FDA cracks down on three CBD companies making COVID-19 claims

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to three more CBD retailers for making COVID-19 claims.

Letters were sent to Indigo Naturals and Native Roots Hemp on Monday, and to CBD Online Store on Wednesday. The FDA warned them to stop making claims linked to the coronavirus or else risk legal action, including seizure and injunction.

The FDA said all three companies sold CBD products that were unapproved and misbranded drugs and violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The claims made on their websites, the FDA said, “misleadingly represent them as safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.”

Last month, U.S. Attorney General William Barr directed all U.S. Attorneys to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of coronavirus-related fraud, particularly individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online.

In the letter to Indigo Naturals, the FDA cited company statements suggesting that CBD has “both antibacterial and antiviral effects” and could be an “Anti-Viral Agent For Coronavirus.”

The letter to Wisconsin-based Native Roots Hemp cited company statements claiming that a strain of cannabis “speeds up” coronavirus recovery and that its soaps and “immune boosting oils” could help fight COVID-19.

The FDA said CBD Online Store, located in Laguna HillsCalif., made statements that suggested inflammation in the lungs caused by COVID-19 could be combatted by the “powerful anti-inflammatory effects of CBD.”