Producers in the CBD industry have it tough. A single mistake can lead to a negative news report, FDA warning letter, or lawsuit — forever damaging the company's reputation. Being in an industry where laws are constantly changing isn't easy.
But the CBD industry needs to abide by high standards of quality and safety. CBD manufacturers need to stay vigilant for any changing rules and regulations, plus keep health and safety at the forefront of their minds when it comes to products.
In this blog post, we take a look at some of the recent rule breakers and mistake makers in the CBD industry.
We'll identify what they did wrong, how it could have been avoided, and how these mistakes could potentially harm consumers. Plus, we’ll review how you can tell if a brand is reputable and trustworthy.
One of the most common offenses in the CBD industry is illegal selling practices.
This can include:
Selling products that haven't been tested for safety
Inaccurately labeling products
Claiming their products can treat serious conditions
This often leads to warning letters from the FDA. Over the last decade, the FDA has sent dozens of warning letters to CBD manufacturers for various offenses.
For instance, in 2019 the FDA sent warning letters to over 20 CBD manufacturers.(1) The companies then need to fix their violations ASAP (typically 48 hours), and respond to the FDA with specific steps on how they corrected their offenses.
The warning letter is the most common first step the FDA takes when reprimanding companies. If they don’t comply after the letter, then it can take moresevere enforcement actions — from taking products off the market to criminal prosecution.
One surefire way to get into trouble with the FDA is to claim your products prevent, treat, and/or cure diseases. Remember, over-the-counter CBD is not an FDA-approved drug and companies can't claim that CBD will cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Only one CBD drug exists — Epidiolex.
Unfortunately, some companies have made these claims anyway — which has led to angry letters from the FDA.
Some companies have labeled their CBD products as dietary supplements. Unfortunately, this is also in violation of FDA regulations.
CBD products can't be labeled and sold as dietary supplements because they don’t meet the definition of a “dietary supplement” under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.(2)
Another common offense made by CBD manufacturers is the mislabeling of product contents. Mislabeling happens when companies don’t include all of the ingredients on their labels, list incorrect amounts of CBD, or omit the presence of other cannabinoids.
Various CBD brands have come under fire for not including all of the ingredients on their labels. In some cases, only CBD was listed as an ingredient when the product also contained other cannabinoids — like THC — or maybe did not contain any CBD at all.
It's unsafe and unethical to neglect to list all the ingredients on a product.
How can consumers shop confidently?
Always look for a certificate of analysis (COA) from a CBD retailer. See with your own eyes what's in the product. You don't want to accidentally buy something that claims to have CBD, but in truth has high levels of THC with a negligible amount of CBD.
Other companies have gotten in trouble for mixing up their product lines. Needless to say, if companies have multiple product lines with different CBD concentrations, it's ultra-important to keep them sorted correctly.
Accidentally mislabeling products with different CBD concentrations can be especially hazardous, as it could lead to a person consuming more than anticipated.
Or if a THC product and CBD product get mixed up — it could lead to harmful and unwanted side effects for consumers who unwittingly take a large dose of THC when they were expecting CBD.
A lapse in quality control could easily lead to these types of mistakes, so manufacturers need to be extra careful. This type of mistake can be dangerous for consumers, and these kinds of mistakes have led to legal trouble for manufacturers.
When things go wrong, we often think about how it all could have been prevented in the first place.
Following these best practices could have helped these CBD manufacturers stay out of trouble with the FDA and ensured safe, quality products were reaching consumers:
Make sure products don't have any illegal claims about curing or treating diseases
Don’t guarantee specific results
Have products tested by an independent third-party lab to ensure the contents match labeling
Quality control checks to avoid mix-ups
Stay up to date on all new laws and CBD research
Make sure advertising and labeling complies with federal and state governments’ regulations
As a consumer, it's important to do your research before purchasing CBD products. But there are simple ways to spot a reputable CBD company.
Look for these things:
No claims of specific results
No claims of preventing, curing, or treating specific diseases
Third-party lab testing, and a certificate of analysis (COA)
Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) compliance
No recalls, FDA warning letters, or lawsuits
Social proof (reviews, ratings, testimonials, etc.)
Good standing in the business community
At Pure Craft, we’re dedicated to providing our consumers with a safe and reliable CBD experience. We work with only reputable suppliers and labs to ensure that our CBD (and delta-8) products are of the highest quality.
Our products are manufactured in our cGMP-compliant and FDA-registered facility. Plus, we do in-house testing — in addition to third-party lab testing — for transparency in what goes into each bottle (and gummies, capsules, and creams!).
Moreover, we use USA-grown, all-organic hemp in all our products for the purest quality CBD oil — free of harmful pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other unwanted chemicals. In addition to top-tier CBD extract, our products feature other quality ingredients. And no binders, fillers, or other wacky stuff.
When it comes to CBD products, safety is our top priority. Check out our website and see for yourself. You’ll find clear, easy-to-read product label images and COAs.
The CBD industry sits on shifting legal ground, and it's important for manufacturers to stay up to date on all the latest laws and regulations. A single oversight — whether intentional or unintentional — can lead to bad press, an FDA warning, or even a lawsuit. Not to mention the potential harm that could come to consumers, and loss of trust.
As a consumer, you can avoid falling prey to a sketchy CBD company by:
Doing your research before making a purchase
Only buying from reputable companies that follow all the rules and regulations set forth by the state and federal government
Having a longstanding commitment to safe and quality products
(2021). Warning Letters and Test Results for Cannabidiol-Related Products. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/warning-letters-and-test-results-cannabidiol-related-products
(2021). FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
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