As you know, CBD manufacturers frequently claim that their products can treat, mitigate, and prevent a multitude of health conditions. Therefore, it’s no surprise that we’re now seeing false claims about CBD products related to the coronavirus.
Today, Consumers for Safe CBD sent the letter below to major retailers of CBD products and media companies to warn them about the unscrupulous claims that are being made about CBD and COVID-19:
Dear Retailers, Media Companies and Platforms,
In the past few months we, the undersigned organizations who make up Consumers for Safe CBD, have been sounding the alarm about unsubstantiated claims being made about therapeutic benefits of the CBD products that have recently flooded the marketplace. Sure enough, as America grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, some CBD manufacturers and stores are beginning to prey on consumers, making false claims that CBD can boost immunity against, or even cure, the coronavirus.
As you know, products containing CBD are increasingly popular, infiltrating the market at an alarming rate. However, these CBD products have not received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has declared that they cannot be considered generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for consumption and usage. And now, during the COVID-19 crisis, our worst fears have been realized as we are starting to see unscrupulous marketing claims tying CBD to false hopes of treatments and cures.
A recent fabricated news article touts promise of a CBD supplement as a viable option to fight the coronavirus. And a CBD store in Oregon was ordered by the office of the state's attorney general to take down signs claiming that its products could boost immunity against COVID-19.
We must protect Americans from these dangerous false claims now more than ever.
Not only is there no scientific data available on CBD’s impact on COVID-19, these unregulated products pose significant health risks. CBD products are often mislabeled, containing undisclosed THC and even contaminants including lead, arsenic, pesticides, and toxic mold. Recent studies have found potential harmful side effects from consuming cannabis products with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) if a patient is infected with COVID-19.
The need for science-backed treatments is significant - we must ensure products touting medical benefits are thoroughly tested and regulated for safety.
Until FDA, through a careful and unbiased evaluation of the data, determines that CBD is safe and effective for a specific indication in a specific population at a specific dose, let the buyer beware. We need more FDA-caliber research on CBD’s therapeutic potential, and we are encouraging the FDA to do more to determine safe levels of CBD in consumer products and enforce those levels.
We know you want to keep your customers, readers, and viewers safe. As we are all desperate for medicines that are safe and effective, and have gone through the FDA approval process, we must work together to protect one another from unscrupulous vendors that are taking advantage of this situation by touting treatments or cures.
We hope you will join us.
Thank you for your consideration.
National Consumers League (NCL)
Arthur T. Dean
Major General, U.S. Army, Retired
Chairman and CEO, CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America)
Director of Food Policy
Consumer Federation of America (CFA)