even shown that CBD might cause harm to the liver or interact with drugs in a dangerous way, releasing far more into the bloodstream than users realize.

JUUL CEO Apologizes to Parents of Vaping Teens

JUUL Lans CEO Kevin Burns will apologize to parents of teens addicted to nicotine, but seems to dismiss responsibility.

Image with the word "Sorry"

In a documentary on CNBC, set to air tonight,  Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns speaks about the recent teen vaping epidemic.  A new documentary, “Vaporized: America’s E-cigarette Addiction,” will air tonight.

When Carlos Quintanilla, the reporter for the movie, toured one of Juul’s manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin with Burns. While there, the CEO was asked what he would say to a parent with a child who was addicted to Juul.

“First of all, I’d tell them that I’m sorry that their child’s using the product,” said Burns. “It’s not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to them. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I’m sorry for them, and I have empathy for them, in terms of what the challenges they’re going through.”

In 2017, the number of teens who had vaped grew to two million. Activists againse vaping say that the numbers are growing higher, with hundreds of thousands of teens that vape on a daily basis.

Is Vaping Addictive?

Tobacco industry proponents have often argued that vaping helps adult smokers quit drugs. However, JUUL stands out as a testament to another harsh reality: the company’s vapes are highly addictive, with more nicotine content than any other vape manufacturer.

According to the Truth Initiative, vaping is skyrocketing among young people:

“Over the past year,  surveys found that 56 percent of youth and young adults who ever used JUUL or an e-cigarette reported that they were younger than 18 when they first tried the device and nearly half — 47 percent — said that they tried it because their friends used it.”

And what’s worse is that JUUL, marketed to young people with an assortment of fruity and sweet flavors, contains a highly addictive amount of tobacco. One pod equals the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.  The Truth Initiative also reports an escalating trend of teen tobacco use, pointing to the fact JUUL’s e-cigarette market share tripled in just over a year, from 24 to 75 percent. JUUL is known as the brand most favored by young adults and teens.

More Action Needed on Teen Vaping

The FDA has called the amount of teens that use nicotine vape products an “epidemic”, but government intervention has been slow. Until recently, few companies selling these vape products asked for identification to verify buyers were 18. And most teens bought their vaping products directly from websites.

The FDA has sent letters, cease-and-desist orders, and spoken with the media about the problems with teens vaping. However, without any strong legal action, there’s little chance they will curb this epidemic in time to halt a growing population becoming addicted to nicotine.