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COVID’s Lesson for Cannabis: Let Science and Testing Lead the Way

In a recently published paper, public health researcher Theodore L. Caputi, MPH, highlights the importance of separating politics and public opinion from real science – and shares how we can apply the lessons we’re learning as we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic to cannabis-derived products.

The example of hydroxychloroquine’s initial “popularity” amidst the coronavirus pandemic due to anecdotal data and high-profile promoters demonstrates the importance of clinical trials, FDA regulation, and thorough research for any given treatment before widespread public use.

As Caputi points out, “When influencers and politicians began to endorse hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID based upon early observational and preclinical studies, many in the public, including patients, physicians, and policy-makers, were quick to embrace hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment, even though observational and preclinical studies are incapable of causally proving a drug's safety or efficacy. …Much of the harms related to hydroxychloroquine could have been averted if physicians and researchers insisted on proof of safety and efficacy from large-scale randomized clinicals.”

The need for real science and FDA-supported research is becoming more and more clear as we battle COVID-19. We need the same robust data and FDA regulation for widely available CBD products – especially those making medical claims – to help keep us safe. The current situation—science by press release—is not adequately protecting or serving consumers.

Read the full paper here.

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