It’s hard, when a new, popular product hits the market, to take the time to get packaging done right. As you struggle to get the actual product ready and establish your brand, you’re not always thinking about the additional details that go on the carton, box, or bottle.
These things usually come together without much issue, unless you’re working with hemp.
From the package to your marketing material, there are specific rules to follow when selling hemp-derived products. The most important is in how you make CBD claims about what your product does. You must be careful. There are real consequences if you do it wrong.
The governing act
The rules around hemp product labels stems from a specific act, enforced by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act passed in 1938. It established quality standards for food, drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics sold in the U.S. It also dictates how the FDA should respond when someone is in violation.
You may think, “an act from over 80 years ago….how’s it relevant today?” Well, several amendments have happened over the years to keep things current. The one most connected to hemp products happened 1962. This particular amendment set a requirement for drug manufacturers to provide proof of a medicine’s effectiveness and safety before being legally able to make any claims about it.
Even though it’s wishy washy whether hemp will earn a food or drug label (it may end up being both), you can’t make claims of its benefits without proof, and there’s not enough of that out there right now.
What happens when you make CBD claims
The FDA is on the lookout for companies who sell hemp-derived products where their labelling makes specific claims on what the product will do. You can’t say, definitively, that hemp:
- Reduces pain
- Treats anxiety or depression
- Has antiviral or antifungal effects
It’s also always problematic when you claim a hemp product is for use to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent anything.
The issue is that it’s easy to get caught up in the marketing angle of a product when you’re designing a label. You want to lure people in, and often, making claims about the benefits of using something is a great way to do that. So, maybe you forget what you can and can’t say. That’s when the FDA steps in.
If you’re guilty of this, you’ll get a warning letter citing a misbranded product. Without changing your label, website, marketing piece, etc. so that it adheres to proper rules, further action gets taken.
A good rule of thumb is to not make any health claims when it comes to a hemp-derived product.
How to remedy this issue
Currently, there’s only one approved drug out there that has CBD in it. This approval gives the product the right to make a health claim about using it. It’s a prescription medication, designated for treating seizures associated with several different syndromes.
For every other product, it’s time to sit and wait.
Hemp has only been legal for a few years. That’s not enough time to have conducted the proper research and done the right tests to create the proof the FDA would need to change its tune on labels. There’s also the issue that the FDA doesn’t consider CBD a lawful dietary ingredient or supplement yet.
Once hemp, and all its extracts, do have more proof behind them, companies can submit a drug application in order to get FDA approval.
Maintain quality regardless
Even though you can’t make certain CBD claims, it’s important to maintain a level of quality in everything you create. It may help improve hemp’s reputation when featured as an ingredient. To do this, it’s best to work with a reputable processor who you know handles all their biomass with care and attention to detail.
At Arbor Vita8, our superior facility and high-end equipment help us produce the best extracts in the Southeast. We’re fully transparent in our process and are happy to work with manufacturers to ensure everything gets done right, even the labels. Contact us today to learn more.