Surge in Unsubstantiated Claims that CBD May Prevent or Treat COVID-19

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, a new surge of unsubstantiated claims that cannabidiol (CBD) may treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged. For instance, spam text messages are being sent out to Americans that link to a fabricated Fox News article promoting CBD oil as a treatment for COVID-19. The fake site further directs users to additional fake sites that prompt users to sign up and purchase CBD oil.

In Oregon, the attorney general’s office ordered a CBD store to remove a sign claiming that their CBD products could boost immunity against COVID-19. The attorney general’s office explained that the sign may violate the state’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act. It further explained that the sign would violate “the substantiation rule,” which requires scientific evidence to support promotional health claims. The rule will go into effect on April 3, 2020.

There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for COVID-19. Claims that CBD may treat the disease are unsubstantiated and may violate both state and federal laws. If you are concerned about such claims in your community, you can contact your state attorney general, state consumer protection offices, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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