FDA warns of fake cannabis supplement ads


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers to beware of fake advertisements about food supplements that claimed to use “terpenes” — extracted compounds as ingredients that can be sourced from cannabis.

“The FDA has not approved any food supplement that lists terpenes as an ingredient,” Supattra Boonserm, deputy secretary-general of the FDA said on Saturday.

“Most food supplements and health beverages sold in markets only use cannabis as a synthetic flavour to produce a similar aroma and flavour. So these food supplement products will not have the medical treatment properties as claimed.”

Her comment came as a response to a popular trend of food supplements made from cannabis. One popular advertisement for a health beverage that claims to use terpenes says the food supplement can cure amnesia and reduce stress.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis, and are believed by some to help improve people’s moods and reduce stress levels.

Ms Supattra said some businesses had applied to extract compounds from cannabis but no one had applied to make food products with extracts. “That means there are no cannabis-based food products available on the [general] market.”

She did not say whether the FDA would investigate the false advertisements.

Meanwhile, Wichai Chaimongkol, secretary-general of the Office of Narcotics Control Board, warned about the rise of illegal plantations of marijuana, following the legalisation by parliament of parts of the plant.

“In practice, it is difficult for police to verify the source of cannabis. High demand in the market now has also driven some people to plant it illegally,” he told a marijuana legislation seminar on Friday.

“The shop owner might get a licence showing that he received cannabis parts from legal sources to show to the police. But how it could be sure that another lot of cannabis comes regularly from a legal source?”



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