LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While many small businesses face challenging times as the coronavirus has forced many of them to shutter their doors, Jim Higdon's CBD products company is seeing a different trend.
"We saw a spike in our online sales that first weekend and our online sales continue to be steady and above average," Higdon, the owner of Cornbread Hemp, said.
The FDA has not issued regulations when it comes to CBD products like Cornbread Hemp's, so Higdon said he can only point to what customers have told him and researchers about why they purchase CBD products, and he believes this recent spike is directly related to the effect COVID-19 has had on society.
"We really feel like from our data, from our customer data, the reason our sales have spiked is people are looking for something to fight the anxiety they're experiencing because disruption to their daily lives," he said.
Higdon said a Gallup Poll study found most consumers claimed to buy CBD products to help with anxiety, pain and better sleep. But there is one additional claim that he has seen floating around on social media and even by some companies - that CBD products can help prevent or possibly cure the coronavirus, which Higdon said is just not true.
"None of these are going to do anything to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and it's very unethical and dangerous because it may give people a false sense of security that they are protecting themselves when they aren't," he said.
Higdon said Dr. Leslie Mudd, an oncology pharmacist with 20 years of experience working at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and sits on Cornbread Hemp's board of advisors, has researched CBD and has said there have not been any human trials or studies done to date on CBD as an anti-viral.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a lobby group, has also reported CBD retailers have received warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for making claims that CBD products can help protect people against coronavirus.