Scam Report

CBD and COVID: Scam Alert

CBD and COVID: Scam Alert
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CBD, COVID-19 and cancer – Unfounded facts and the perfect storm being used to scam you

The COVID-19 pandemic creates the perfect storm of hopes and fears that dishonest business try to exploit with fake promises of protection and healing. But when these promises are not backed by science, the consequences can often cost you money and your good health.

The FTC filed a complaint to stop Marc Ching, doing business as Whole Leaf Organics, from making claims that Thrive, a pill with Vitamin C and herbal extracts, is scientifically proven to prevent or treat illnesses like COVID-19.

The defendant claimed Thrive boosts immunity to help protect people from getting COVID-19 — and would treat the disease if they get it. What’s more, Mr. Ching claimed that several CBD products sold by Whole Leaf Organics — including CBD-EX, CBD-RX and CBD-MAX — treat cancer.

Since at least December 2018, Ching has used his Whole Leaf Organics website to advertise and sell three CBD-containing products, CBD-EX, CBD-RX, and CBD-Max. The first is an ingestible capsule consisting mainly of a combination of cannabidiol and herbal extracts. CBD-RX and CBD-Max are oils composed primarily of CBD and hemp extract.

Thirty capsules of CBD-EX retail for $39.99 and CBD-RX and CBD-Max sell for between $75 and $125 per bottle.

Ching advertises all three CBD products as effective cancer treatments. According to the FTC’s complaint, however, Ching does not have the scientific evidence to back up the cancer-treatment claims, and therefore the advertisements are false or deceptive.

The FTC says there is no solid scientific evidence backing up those claims. In fact, Mr. Ching has agreed to a preliminary order in a California federal court that says he can’t say Thrive works against COVID-19, or that CBD-EX, CBD-RX and CBD-MAX are effective cancer treatments.

The best way to fight the Coronavirus is with facts, not false promises. Follow these tips:

  • If you’re tempted to buy a product claiming to protect you from COVID-19, or to treat cancer, check with your doctor or other health care professional first.
  • Stay informed. To learn more about the Coronavirus, visit the CDC’s FAQ page. Visit the FDA to learn about the development and approval of treatments for the Coronavirus.
  • Sign up for consumer alerts from the FTC. Also, check out the FTC’s Coronavirus information page at

See a product claiming to treat, cure or prevent the Coronavirus? Report it to the FTC at

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