Claims That CBD Can Kill Coronavirus Are Fake News, NORML Warns
Fake news stories claiming that weed can kill coronavirus are circulating on social media, and some CBD manufacturers are falsely stating that their products can help fight the pandemic.
Published on March 24, 2020

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the country, several CBD companies are claiming that their products can help fight this deadly virus, but renowned cannabis advocacy group NORML is warning people not to believe the hype.

Last week, thousands of Americans received text messages promoting a fake Fox News article claiming that CBD oil can effectively cure coronavirus infections. This article included links to other fake websites offering CBD oils or gummies, face masks, and payday loans. Meanwhile, dozens more fake news posts claiming that cannabis can kill the novel coronavirus are circulating on social media.

Several unscrupulous CBD manufacturers are also taking advantage of the current climate of fear to help sell their products. Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission sent a joint warning letter to Idaho-based Herbal Army, which has reportedly been selling CBD and herbal tinctures as a coronavirus treatment package.

In Canada, a new CBD company called Mona Lisa Healing has recently come under fire for advertising that its products can "help your body defend against COVID-19 coronavirus,” according to Vancouver Is Awesome. The company, which was founded by Canadian musician Bif Naked, is currently not even licensed to legally produce or sell CBD products in Canada. 

And in Oregon, the state Attorney General just ordered a Portland-based CBD company to remove claims that their products can make users immune to the virus.

In fact, many researchers have warned those sick with the virus to steer clear of cannabis products. As the virus primarily targets the lungs, smoking or vaping cannabis can worsen or possibly prolong the symptoms of the illness. Anyone who intends to continue smoking or vaping is advised to wipe down their paraphernalia with isopropyl alcohol, and avoid sharing it with others, as the virus can be spread by sharing bongs, vape pens, joints, or other smoking utilities.

NORML is also warning cannabis users to steer clear of black market products. Many illegally-produced weed products are found to contain pesticides, molds, and yeasts. Black market vaping products are especially dangerous, as they can contain Vitamin E acetate, heavy metals, or other contaminants that have been linked to last year's outbreak of a vaping-related lung illness.

Consumers are also advised to be cautious of research claiming that cannabis, or any other product, will help fight this virus. “If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri in a statement. “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.” 

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Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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