CBD, News, Regulatory, UK

CBD claims in UK draw warning from advertising regulator

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A UK CBD seller has received a warning from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over health claims in marketing materials.

The ASA, which reviews advertising for violations under rules of the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), told London-based Blessed CBD to stop making the claims.

ASA cited four “advertorials” about Blessed products that were placed by Consumer Logic Research, an affiliate marketing partner of Blessed CBD. The material appeared between June and December 2021

The case grew out of a complaint from the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance, which challenged whether the ads misleadingly implied the products were independently recommended, and cited misleading claims that the products can prevent, treat or cure human disease.

Breach of code

In responding to the complaint Blessed CBD, which also does business as Enigmaa Ltd, said it had no control over the advertorials but had advised Consumer Logic Research to remove the material, which the marketer did.

“We concluded that the ads breached the Code because they: did not make clear they were advertorials; did not make clear their commercial intent; and implied the marketer was acting for purposes outside its trade or business,” ASA wrote in its decision.

The Authority cited a number of specific violations regarding health claims of CBD for afflictions such as “chronic pain, seizures, sleep disorders, and more.” To make such claims, products must be authorized on the Great Britain nutrition and health claims register. CBD products are not on that register.

Violations

“We also told them to ensure that future ads did not make medicinal claims for unlicensed products; did not state or imply that CBD oil supplements could prevent, treat or cure human disease; that any general health claims were accompanied by a specific authorized health claim,” according to the ASA decision.

CBD products in the UK have also drawn scrutiny from other authorities. In September, officials in several jurisdictions flagged 44 products found to contain presumably higher levels of THC than allowed, and many products containing significantly less CBD than claimed on package labeling. That led the FSA to order the products removed.

Blessed CBD products are among 12,000 preliminarily approved by the Food Standards Agency in an ongoing food safety review.

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