CBD Myths and Misconceptions Debunked
The CBD market is teeming with new products—CBD vape oil, CBD salves and lotions, CBD pills, CBD gummies and so on—but new customers face a ton of misinformation when they conduct their own research online. So, myths and misconceptions can proliferate. Let’s look at just a few of these and debunk them with reality and some clarifications.
Myth: CBD makes you “high.”
Reality: Whether it’s derived from the cannabis plant or the industrial hemp plant, CBD by itself doesn’t affect the brain in the same mind-altering fashion as THC does. THC molecules attach or “bind” to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors to produce a high. But CBD molecules don’t bind to receptors at all. Rather, CBD lessens or inhibits the effects of other molecules that bind to receptors and make you aware of pain.
However, if a CBD product also contains a significant percentage of THC, it could result in a slightly reduced high—unless it’s in a topical—because CBD somewhat reduces the effects of THC. So, if you don’t want to get “high” at all, make sure the product is processed from hemp-based CBD, which must contain less than 0.3% THC. Check out the ingredients on the CBD product label to find out how much THC, if any, is listed.
Misconception: CBD is not-psychoactive at all.
Clarification: Just because CBD doesn’t produce the intoxicating effects of THC, that doesn’t mean it will not have any effect on the brain. Research suggests that CBD dampens the neurotransmitter serotonin, which affects mood. CBD doesn’t make you high, but it might introduce a sense of calmness by easing anxiety or reducing the sensation of pain. It’s this “non-high”—but still somewhat psychoactive—effect that CBD can offer some consumers, when taken at the right amount.
Myth: All CBD is alike.
Reality: Not all CBD is distilled the same way. Some processors extract CBD from THC-rich cannabis, and others extract from CBD-rich industrial hemp. In addition, some CBD oils are produced as an isolate; that is, CBD is the only ingredient. Other products are broad-spectrum (0% THC) or full-spectrum (<0.3% THC) and contain terpenes and other cannabinoids. Also, various processors can use different extraction methods then add other ingredients to CBD, including:
· terpenes plus plant-based and/or food-grade flavors
· potentially harmful thinning agents in vape distillate: Vitamin E acetate, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, medium chain triglycerides and vegetable glycerin
· and even contaminants like solvents, heavy metals and pesticides.
In addition, many states have outlawed the use of thinning agents in vape distillate, since these have been reported to cause lung damage in some people. To determine that you’ve purchased high-quality CBD, review the product label for the list of ingredients and check whether the product has been tested by a reputable third-party lab. Then you’ll know it’s the best quality product.
Misconception: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken a “hands-off” approach to regulating CBD.
Clarification: Although the FDA doesn’t directly oversee CBD processors as it does with food and drug processors, the agency still monitors the CBD industry and regulates how products that contain CBD are marketed to consumers. The FDA advises against certain production, marketing and sales practices, such as making medical claims about CBD, labeling CBD products as “dietary supplements,” identifying amounts for consumers to take as “dosages,” and recommending that CBD can be added to food.
Myth: There’s no limit to how much CBD you can take.
Reality: Because there are currently no industrywide standards for the amount of CBD a consumer can take, your first impulse might be to take as much as you want. But that would be wrong. CBD may have some effects by taking just the right amount, and few or no effects either below or above that amount. Many industry experts think that there’s a “sweet spot” or an optimum level of CBD, regardless of the delivery mechanism (vaping or sublingual use, topical, edible, etc.). It’s not easy to determine what that “sweet spot” is, since it can depend on your weight, metabolism, CBD tolerance and current medications.
How can you determine the amount? First, understand why you’re taking CBD (such as to ease chronic anxiety) and realistically define what you’re expecting (such as to feel much less anxious in certain situations). Then start with a low amount of CBD and ramp up slowly until you reach what you define as the right results for you. You may not notice any effects right away, and the process could take a few weeks or more. But after you reach your defined goal, taking more CBD can only reduce its effectiveness and increase potential side effects. It’s also necessary to track how much you take every day, so that you can recognize the effects (if and when they occur) and know how much you took.
Myth: CBD is completely safe.
Reality: Some people have reported side effects from CBD, like low blood pressure, dry mouth and lightheadedness, generally when taking it in high amounts. These aren’t serious, but they can be unpleasant. In addition, if you’re taking any prescription medications, vitamins or dietary supplements, CBD could prevent them from working effectively. And it’s been demonstrated that CBD can interfere with anticoagulant and anti-seizure medications. So, for your health’s sake, talk with your doctor before you try CBD.