It should be abundantly clear that companies marketing products containing cannabidiol (CBD) should not make claims that CBD helps protect against COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issues dozens of warning letters to companies for making unapproved health claims. Several CBD companies are being sued in class action lawsuits for making health claims. We have written about this issue a number of times. You can read our articles by clicking here, here, and here. We also recently took a deeper dive on the FDA and CBD, which you can read by clicking here.
Additionally, the FDA sent a warning letter on March 6, 2020 to The Jim Bakker Show, operated by the convicted felon and televangelist, Jim Bakker, for marketing a product called “Silver Solution” as an effective treatment for COVID-19.
Yet, it appears that the message either was not received or ignored by at least one company, Neuro XPF of Las Vegas, NV, founded by former professional football player Kyle Turley. On March 31, 2020, the FDA sent Neuro XPF a warning letter, stating:
“The FDA has determined that your website offers cannabidiol (CBD) products for sale in the United States and that these products are intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-191 in people. FDA has determined that these products are unapproved new drugs sold in violation of section 505(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. § 355(a). Furthermore, these products are misbranded drugs under section 502 of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. § 352. The introduction or delivery for introduction of these products into interstate commerce is prohibited under sections 301(a) and (d) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. § 331(a) and (d).”
Among the improper claims cited by the FDA are the following:
- “Crush Corona . . . While scientists around the world are working 24/7 to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, it will take many more months of testing before it’s approved and available. However, there’s something you can do right now to strengthen your immune system. Take CBD . . . CBD can help keep your immune system at the stop of its game. . . . We want everyone to take CBD and take advantage of its potential to help prepare your body to fight a coronavirus infection. So, we’re making all of our products more affordable.”
- “Crush Corona! Your best defense against the COVID-19 blitz starts with a strong immune system. It’s what protects your body from the everyday attacks of bacteria, viruses, parasites and a host of other nasties. Learn more here: https://neuroxpf.com/crush-corona/”
Many participants in the CBD industry are frustrated with the FDA’s lack of leadership on CBD. That being said, it is good to see the FDA taking quick and firm action against companies improperly marketing their CBD products as effective against COVID-19, a devastating pandemic with no contemporary precedent. In addition to potentially causing harm to people who are taken in by this sort of marketing, it promotes the image of an industry that does not play by the rules and puts profits over people. This is the last thing the CBD industry needs as most participants are focused on acting lawfully and promoting legitimacy.
So, do not market your CBD products as effective treatment for COVID-19, or any other medical condition. You may disagree, but it’s the law.
Here is a copy of the FDA letter to Neuro XPF:
April 2, 2020
Rod Kight is an international cannabis and hemp attorney who represents businesses throughout the industry. Additionally, he speaks at cannabis conferences, drafts and presents cannabis legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and maintains the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, where he discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. Rod also has extensive experience representing clients through periods of financial distress. You can contact him here.