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Dear CBD Brands: Stay Away From The Word "Treats"


Photo by Aleksandr Kadykov on Unsplash
Photo by Aleksandr Kadykov on Unsplash

The science surrounding hemp has shown remarkable results in how products made from the plant have benefits within the medical community. And the boom in biomass has allowed for the expansion of research on individual cannabinoids. Despite the positive outcomes, however, hemp brands need to be aware of the wording they use in their marketing and education materials.

When creating content for anything hemp related, there are some words wrapped in red tape. Words like "treats" and "cures" should be avoided like the plague for legal reasons. These words, and others similar to them, promote medical diagnosis without proper approval.

In December 2020, the FDA cracked down on several brands using wording that is prohibited. They sent letters to the offending parties that "address the illegal marketing of unapproved CBD products claiming to treat medical conditions. The warning letters include CBD products that are especially concerning from a public health perspective due to the route of administration, including nasal, ophthalmic, and inhalation."

Since then, the FDA has kept a close eye on the marketing content within the hemp industry. While this can be described as a bane to those in marketing, compliance, and legal counsel, it does come with a hidden benefit.

Legitimate brands can use this red tape to their advantage. Instead of outright stating the properties of cannabinoid products, studies and statistics can be used to show the "potential benefits and properties". However, being aware of the wording used is necessary to stay within the legal bounds.

Consumers can also use this red tape to their advantage. Legitimate and transparent brands will have a focus on consumer education and compliance. Fly-by-night brands will oftentimes use words like treats, cures, or diagnoses without any regard to legal reprecusions.

At the end of the day, having red tape around words or phrasing can be a headache. However, using it to your advantage, whether as a brand or a consumer, is possible. And with the expansion of hemp research, we can look forward to the red tape being removed in the future.


This article is not to be taken as legal advice. Please consult the proper legal council surrounding the hemp laws and regulations in your state.


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