The Not So Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: CBD Marketing

Despite warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, some CBD manufactures are using unscrupulous marketing tactics to lure unsuspecting consumers into believing their products help ease or cure a variety of health issues. If that weren’t bad enough, some are now allegedly fabricating product endorsements by some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Recently, actor/director Clint Eastwood filed lawsuits against nearly 20 CBD manufacturers for falsely using his name and image to market products he says has never endorsed. Eastwood is seeking millions of dollars in damages against companies in several states including Arizona, Delaware, and Florida, plus as many as 60 anonymous entities that may be added to the suits.

Actor Tom Hanks has also fought back against a company using his image and a fake quote to back its CBD products.

But it’s not just Hollywood stars who have a legal bone to pick with CBD manufacturers for their claims. Recently, consumers are turning to the legal system to file complaints against CBD companies for mislabeling, false advertising, and more. In the last 18 months, there have been a number of class actions suits filed against CBD manufacturers for a host of reasons: mislabeling, false advertising, and contaminants in products. Some legal experts see additional legal actions on the horizon, especially with the continued lack of testing and involvement from regulators aiming to help consumers navigate this confusing, crowded marketplace.

Despite the legal action piling up, unscrupulous sales tactics are becoming more popular and putting unsuspecting consumers at risk. A recent white paper examined the CBD retail marketplace and found that many CBD manufacturers are using claims about research, studies, and “science” to sell products that actually have very little meaningful research behind them.

There are thorough FDA guidelines and processes that allows companies to make medical and therapeutic claims, but there are too many CBD companies deliberately evading the traditional FDA process to “go to market” and get products on the shelves in record time—without the proper research and testing.

As more questionable marketing tactics target the consumer, more risks will prevail. And consumers will continue to be misled and duped in believing celebrities like Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks endorse untested, unregulated, and potentially dangerous CBD products.

When is enough enough?

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