FDA Targets Companies Claiming Marijuana Can Treat Cancer

shutterstock 266451137
shutterstock 266451137

The FDA sent letters to four marijuana companies warning that they cannot claim their products are a treatment for cancer.

Although many patients have claimed marijuana has helped treat their cancer, there is not enough in the way of official research on the issue (though there is at least one compelling study from 1974 that appeared in the Journal of Cancer Institute). Of course, federal authorities have been reluctant to greenlight research into the medicinal benefits of marijuana, so its no surprise they do not have a lot of hard data on the subject.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)is now cracking down on companies that market marijuana products as a form of cancer treatment. This week, letters were sent to four companies warning them to stop “unsubstantiated” claims. Greenroads Health, Natural Alchemists, That’s Natural Marketing and Consulting, and Stanley Brothers Social Enterprise LLC all received the warning letters.

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“We don’t let companies market products that deliberately prey on sick people with baseless claims that their substance can shrink or cure cancer and we’re not going to look the other way on enforcing these principles when it comes to marijuana-containing products,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

The FDA says they are coming down on these companies to ensure that patients can be confident that any treatment has been examined for safety and efficacy.

“We have an obligation to provide caregivers and patients with the confidence that drugs making cancer treatment claims have been carefully evaluated for safety, efficacy, and quality, and are monitored by the FDA once they’re on the market,” said Gottlieb added.

Of course, allowing research in the first place could have provided clear answers one way or another on marijuana’s potential to treat cancer years ago.

Representatives for Stanley Brothers and That’s Natural have already come out and said they will cooperate with the FDA. Greenroads Health’s website was down and there was no comment on their Facebook page. So far, Natural Alchemist has not responded to our request for comment.

Currently, 29 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana.

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