Former NFL player Kyle Turley believes CBD can prevent and cure coronavirus—and he’s not backing down on that clinically unsubstantiated claim despite pushback from marijuana legalization supporters and prohibitionists alike.
In fact, he accused those advocates of cowardice, alleging in an interview with Marijuana Moment that they’re afraid of the consequences of spreading what he claims is the “truth” about cannabis. He also said he would welcome Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcement against his CBD company over these COVID-19 claims and would use such an action as an opportunity to expose the government for covering up the medical potential of the plant.
In a series of tweets in recent weeks, Turley has repeatedly hawked CBD products, arguing that because the compound interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which plays some role in regulating the immune system, they can be used to prevent and cure coronavirus. He says he’s basing that take on anecdotal evidence, as well as conversations he said he’s had with experts in the field.
CBD CAN PREVENT AND CURE THE CORONA VIRUS!
— KT (@KyleTurley) March 8, 2020
But the claim about a CBD coronavirus cure isn’t backed by clinical research. And at a time when there is no vaccine or approved treatment option available for the virus, advocates and experts say this kind of marketing is dangerous and could lead people to avoid conventional health care options, putting them at risk.
“The last thing the world needs in these difficult and often confusing times is someone with any level of celebrity using their public platform to sell their personal products on false promises and pseudoscience,” Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment. “Marijuana and its components do not cure the coronavirus, to say the opposite just to put a few more bucks in your pocket is grotesque. All Americans should be on alert for these modern day charlatans and snake oil salespeople.”
But Turley evidently is undeterred by the criticism. He tweeted on Sunday that “CANNABIS WILL PREVENT & CURE COVID19!!!!!!!” and acknowledged that the statement would elicit “hate.”
CANNABIS WILL PREVENT & CURE COVID19!!!!!!!…..commence the hate
— KT (@KyleTurley) March 29, 2020
In a phone interview with Marijuana Moment on Monday, the athlete-turned-entrepreneur said he has “lots of reasons to believe what I believe and I will continue to proclaim god’s truth in this whole thing because he saved my life through this plant. Period.”
But it’s not a point taken well by allies and opponents of marijuana reform, who’ve widely condemned the claim.
This is so extremely dangerous! A dispensary owner & CBD brand owner is tweeting that cannabis will prevent and cure corona virus. 🤯🤦🏼♀️ https://t.co/kflUpvhtmJ
— Alice Moon (@thealicemoon) March 30, 2020
Spreading disinformation about the effectiveness of cannabis does a serious disservice to the legitimacy of it’s medical efficacy, but also disrespects every legitimate activist and advocate who paved the way for his historic moment.
This is deplorable. https://t.co/WMEq3byORA
— 𝑽𝑰𝑵𝑪𝑬 (@VinnieChant) March 30, 2020
People have given their lives for this plant, spent decades behind bars to make sure people had cannabis, all for clowns and carpetbagger