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December 09, 2019

FDA warns Pennsylvania CBD company to cease making claims about medical benefits

Alternative Medicine CBD
CBD FDA PA Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has warned Sunflora, Inc., which operates CBD retail outlets in Pennsylvania, to stop making claims about the medical benefits of its products. Fifteen other companies were also warned as the FDA examines potential health risks of CBD, which remains largely unregulated.

A company with stores in Pennsylvania was among 15 businesses warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop making claims about the medical benefits of CBD products, which the FDA characterized as "misbranded drugs."

The popularity of CBD has surged in recent years as consumers turn to oils and edible products that are touted as helpful for a variety of conditions, from anxiety and depression to pain and cancer-related symptoms.

Florida-based Sunflora, Inc. has Sun Flora/Your CBD Stores in Emmaus, Easton, Whitehall Township, South Whitehall Township and Bethlehem.

The Nov. 22 FDA letter outlined multiple claims on Sunflora's website that spell out medical benefits of CBD products. For one moisturizer, the FDA highlighted the following claim:

“CBD has been shown to promote abnormal cell death in certain skin conditions and long been used as a topical pain and anti-inflammatory solution," the company claimed about the moisturizer.

It remains illegal to market CBD as a dietary supplement or to add it to foods.

Last month, the FDA warned that CBD products carry "real risk" to consumer health, including possible liver damage, drowsiness, GI distress and complications when combined with other prescription drugs.

Researchers continue to examine the medicinal properties of CBD and other marijuana-derived products. A $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health is funding eight different studies on the pain relieving properties of CBD, including a study being conducted at Temple University.

Consumers who have embraced CBD have claimed that it has helped with their health conditions, though the market for these products remains unregulated.

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