Fact Check: There Is NO Evidence These Gumdrops Cure COPD

Fact Check

  • by: Dean Miller
Fact Check: There Is NO Evidence These Gumdrops Cure COPD No COPD Proof

Do two shiny gumdrops per day cure COPD? No, that's not true: Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the American Lung Association include gumdrop-form medications on their list of tested and approved medications for treatment of the condition, whose full name is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD afflicts smokers, those with asthma and those with industrial smoke or chemical exposure. Proven COPD medication is obtained with a doctor's prescription, which must be filled through a pharmacist. The page making the claims offers no proof the gumdrops work nor even that they are sold through an approved pharmacy. The page and its video provide no links to medical evidence the gumdrops work, nor even a list of active ingredients.

The claim appeared in multiple social media posts in September 2021, including this September 26, 2021, Facebook video (archived here) where it was published on the Enthusiastic Energy page under the title "COPD? Erase it from your lungs with 2/day." It opened:

Even if you quit... you still have to deal with COPD. The coughing...wheezing...low energy... These infused gummies erased these symptoms like they never existed

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Sep 30 21:28:45 2021 UTC)

The American Lung Association's webpage on managing COPD medications makes no mention of gummy candy as a delivery mechanism. Here are the medications the Lung Association does list, with each entry pared down to essentials:

... Most bronchodilators are often delivered through an inhaler or can be nebulized so you breathe the medicine straight into your lungs.

Decreasing inflammation leads to less swelling and mucus production in the airways and that makes it easier to breathe. These medicines are known as corticosteroids or steroids. They are usually inhaled with an inhaler device.

Corticosteroids can also be swallowed as a pill ...

Combination Medicines
A corticosteroid, an anticholinergic and a beta-agonist can be combined into one inhaler or nebulizer solution.

Your doctor may give you an antibiotic to keep on hand and fill for when you have an infection.

You need a yearly flu shot because the influenza virus changes slightly every year and you must get the latest and newest vaccine.

Both the whole-site search of the Lung Association site and a "Control-F" in-document search found no instances of "chewable," "gum," "gummy" or "candy" at all, much less as a delivery mechanism for COPD medication.

Lung assn.png

Similarly, the National Library of Medicine, "Medline" public information collection, operated by the National Institutes of Health, contains no references to gummy candies that deliver COPD medication. The online library indexes more than a million publications about health.

One version of the video is on a Facebook page registered to ENTHUSIO, LLC, which links to "Related Pages" related to sites peddling CBD (cannabis) gum candies as miracle cures for a number of ailments. The screenshot below shows those pages:

Related CBD pages.JPG

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken Thu Sept 30 at 23:03:19 2021 UTC)

The FDA has not licensed CBD products as a treatment for COPD. In its online fact sheet on CBD products, the drug regulator wrote:

To date, the agency has not approved a marketing application for cannabis for the treatment of any disease or condition. FDA has, however, approved one cannabis-derived and three cannabis-related drug products. These approved products are only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.

The FDA warns against buying medicines online if the seller does not require a prescription and warns against buying from overseas vendors purporting to sell effective drug treatment for conditions and diseases.

Lead Stories on September 30, 2021, emailed the contact for the Enthusiastic Energy page and received immediate notice it is a non-working address:

no addy.jpg

(Source: Gmail screenshot taken Thu Sept 30 at 23:40:39 2021 UTC)

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  Dean Miller

Lead Stories Managing Editor Dean Miller has edited daily and weekly newspapers, worked as a reporter for more than a decade and is co-author of two non-fiction books. After a Harvard Nieman Fellowship, he served as Director of Stony Brook University's Center for News Literacy for six years, then as Senior Vice President/Content at Connecticut Public Broadcasting. Most recently, he wrote the twice-weekly "Save the Free Press" column for The Seattle Times. 

Read more about or contact Dean Miller

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