Parent Alert | Beware False Claims

Parent Alert | April 2020 | Beware False Claims
Does Cannabis Kill Coronavirus?
Knowing the difference between facts and opinions
Recently, USA Today posted an article that cited former NFL player Kyle Turley’s take on the Coronavirus. He stated that cannabis is a sure-fire way to survive this epidemic.
Social media eats up these types of stories, and it’s doing the same thing with this claim. Why? Because something in human nature wants to believe it. A cure? Yes! And backed up by a famous sports figure!
There’s nothing wrong with hoping that such happenings are true, but we need to check our responses. Unfortunately, we can’t believe everything we read, even if it sounds right.
So, how can we distinguish the difference between truth and fiction?
1. Check your facts
Turley states in the above article, “The science behind this is real.” Sadly, however, we can’t just take someone’s word for it when it comes to something so significant. Before sharing the article, telling our friends, or googling how to get marijuana, we need to double-check the facts.
  • Reuters is a site specifically designed to fact check, and they actually discuss this very issue. Their conclusion? “There is no evidence to suggest marijuana could cure COVID-19.” While we shouldn’t discount someone’s personal testimony, we also need to remember that it’s not the same thing as scientific fact. (See the full article here.)
  • While some patients have reportedly found relief from acute pain through the use of medical marijuana, The American Lung Association warns against smoking it, noting that such an action could cause serious damage to your lungs. For more details, click here.
  • According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse, new forms of medication must undergo rigorous testing before they become FDA approved, and there’s simply not enough research or evidence in support of marijuana’s health benefits. (This point includes cannabis and hemp.)
  • The Centre For Medicinal Cannabis Research states that “cannabis possesses many of the same harmful chemicals as tobacco smoke” and that there’s a risk of “chronic bronchitis, infection, COPD and lung cancer” (heres the full research article).
  • For more information on cannabis and Coronavirus, click here.
2. Correlation & causation: Know the difference
  • Just because two phenomena are linked doesn’t mean that one caused the other. In other words, if someone smokes marijuana and recovers from Coronavirus, we can’t assume the marijuana is what healed him.
  • There’s a short (but very important) clip on YouTube that does a great job of explaining this error. It’s one we often make when taking in information. Check it out here:
How Ice Cream Kills! Correlation vs. Causation
3. Don’t fall into the “confirmation bias” trap
Confirmation bias is when we search for and focus on data that supports our theory while ignoring data that contradicts it.
  • For example, googling “does marijuana help cure Coronavirus” may result in several articles attesting to that fact. Make sure, however, that you also search something like “dangers of marijuana” to get a balanced picture.
  • The idea is to look fairly at an issue from every angle, regardless of our personal biases.
Finally, remember that others will come to different conclusions than you do, and that’s OK. We can all share our findings with each other and, if necessary, kindly agree to disagree.
Other false COVID-19 cures:
Keith Middlebrook’s online scam
The FDA’s list of 7 fraudulent “cures
Stay safe, smart, and healthy!

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