The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Food and Drug Administration has warned the public to beware of fraudulent advertising that promises that certain marijuana-derived products can be used to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure cancer.

The agency issued the alert by announcing that it had sent warning letters to four companies who were illegally selling such products and claiming that they were effective against disease.

“The FDA has grown increasingly concerned at the proliferation of products claiming to treat or cure serious diseases like cancer,” the FDA said in a statement.

“In this case, the illegally sold products allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD), a component of the marijuana plant that is not FDA approved in any drug product for any indication.

“CBD is marketed in a variety of product types, such as oil drops, capsules, syrups, teas, and topical lotions and creams. The companies receiving warning letters distributed the products with unsubstantiated claims regarding preventing, reversing or curing cancer; killing/inhibiting cancer cells or tumors; or other similar anti-cancer claims.

“Some of the products were also marketed as an alternative or additional treatment for Alzheimer’s and other serious diseases,” the FDA said.