Can CBD Cure or Help COVID-19? NO!

Ministry of Hemp recently featured a great article on the reality of CBD use in the fight against COVID-19. No cute photos, just good information here. In summary...

CBD Can’t Cure Or Prevent COVID-19, So Why Are Snake Oil Hemp Brands Claiming It Can?

Here’s the simple truth: there is absolutely zero evidence that CBD can cure or even help with the COVID-19 virus. There’s not even any proof it can help protect you from getting sick. So why are so many hemp brands claiming otherwise?

Obviously, there are plenty of companies offering useful products and services during this unprecedented crisis. But there are also many brands out there trying to capitalize on the fear and uncertainty of this pandemic by misrepresenting what CBD can do. Not only now, but always, misinformation can cost people their health or their lives. 

There’s no evidence that CBD, in any form, can cure, prevent, or stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the idea of CBD “strengthening the immune system” is frequently misrepresented in order to sell hemp-based CBD products. Despite the lack of evidence that CBD can help directly in the COVID-19 crisis, a lot of CBD companies are making misleading claims anyway.

Claiming CBD can reduce spread of COVID-19 is irresponsible

While CBD does have some anti-bacterial properties, COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Currently, there’s absolutely no published, peer-reviewed research we’re aware of on CBD and COVID-19. In a health crisis, we need to stick to facts, not speculation. Even (especially) if we can make money off speculating.

CBD-Infused Hand Sanitizer: Pandemic Products No One Needs

It’s become a bit of a joke on social media that people are stuffing CBD into absolutely everything, even hummus and pillows.

It’s not a joke that makes the CBD industry look good. CBD pillows don’t help us make our case that this is a genuinely beneficial supplement.

There’s no indication that CBD is doing anything here, despite the claims that “proprietary technology” makes the hand sanitizer offer “faster relief.” To us, this just seems like a way to charge $6 for a one ounce bottle of sanitizer with a few drops of CBD added. It’s a product that wouldn’t exist if there weren’t shortages of Purell.

If you have the resources to make protective supplies or equipment for our healthcare workers and other vulnerable people, please do so. And leave the cannabinoid hype at home.

Can CBD “boost” or “balance” the immune system?

Right now there’s a booming business being done in herbal or nutritional supplements that are meant to “boost” or “balance” your immune system. That includes CBD.

Unfortunately, the reality is that there’s no simple way to strengthen our immune system, nor any magic bullet that can bring it back into balance.

Let’s talk science for a moment. CBD and the other natural “cannabinoids” found in hemp and cannabis work by mimicking compounds normally found in our bodies. Those chemicals made by our bodies are called “endogenous cannabinoids,” because endogenous means, roughly, “from the body.” When we take CBD, it interacts with our natural “endocannabinoid system”, a series of receptors in our nervous system found throughout the body. And we know that this system does interact with the immune system.

Beyond that, our knowledge of the endocannabinoid system is very limited. Decades of drug prohibition made it extremely difficult for researchers to study how our body interacts with these chemicals. Once again, we simply have no evidence that CBD’s effect on our body can do anything to help us fight off COVID-19. At least one study suggests that cannabinoids could harm the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses, in some cases.

That doesn’t mean quit taking CBD until the COVID-19 crisis ends (unless your doctor tells you to do so, of course). It just means we need more research before making any claims. 

The idea that we can take herbs to “boost” our immune system is a bit of a myth, according to Self Magazine. “For starters,” noted Carolyn L. Todd on March 23, “your immune system isn’t one single thing that we can pump up on demand—it’s a highly evolved, complicated system.” You should read the whole article, because she goes into a lot of detail, and interviews actual experts on the immune system.

So if CBD helps you sleep better, recover from exercise faster, or feel less stressed, great! But the hemp industry should stop making unsupported claims about CBD and the immune system.

What CBD consumers & brands can do during COVID-19 crisis

When millions of lives are at stake, seemingly insignificant claims can become very serious. Giving people a false sense of security, or leading them to believe that a nutritional supplement will prevent them from catching the COVID-19 virus, could have deadly consequences during this pandemic.

We decided to close out this editorial with some tips for CBD buyers, and advice for CBD brands.

Stay as safe as you can and let’s all do what we can to protect each other.

Advice for CBD buyers

Use caution when buying CBD, now just as any day. Make sure you do your research to help you identify quality CBD brands. During the pandemic, you can add another factor to your selection process:

Don’t buy CBD from brands that make health claims about COVID-19 or the immune system.

Remember, CBD can help a lot of people with anxiety, insomnia, and other symptoms of isolation and a very stressful time. But claiming CBD can help directly with COVID-19 is simply inaccurate based on our current knowledge.

How CBD brands can help during the pandemic

Just as we want everyone to act responsibly by washing their hands and practicing social distancing, we want hemp brands to act responsibly too. How can they do that?

By being honest about what CBD can (and cannot do) to alleviate suffering in this time. By taking care of their employees as best they can, and donating supplies and money whenever possible.

To the extent that CBD and other cannabinoids can help, make sure you’re making your products accessible to people who are losing income. If you work for a hemp brand, consider launching a CBD assistance program. If you already have one, consider whether you can make more people eligible or give bigger discounts for a while.

If the hemp industry wants to be a leader at sustainability, as we often claim, now is the perfect time to prove it. We must put people over profits, and humanity over economic growth.

Ultimately, we believe that has to be more important than any quick profits based on fear and lies.  

(Read the full article at

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