U.S. agencies warn 7 CBD companies over COVID-19 health claims

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week warned seven CBD makers over misleading claims regarding the efficacy of their products in treating the COVID-19 virus.

FDA and the FTC sent letters warning the companies against selling CBD based on research studies that “claim or imply misleadingly that their CBD products will cure, mitigate, treat or prevent COVID-19.”

“The FDA has not approved or authorized any drug containing CBD for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19,” according to a press release announcing the warnings.

‘Deceptive, misleading’

“The agency is concerned these deceptive and misleading product claims could cause people to delay or stop appropriate medical treatment for COVID-19, leading to serious and life-threatening harm,” FDA said.

Companies that received warning letters were:

Functional Remedies, LLC, Louisville, Colorado (doing business as Synchronicity Hemp Oil), which was cited for making claims that CBD has been shown to possibly reduce inflammation from viral infections such as COVID-19.

Cureganics. Sherman Oaks, California, cited for claims that CBD can prevent infection from the virus that causes COVID-19 by blocking its entry into cells, quoting a Forbes report about research affiliated with Oregon State University.

Heaven’s Organics LLC, Trinity, Florida, cited for quoting anecdotal evidence which implied that patients who regularly take high-potency doses of pharmaceutical-grade CBD were less likely to contract the COVID-19 virus, and its referral to “CBD’s potential in fighting COVID-19 in people.”

Greenway Herbal Products LLC, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, cited for more than 20 claims it made in relation to CBD and COVID-19.

CBD Social, Charleston, South Carolina, cited for its reference to “studies (that) have shown cannabidiol or CBD has proven effective in preventing SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) replication in the bodies of humans and mice,” and other content related to CBD’s efficacy in acting on cells after they are infected.

UPSY LLC, Cranston, Rhode Island, cited for suggesting that “CBD may help patients cope with symptoms and mitigate the long-term pulmonary damage of the virus,” and claims regarding CBD’s potential to fight inflammation and alleviate acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Nature’s Highway, Charlotte, North Carolina, cited for suggesting that CBD “may have a role to play in the treatment of COVID-19,” and suggesting the compound “could deny the coronavirus the entryway it uses to connect to cells, fight lung inflammation, or even prevent the potentially deadly ‘cytokine storm’ in which a patient’s immune system goes haywire.” Nature’s Highway was also warned over claims made regarding CBD’s role in lessening respiratory distress.

The warning letters, dated March 29, instructed the CBD companies to remove health claims from their websites and social media accounts within 48 hours.

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