Any parent who has tried in vain to soothe a child suffering from a painful ear infection or comfort a teething baby knows that feeling of desperation when you may be willing to try just about anything to get the crying to stop.  Both yours and the child’s…

It is just this issue that appears to have caught the attention of the FDA and FTC as the target for their most recent CBD enforcement.  Similar to the three CBD companies previously targeted, Rooted Apothecary made allegedly unsubstantiated claims that its products could prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure serious diseases.  Particularly concerning this time, however, was the fact that some of the claims targeted use on infants and children.

Some examples of the company’s claims included the following:

  •  “Instead of synthetic chemical[s] that can have safety concerns, this blend uses the best of nature to help calm the inflammation and pain of teething, while also promoting sleepiness for your little one.”
  • “No matter what age, ear aches are a terrible, no good way to live each day! Our main priority was safety, effectiveness . . . as we formulated this for the entire family including our precious little ones. When the pain is bad, this roller goes to work for soothing pain, inflammation, and to battle against the bacterial/viral critters to blame.”
  • “Increasing evidence suggests that CBD oil is a powerful option for pain . . . anxiety . . . and autism . . . It seems like an attractive and safe option for children.”
  •  “[P]ossible uses for CBD include helping with skin problems such as acne, autism, ADHD, and even cancer. It’s often used in conjunction with traditional treatments to provide extra help. Children can use high amounts of CBD safely and without any risk.”

Once again, CBD marketers should take a lesson from the rules that apply to conventional products, and not just as to claim substantiation.  Product claims that target vulnerable populations, such as infants, children, or the elderly, are likely to receive greater scrutiny regardless of the product type.  These populations (along with sleep-deprived parents of young children) may be more susceptible to believing outrageous claims and less likely or able to articulate it if a product is not working or is potentially causing harm.  And that – more than the ear infection – is reason for concern.

For guidance on claim substantiation and health marketing considerations, check out our affiliated blog, Ad Law Access.