CBD Endorsements: Listen to Science, Not Celebrities

There’s a disturbing trend in celebrity testimonials these days as athletes, artists, actors, and other Hollywood notables endorse CBD products as a way to improve health and wellness, supporting its use in food and beverages. It’s important to remember that celebrities are not medical doctors, scientists, or researchers, and they are not qualified to offer healthcare advice to anyone – especially the unassuming public likely unaware that CBD products are not regulated or tested and may in fact put health and wellness at risk.

Over the past few years, consumer products containing CBD have proliferated across the country, and celebrities have signed on to promote the use of CBD in anything from candies to capsules, tea to pet treats. And now, amidst the coronavirus crisis, these endorsements are becoming increasingly dangerous.

Despite the Hollywood hype, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed that it cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in human or animal food. The agency considers CBD foods and supplements unlawful, which means these products are not subject to the same regulation and monitoring as other consumer goods.

Unfortunately, many CBD marketers have partnered with celebrities and athletes on endorsement deals that claim that their products are safe to ingest and can treat, mitigate, and prevent a variety of health concerns – even COVID-19.

These advertisements are not only misleading for consumers – they raise serious concerns. Some examples:

  • Former All-Pro NFL offensive lineman, Kyle Turley, was promoting CBD products in the fight against COVID-19. Turley received warnings from the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission, and since then, these false claims have – thankfully – stopped.

  • Cooking maven Martha Stewart and rapper Snoop Dog have invested in a company that is producing pet food and treats and other CBD-infused products.

  • Women’s soccer star, Megan Rapinoe, serves as a senior executive for a company that produces several CBD edibles and other products claiming unsubstantiated results.

  • Guests at Kim Kardashian West’s baby shower were invited to partake in a CBD tea station and offered other CBD-infused drinks.

Consumers for Safe CBD recently asked Attorneys Generals, retailers and media outlets to step in during this increased time of vulnerability and unknowns to protect consumers against harms posed by CBD manufacturers’ deceptive marketing practices. While there has been some progress in selected states, more needs to be done to curtail these misleading, harmful tactics. At a time when Americans are in search of hope and solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrity endorsements for CBD products are putting consumers at higher risk. We must all work together to protect consumers from untested, unregulated, and potentially dangerous CBD products.

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