Common Myths of CBD
The benefits of cannabis products specific to the cannabinoid cannabidiol, or CBD, are becoming more widely known in treating multiple ailments everyday. However, due to cannabis being a controlled substance, research and published scientific articles are limited and misinformation creeps its way in. Below you'll find four common myths about CBD:
1. 'CBD is non-psychoactive.'
In 2017, a report was published in the scientific journal Cell Press, by a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher and former senior Medical Advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals named Dr. Ethan Russo. Cannabisnow.com quotes Russo, "CBD is frequently mischaracterized as ‘non-psychoactive’ or ‘non-pychotropic’ in comparison to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but these terms are inaccurate, given its prominent pharmacological benefits on anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction, and possibly even depression." Russo feels CBD should be referred to as non-intoxicating versus non-psychoactive. Dr. Dustin Sulak, agrees while writing on this subject for Leafly, "CBD clearly impacts our psyche, often in beneficial ways. It does not, however, impair mental or physical function in most consumers, even very high doses. Thus, CBD can be considered psychoactive, but non-impairing or non-intoxicating.” From their statements we can conclude that cannabidiol definitely impacts our psyche in very beneficial ways, without great impairment.
2. 'CBD is sedating.'
Commonly with CBD to THC ratio cannabis products, users experience a sedating or calming effect. This is mainly due to the cannabinoid THC and paired terpenes causing what has been coined as 'the entourage effect.' This can prove effective when treating anxiety or even insomnia. However, CBD alone is not very sedating. “Low to moderate doses are distinctly alerting, as proven in [CBD’s] ability to counteract sedative effects of THC, delay sleep time as documented via electroencephalography and reduce THC-associated ‘hangover,’” Russo writes. Russo also cited the terpene myrcene in the article. Myrcene can be found in mangos, lemongrass, and hops--and is known for it's 'couch-lock' effects when paired with THC or other cannabinoids. Patients have also reported feeling more alert or focused when taking smaller doses of CBD.
3. 'CBD is the same from hemp, medical cannabis, or isolate.'
On a molecular level, CBD is the same regardless of where it was sourced. Whether it is medical cannabis, hemp or a laboratory. However, Dr. Sulak believes that various CBD products on the market have different effects regardless of their origin. He writes, "While CBD is a remarkable medicine, it clearly works best in the context of its phytochemical brothers and sisters from the plant cannabis, especially THC...While the distinction between medical cannabis and hemp varieties continues to blur, it is still likely that hemp is a less efficient source of CBD–much higher amounts of hemp starting material, compared to medical cannabis varieties, may be needed to extract CBD. This may increase the risk of contaminants in the final product. Furthermore, the hemp-based CBD industry is rampant with mislabeling. A recent study found that only 31% of 84 CBD products purchased online were accurately labeled for CBD content." He, and we at HERB, recommend artisan, laboratory-tested products aligned with the medical cannabis program. However, not everyone across the states, or globe have access to these specific products. We recommend to do your research on a company and it's practices if you're purchasing CBD online.
4. 'CBD is legal in all 50 states.'
We've seen local health stores, online companies and tobacco shops selling CBD products. Most of the products are hemp derived and not aligned with the medical cannabis programs in multiple states. The DEA however, disagrees. According to the Controlled Substances Act, CBD belongs to a group of 'tetrahydrocannabinols.' The FDA gives support in stating that a CBD product cannot be considered a “dietary supplement” because it has been “authorized for investigation as a new drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and for which the existence of such investigations has been made public.” While the official statements from our federal administrations put CBD into an illegal light, the motivation to enforce these regulations is unclear. It is our hope that through more research and development, their policies on supplements and hemp/cannabis derived medicines changes for the benefit of public health.
Read more about the myths and misconceptions of CBD at Leafly and Cannabis Now.