Top CBD Myths and Misconceptions
Not since the early days of Pokemon has something taking the world by storm like CBD. Once shunned as part of the Devil's Lettuce, people all over the U.S. now understand that cannabis actually has some solid medical benefits. But for many people, the high created by THC kept things out of reach, either due to the effects or legal status.
Enter cannabidiol (CBD). The compound, found in both marijuana and industrial hemp, is popular for its lack of a high and supposedly endless medicinal benefits.
But as we all know, hype tends to make things seem better than they really are. We often forget that we can't make assumptions about medical supplements without actual evidence to back it up.
CBD is great in many ways, but there are some myths that we need to clear up.
Myth #1: CBD is "Non-Psychoactive"
A lot of people use the term "psychoactive" as a fancy word for being high. You'll often hear that CBD isn't psychoactive, while THC is. But this isn't the case.
The word "psychoactive" in this case refers to any mind-altering effects. Although CBD doesn't make you high, it does indeed cause chemical changes in the brain.
Case in point, let's look at epilepsy. Epilepsy is the only condition with enough research behind it for the medical community to support CBD as a therapy. Since seizures originate exclusively in the brain, the CBD is altering the chemistry to reduce and (in lucky cases) eliminate seizures.
Many people also say the cannabinoid helps with other neurological or mental health issues, like anxiety, depression, migraines or insomnia. The evidence for this is either sparse or non-existent. However, if this is true, then CBD is, once again, psychoactive.
With this in mind, a better word to use would be "intoxication". CBD isn't non-psychoactive, but it's non-intoxicating.
Myth #2: All CBD Products are the Same
No. Just…no. This is definitely not true. While CBD will always be the same on molecular level, the source can vary from superb to downright sketchy. Even when quality isn't in question, the type of CBD makes a big difference.
First, let's look at quality. Manufacturers have several ways of extracting CBD. The cleanest, safest and most expensive way to do it is through CO2 extraction. This method uses compressed carbon dioxide to extract the cannabinoids into their carrier CBD oil. The CO2 itself naturally filters out, leaving no traces behind.
Other, cheaper methods can get the job done, but there are drawbacks. Alcohol or butane extraction, for instance, are two methods that leave behind trace amounts of solvents. If you vape CBD vape juice or CBD oils, you inhale these traces - and that's not good.
Ingesting them isn't any better.
Now onto the next consideration. There are two possible CBD formats: full-spectrum and isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD products retain all of the compounds from their source plant. These are known as terpenes (oily compounds found throughout the plant kingdom) and other cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN and traces of THC. This is the best choice due to the "entourage effect" - a synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes. When working together, the medical benefits are far better than with CBD alone. While CBD has medicinal properties, different terpenes and cannabinoids bring their own advantages to the table.
Isolate, on the other hand, is almost pure CBD. Manufacturers deliberately filter out everything else during production. While you do end up with a very concentrated CBD product, it won't pack the same punch as a full-spectrum option.
Myth #3: CBD Cure
CBD doesn't cure anything. It might make symptoms more manageable and even have preventative properties for some conditions, but there is no evidence that CBD cures any condition.
There is evidence to suggest that CBD can slow down the growth of cancer cells. You might even find people on forums saying that CBD cured their cancer. But finding evidence to corroborate these claims isn't going to turn up anything. Maybe CBD does cure cancer, or it can be engineered to do so, but to date, there are no confirmed cases of this happening.
The same goes for other issues. CBD may be marketed as a "cure-all," but in reality, it's a "cure-nothing".
Myth #4: CBD is Purely Medicinal
All of the hype around CBD is based on its therapeutic effects. But the truth is that CBD isn't just consumed for medical reasons.
Many people use CBD-rich strains as a way to relax. However, CBD's effects are anything but relaxing. In fact, CBD actually stimulates you. People who claim that CBD relaxes or sedates them are likely consuming either full-spectrum CBD or smoking dry herb that contains terpenes like myrcene, pinene or linalool.
Of course, others take advantage of CBD's tendency to perk them up. But what really makes the cannabinoid interesting is that it actually counters the high created by THC.
If you just smoked weed and want to reduce the high or wake up a little less groggy, add some CBD into the mix.
Myth #5: CBD is Totally Safe
As much as we'd like to believe this, CBD isn't totally safe. Admittedly, it’s safer than many medicinal products out there, but it can cause serious problems with certain medications.
Studies done on children with severe epilepsy found increased liver activity in patients using certain medications. Realistically, any kind of medication metabolized in the liver could have interactions with CBD.
In the case of the epilepsy patients, the increased liver activity resulted in their medications being more concentrated in the blood. Consequently, the effects were stronger, leading to more intense side effects.
In a few cases, the subjects had to discontinue the CBD therapy altogether because doctors were worried about actual liver damage.
If you plan to use CBD, make sure you talk to your doctor first. He or she may order regular blood tests to monitor liver function. If not, it's a good idea for you to request them.