UCSD Scientists Say Cannabis Ads promoting Wellness Need to be Killed by the Feds
The University of California in San Diego is a prestigious campus boasting some of the brightest minds on the planet. It is also home to the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, a leader in studying the safety or dangers of cannabis use and the efficacy of cannabis and cannabis compounds for treating a wide range of medical conditions. From the impact of cannabis use on driving, to the effects of CBD on cases of severe autism and debilitating nerve disorders, and so many more areas of research, the labcoat cowboys at UCSD appear to be on the cutting edge of cannabis knowledge.
Then they drop a bomb like the one announced in the latest issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) where three prominent scientists at the college called on the federal government to crack down on what they have deemed to be misleading and potentially harmful advertising of legal weed.
Specifically, they call to question the myriad of medical claims that are made daily by cannabis brands promising consumers everything from better sleep, to lesser anxiety, to a better sex life. The trio of aggrieved researchers is asking the feds to intervene immediately.
This is a similar argument that we now see surrounding hemp-derived CBD. While the hemp plant that it is extracted from is now totally legal nationwide thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still claiming that it is illegal to infuse CBD into food or drinks and it is also illegal to use any sort of claim of health benefits in the marketing of such products.
But states like California, the homebase of UCSD, are already openly defying the toothless FDA demands. Just last week, Assembly Bill 228 passed unanimously 18-0 through the State Assembly Appropriations Committee. AB 228 will shit all over the FDA by expressly permitting the retail sale of hemp-derived CBD in foods and supplements statewide.
Witnessing the absolute bungling of hemp legalization, the authors of the JAMA article have no faith in the FDA to enforce advertising compliance on cannabis. Dr. John W. Ayers, Jr. says, “The FDA doesn’t enforce this aggressively.” Then he goes there… adding, “We need more effective regulations about health claims, and ads that are meant to appeal to children.”
Ohhh the kiiiiiiiiiiiiids eh? He’s one of those people…
Hey DOC, haven’t you heard? An 8th of legal weed is now $70 and is buried in multiple layers of childproof packaging – what sort of allowance are you giving your kids?
Listen, there is certainly a need for some regulation when it comes to cannabis advertising… and we have some… written by the state of California. Why the hell would we ask the feds to get involved in regulating the advertisement of a plant that they consider highly illegal and is not allowed to cross state lines? Especially when they can't even stop charlatans from slanging CBD firewood?
The distressed docs point specifically to industry dumpster fire, MedMen Inc., as a poster child for irresponsible advertising. The company’s sterile billboard ad campaign includes one iteration that simply reads, “Heal. It’s Legal.” That ambiguous statement has these researchers triggered and they are now highlighting MedMen’s online digital educational library which features claims such as cannabis “can reduce anxiety, pain, and so much more”.
In their defense (and fuck you, docs, for making me defend MedMen) their website has a clear disclaimer that statements made on their site have “not been evaluated by the FDA. (They are) not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
It is pretty ironic that scientists at UCSD – a place where legit doctors are prescribing cannabis to actual patients and a place where some of the world’s leading cannabis research is happening – are blowing the whistle so hard on something that even they admit they don’t totally understand.
In 2017 the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine reported that it remains unclear if cannabis can be broadly used to treat multiple medical conditions. Their reason for this half-baked non-conclusive conclusion? The LACK OF RESEARCH ON THE PLANT.
Watching weed haters hide behind kids is disgusting enough but this new circlejerk of excuse making is starting to really piss me off as well. We can’t recommend cannabis as legal medication because there isn’t enough data but we can’t get more data because it is illegal.
These three doctors could’ve used their 15 minutes of fame to push the feds to deschedule cannabis, legalizing it at the federal level and freeing labs at UCSD and across the country to study the plant in earnest. When that day comes, they might just discover that cannabis does in fact help with “anxiety and pain and so much more”.