Crowdfunding Cannabidiol (CBD): Hype and Misinformation on GoFundMe

Zenone M., Snyder J., Caulfield T.
Academic Journal
American Journal of Public Health
110(S3): S294-S299


To use crowdfunding campaigns to better understand how cannabidiol (CBD) is represented (and misrepresented) as cancer-related care.


We analyzed CBD-related crowdfunding campaigns (n = 155) created between January 2017 and May 2019 in multiple countries on


More than 81.9% of campaigns fundraised CBD for curative or life-prolonging reasons, and 25.2% fundraised for pain management.


Most campaigns seeking funds for CBD for cancer-related care on GoFundMe are for curative or life-prolonging purposes and present CBD definitively as an effective treatment option. In general, campaigners supported their funding requests with anecdotal claims of efficacy and referenced sources of information that were either not evidence-based or that misrepresented existing evidence.

Public Health Implications

Misinformation around CBD for cancer is widespread on medical crowdfunding campaigns. Given the potential adverse impact, crowdfunding platforms, like GoFundMe, must take steps to address their role in enabling and spreading this misinformation.