FDA reminds consumers that most CBD products are not approved by the agency and could be harmful

FILE - CBD cannabis oil for sale in a health store. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

CBD products have become readily available to consumers, in the form of bath bombs, lotions and even tinctures to calm your pets. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning shoppers that many of these products not only misrepresent the actual levels of CBD they contain, but that the chemical itself could be harmful.  

The FDA has issued warning letters to companies this year in nearly 15 states stating that the organization does not approve the products for “diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease.” 

“Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products,” the FDA warned.

Furthermore, the FDA warned that CBD itself has the potential to have severely negative side effects including liver injury and an increase in drowsiness and sedation that could lead to other injuries if mixed with alcohol.

While it may be common to see CBD products on shelves next to everyday consumer items and even advertised at fast-food restaurants, the FDA said that only one CBD product is approved by the organization: a prescription drug that is used to treat severe forms of epilepsy. 

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It is also illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement, according to the FDA. 

While the organization said they recognize the “significant public interest” in cannabis-derived compounds like CBD, the agency says "there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing.“

The agency said that any consumer interested in a CBD product should first talk with their medical provider before purchasing any cannabis-based items.