A NORML Reminder: Beware of COVID-19 Cure All Claims

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws wishes to reiterate its message that cannabis consumers and others beware of online misinformation surrounding the use of either whole-plant cannabis or CBD as a potential remedy for the COVID-19 virus.

In this time of crisis, some predatory marketers are seeking to profit by selling a host of products under a variety of false or unsubstantiated claims. Some of these marketers are explicitly targeting cannabis consumers.

For example, one recent CBD provider recently received warning letters from the US Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission for improperly marketing the agent as a key component of its COVID-19 prevention package.

In Oregon, the state Attorney General ordered a Portland CBD retailers to remove misleading advertising claiming that the compound may boost one’s natural immunity to the virus. 

In Vancouver, Canada, an unlicensed CBD distributor has come under fire for opining that their products can “help your body defend against COVID-19.”

And according to a recent article in Forbes.com, e-mail mass marketers are spamming in-boxes with what purports to be a Fox News article promoting CBD oils and gummies as a novel COVID therapy.

Yet despite these and other claims, including those spreading on social media, there is as of yet no substantiated clinical data supporting either the prophylactic or therapeutic use of cannabis products in the treatment of COVID-19. 

In fact, because COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, NORML has previously suggested consumers – and in particular those patients who may be at greater risk – to either limit or altogether avoid their exposure to combustive smoke of any kind. (A greater discussion of these cannabis safety guidelines are available from NORML here.)

Concluded NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri: “If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. During these difficult times, we encourage people to be skeptical of any unsubstantiated claims, particularly those circulating online, surrounding the use of cannabis or any other uncorroborated treatment for COVID-19.”