Clearing Up The Top 10 CBD Myths
Whether you've been using cannabidiol (CBD) oil for years or only heard about it yesterday, there's always something new to learn. Along with all the information, there can also be a lot of misinformation. This inaccuracy makes it not only confusing but downright frustrating when all you want to do is educate yourself. The good news is if you’re reading this article, you’re already a few steps ahead of clearing up some of those CBD myths!
Myth #1: CBD Oil Gets You High
This myth is one of the most common misconceptions. And it’s an understandable one, considering both CBD and marijuana come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa.
Unlike its fellow cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD will not get you high.
Don’t worry; it doesn’t matter how much you take, you won’t be tripping anytime soon.
Because CBD doesn’t alter your mental state, it’s become popular in recent years with people who want to reap the medical benefits of cannabis without experiencing the intoxicating side effects.
Speaking of which, sometimes you may see CBD referred to as “non-psychoactive,” but that’s not entirely correct. The reason being that the term psychoactive refers to any substance that interacts with the Central Nervous System (CNS) and, as a result, alters your consciousness. So because CBD has been shown to relieve anxiety and depression – both mental states – it is technically psychoactive.
The more accurate term for CBD is that it’s “non-intoxicating.” An intoxicant is any substance that impairs you (alcohol, for example) and has a negative impact on your physical and mental capabilities. Regardless of what the used term is, the point is CBD alone is never going to get you high.
Myth #2: It’s Only For Humans
Everyone can enjoy CBD oil, even your pets!
Pets bring joy, love, and laughter into our lives which makes it easy to forget they aren’t always as happy-go-lucky as they seem. Just like us, they also get stressed, anxious, and depressed. When this happens, it can often result in them acting out. Every pet owner knows what it’s like to come home to a house that looks like a crime scene and it’s not a good feeling.
While it may seem tempting to use harsh pharmaceuticals to help your furry friends cope, the unwanted side effects often aren’t worth the risk. And they’re especially not worth it when you could get comparative results with CBD oil. In recent years, interest has grown in CBD for animals and pet parents everywhere are calling for more research. While it’s still in its infancy, the available research looks promising.
If you’re interested in using CBD oil for your dog, cat, or horse (yes, even horses), check with your vet and get their opinion. It's also worth going online and seeing what other pet owners have to say about the pros and cons of using CBD oil. Sometimes anecdotal evidence is the best evidence! Just remember to make sure whatever CBD oil you give your pet is THC-free.
Myth #3: CBD Oil is Addictive
If you're worried that CBD oil is addictive, don't be. Need proof? Check out the World Health Organization's (WHO) 27-page report on CBD. As an influential and globally-respected organization, their support of CBD is a huge step forward. And, according to WHO,
“...evidence from well-controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential.”
Need more evidence? The Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) published an article agreeing with the WHO report that current evidence supports CBD’s therapeutic properties. They even go on to say that “it is not likely to be abused or create dependence” and “current information does not justify scheduling cannabidiol.”
Other studies have shown that CBD may even help reduce addictive behaviors and relapses. In this study, researchers used rats who had learned to self-administer drugs and gave them CBD oil 24 hours a day for a week. The results of the study concluded that not only did the rats’ addictive behavior subside with the CBD, it also helped them avoid relapse for up to 5 months.
All the evidence points to CBD not only helping reduce addiction but also possibly preventing its recurrence as well. With more research and evidence, CBD could be a great future alternative in the war on addiction.
Myth #4: CBD Without THC Doesn’t Work as Well
A frequent question people have is if CBD works without the THC. The answer is: yes, it does! CBD and THC are both beneficial cannabinoids, but not everyone wants the high that is associated with THC. That’s why the demand for THC-free CBD has become so great as more and more people discover the benefits of CBD.
Whatever the reason may be that you want to skip the THC, you don’t need to worry about that affecting CBD's effectiveness. Study after study has shown that CBD promotes wellness with or without THC, particularly when it comes to inflammation, chronic pain, and epilepsy.
While researching CBD online, you may have come across two terms: full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. Generally speaking, full-spectrum CBD will contain some amount of THC. Instead, broad-spectrum contains all the beneficial cannabinoids but is THC-free. So just remember, the important part is the cannabinoids, not the THC.
Myth #5: Hemp and Marijuana Are The Same
It's not uncommon for people to confuse hemp with marijuana, but they aren't the same. While they may both come from Cannabis sativa, that's about all they share in common.
At the most basic level, hemp is a fertilized cannabis plant while marijuana is an unfertilized cannabis plant. When left unfertilized, the THC levels in marijuana can get anywhere from 5-30% while hemp’s THC levels will remain at or below 0.3%.
When growing marijuana, you need a controlled environment that’s warm and humid. In contrast, hemp can thrive in a variety of habitats. Another major difference between the two is that marijuana has limited use; it's either used medicinally or as a drug. Hemp has thousands of uses ranging from clothing and soap, to concrete and carpet.
Because of its variety of uses, hemp has historically been one of the most appreciated crops. For example, in 1942 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lifted the Marihuana Tax Act and introduced the “Hemp for Victory” campaign. The goal was to encourage World War II era farmers to increase hemp production for use in the manufacturing of war materials.
The campaign was so successful that in one year 32,000 acres of hemp crops turned into 375,000. Unfortunately, soon after the war ended so too was the demand for hemp. Lawmakers reinstated previous restrictions, and the industry diminished yet again.
Luckily, America's appreciation for hemp as a useful agricultural crop is on the rise again. Thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, the future for hemp is looking bright again, and the 2018 revised version is currently in the works. Hopefully, by the end of this year, all remaining restrictions on hemp will be lifted once and for all.
Myth #6: CBD is Illegal
Legal issues are always tricky because of all the different layers and red tape that is involved. That’s why we have lawyers, right? Well, luckily, the legality of CBD is pretty easy to understand. What matters is the source of the CBD oil and where you live.
Most CBD you find today comes from industrial hemp. This fact typically means it contains less than or equal to 0.3% THC which makes it federally legal to sell, ship, and use within the United States. While it's possible to find CBD oil that’s marijuana-based with high THC-levels, these products are currently illegal under federal law.
So, unless you live in a state where marijuana is legal for recreational use (like California or Colorado), steer clear from CBD that is marijuana-based. That said, even if hemp derived CBD is legal on a federal level, you should still check your state's laws. It’s always a good idea to stay up-to-date with local legislation and keep yourself informed.
Myth #7: All CBD Oils Are Created Equal
Until all CBD becomes regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), you’re going to have companies trying to scam and sell you mislabeled CBD oil. That’s why the more you know about CBD, the better you can avoid being hoodwinked by shady companies.
The first thing to know is that the hemp quality plays a big role in the CBD quality. Hemp is a natural bioaccumulator and will absorb whatever is in the soil, like heavy metals and pesticides. Because of this, it’s crucial that CBD is regularly tested to make sure it’s 100% free of any harmful materials.
That’s why it’s important to make sure the CBD company provides proof of third-party lab testing, like this. This way you can be sure the CBD you are using is not only high quality but that it’s safe as well.
Another element that determines the quality of CBD is the type of extraction process the company uses. Cheaper companies who care more about their bank accounts than your health may use toxic solvents to extract the CBD isolate. Quality companies will use more gentle extraction techniques, such as C02 or ethanol (grain alcohol) extraction. These are the safest methods that yield the highest amount of cannabinoids in the end product.
If a company doesn’t provide any information about their extraction process on their website, call customer service and ask. And, if they don’t have customer service, start looking for another CBD company.
Myth #8: It Makes You Tired
One of the reasons many people use CBD oil is because they find it helps with sleep discomfort and insomnia. Because of this, it can cause concern that a potential side effect is feeling tired or unproductive during the day. Luckily, there is no need to worry!
CBD works with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help your body achieve homeostasis, which is your body's ideal balanced state. Factors like stress and illness can all contribute to your body getting out of whack. Luckily, CBD oil can help get everything back on track.
If you’re looking for a long-term solution for your insomnia instead of a short-term fix, give CBD oil a try. Compared to synthetic sleep aids, it has no side effects and won't make you feel drowsy or sluggish. Studies even show that small doses of CBD oil may also promote wakefulness.
Myth #9: Hemp Oil and CBD Oil Are The Same
You may have come across the term “hemp oil” recently and wondered if it was the same thing as CBD oil. The answer is simple: it’s not!
Both CBD and hemp oil come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa, but hemp oil comes from the seeds – which have no CBD – while CBD oil comes from the flowers and stems of the plant.
Hemp oil has many uses, ranging from a nutritional supplement to the base for paints or plastics. And, while it is useful, it's important not to confuse it with CBD oil because it’s nowhere near as potent regarding health benefits. Unfortunately, people may try to pass off hemp oil as CBD oil to unsuspecting customers. Don't fall victim to scammers and make sure to research a product before you buy it.
Myth #10: CBD Converts to THC in Your Stomach
Back in 1968, an Israeli scientist detected a small amount of THC after he’d dissolved CBD isolate in an acidic mixture. This discovery sparked the theory that acidic gastrointestinal (GI) juices could turn CBD into THC. Though, after thorough testing, the scientific community discounted this as a possibility.
Fast forward to 2016 when a Merrick et al. study claimed their research found CBD did turn into THC if ingested. And, as you would imagine, some CBD users panicked. In response, skeptical researchers decided to review the available literature and studies on the “CBD to THC” dilemma. They concluded that the Merrick et al. study was both misleading and biased.
You may be wondering why Merrick et al. would want to publish a misleading study; good question. As it turns out, a pharmaceutical company funded it, hoping to create a market for their new CBD transdermal patch. The patch was supposed to offer a “novel” CBD delivery method that bypassed the GI tract, avoiding the dreaded CBD to THC conversion. Unfortunately for the company, the patch wasn’t much of a success.
The Importance of Demystifying CBD
Its high time that the world is made aware of CBD, and part of that is clearing up unfortunate misconceptions. When you know the truth about CBD and how beneficial it is, seeing blatantly incorrect information online can be pretty frustrating. That’s why it’s important to be a CBD advocate and stand up for what you believe.
Too often people write off CBD simply because they can’t disassociate it from marijuana. And it’s a shame because that stigma could be preventing them from getting the CBD relief they need. So if you’ve seen the power of CBD firsthand, be sure to share what you know with your friends and family to better educate them about CBD.