No substantial scientific evidence currently exists that proves marijuana will reverse the effects of the coronavirus.
Scammers and hoaxes thrive in great times of uncertainty and unrest, like the ones Americans now experience daily due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. A recent claim peddled by snake oil salesmen include the opinion that smoking marijuana will cure, or at least curb, COVID-19 should you become infected.
The chatter around cannabis as a potential cure-all has grown loud enough that NORML (the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws) is now telling consumers to beware.
“If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said 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.”
The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission wrote a letter this month warning several companies to stop selling fraudulent coronavirus products, or else they’d be held accountable. That included Herbal Amy, an Idaho company that sells herbal tinctures and CBD products. The company advertised a “Coronavirus Protocol” package that included CBD as a key agent, and since changed the description.
Beware of email mass marketers as well, infiltrating your inbox with just the fix you need, no matter how legitimate it appears on the surface. According to Forbes, one company is sending text messages to numerous phone numbers with promises that CBD oil will reverse the coronavirus’s ill effects. Included in the message is a link to what appears like a FOX News article promoting the product’s effectiveness. The only problem — the article is completely fake.
A local Drug Enforcement Agency official recently came out against such marijuana-related coronavirus claims as well. Like NORML’s previous recommendations, the DEA agent said sharing joints, bongs, or pipes is “not smart” right now.
“I’m not encouraging any drug use at all, but you really need to be thinking about this because this is a secondary affect,” assistant special agent Dante Sorianello told FOX San Antonio.
COVID-19 causes adverse respiratory illness in those with the disease, with symptoms like shortness of breath and dry coughing. Those who are at greater risk of contracting the disease—such as those above the age of 65 and or anyone with pre-existing condition—should limit or avoid exposure to combustible smoke. According to cannabis intelligence firm Headset Analytics, consumers are responding to the crisis by purchasing more edibles and tinctures than ever.