CBD has only been approved for widespread consumer use for a few years, so it should come as no surprise that there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions regarding this natural plant extract. Whether consumers are hesitant to try CBD for themselves or they’re already avid supporters of widespread CBD use, it’s important that everyone who uses CBD oil, edibles, topicals, and smokables be able to distinguish myth from fact. Read on to find out about five of the most common myths about CBD to learn the truth.
Myth #1: CBD Will Get You High
Since CBD is derived from cannabis plants, it’s common for consumers to assume that, like THC, it is a recreational drug that will produce strong psychoactive effects. In reality, CBD products are more often derived from hemp than marijuana, and even pure marijuana-based CBD extractions will not get users high. Once they start to learn about cbd and how it works, consumers will be better able to understand why.
Although both CBD and THC are cannabinoids, THC operates differently in the body. It binds to endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, which is what produces its psychoactive effects. CBD, on the other hand, actually dampens the activity of cannabinoid receptors while encouraging the production of natural endocannabinoids within the body. When consumed in conjunction with THC, it actually hampers the psychoactive side effects of this better-known chemical compound. When taken alone, CBD can help to promote feelings of ease, but it won’t create noticeable psychoactive effects.
Myth #2: All CBD Extracts Are the Same
Not only are there many different types of CBD-derived products out there ranging from topical creams to edible gummies and pure, smokable hemp flowers, but there’s also a lot of variation between different products in each of these categories. CBD oil and tinctures, for example, come in three main forms: pure isolates, broad-spectrum extracts, and full-spectrum products.
Full-spectrum products contain all of the same cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds as the cannabis plant from which they were derived. Broad-spectrum products contain some other phytochemicals in addition to CBD, but do not contain any THC. Pure CBD isolates contain only CBD without any of the other terpenes and cannabinoids that naturally occur in cannabis plants.
Myth #3: More CBD Is Always Better
As with most good things in life, CBD is best when taken in moderation. The ideal strength and amount of CBD vary by person, but in most cases, both very low and very high doses are ineffective. Some research has also shown that CBD isolates with high concentrations may be less beneficial than broad-spectrum products that contain other cannabinoids and terpenes even if they have lower concentrations of CBD.
Some clinical trials have shown that high concentrations of CBD are more likely to produce unpleasant side effects. These side effects can be mitigated or even eliminated completely by either switching to a product that’s not as strong or consuming less of the same product. To date, there have been no examples of CBD-induced fatalities even after consuming substantial quantities of CBD oil, edibles, or flowers, so the worst-case scenario for those who take too much CBD is having to deal with some unpleasant but short-term side effects.
Since CBD extracts and other products vary so much when it comes to cannabinoid concentrations and strength, it’s unlikely that there will be standardized guidelines for consuming CBD any time soon. Consumers should pay attention to how they feel when they use different products and different amounts of those products and change their consumption patterns based on what they learn.
Myth #4: CBD Is a Sedative
Technically speaking, CBD is not a sedative. Many consumers find using CBD products relaxing, and some manufacturers produce products specifically designed for nighttime use that also contain herbal sleep aids like melatonin. Marijuana-based CBD may also contain higher concentrations of THC, which can sometimes have a sedative effect. However, CBD itself does not sedate consumers and there are plenty of products designed for daytime use that will actually produce energizing effects.
As with any substance, every consumer also responds a little differently to CBD. Most consumers report increased feelings of wellbeing and improved mood, and many consumers choose to use products that contain CBD before bed to help promote more restful sleep. It’s still important for each consumer to pay attention to how new products affect his or her energy levels and mood and to make adjustments in how they use CBD based on those highly personal responses.
Myth #5: CBD Is a Cure-All
Not all the myths surrounding CBD are propagated by those who want to discredit it or make consumers afraid to use it. Some proponents of CBD use are just as guilty of spreading misinformation.
At this point, most Americans have likely encountered at least one person who talks about CBD as if it is a cure-all substance for everything that can possibly go wrong with consumers’ physical, mental, or emotional health. While CBD does have scientifically supported benefits and has even inspired the creation of new pharmaceutical drugs to treat childhood epilepsy, it isn’t a miracle plant. It can help consumers control the symptoms of certain types of disorders and diseases, but it doesn’t replace the need for conventional medicine and pharmacological treatments.
The Bottom Line
CBD is not a recreational drug. It is a therapeutic, plant-derived substance that many consumers feel makes a perfect addition to their overall wellness routines or treatment plans. It’s important for those trying CBD for the first time to have access to accurate information about what to expect, and it’s equally important for proponents of CBD to be able to debunk harmful myths about it so that more people can feel comfortable using CBD oil, edibles, smokables, and topicals without unjustified fear. As long as they buy products from a reputable vendor that performs independent testing, consumers will find that it’s relatively easy to figure out what strength and route of administration work best for them, so don’t be afraid to experiment.