As the cannabis industry continues to grow, cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming increasingly popular for its many health benefits and medical applications. However, with so much information floating around it can be hard to decipher the difference between fact, fiction and myth. In order to help clear the air regarding CBD and CBD products, we have decided to tackle the truth about common CBD myths and help enlighten potential (and current) users of this wonderful compound.
Myth #1 – CBD is Non-Psychoactive and Medical, THC is Recreational
The use of the phrase “non-psychoactive” implies that CBD does not affect or alter the brain, which is simply not true given its incredible anxiety-relieving, depression-mitigating, anti-convulsive, mood-boosting properties. As such, CBD does affect our consciousness and brain but it does so without impairment and should be considered a “non-impairing” substance that does have psychoactive properties.
In addition, many users believe that CBD is limited to medical conditions and that THC is limited to recreational use, which is simply not the case. For starters, not all recreational users enjoy getting high and actually much prefer the calming and levelling effects of CBD. It is also important to remember that while some medical conditions are best treated with pure CBD (such as PTSD, autism and seizure disorders), there are other conditions that benefit from THC only versus CBD and more still that do well on a mixed treatment that includes both cannabinoids.
Myth #2 – A Little CBD Goes a Long Way
On a milligram for milligram basis, CBD is actually far less potent than THC. While individuals seeking pain relief may have results with just 3 to 5 milligrams of THC, the same patient may require anywhere from 30 to 200 milligrams of CBD. In many studies where individuals are using medical grade CBD to manage symptoms of schizophrenia or psychosis, many take doses of hundreds of milligrams to balance their body chemistry.
That being said, many recreational users (or those not using it for neurological or psychological disorder) can achieve the desired balance of mood and increase in alertness and focus in as little as 2 to 20 milligrams of CBD, which is typically administered orally.
Myth #3 – CBD is Sedating
Despite the calming effects of CBD, it does not sedate the user but rather improves alertness (as well as mood and focus). In fact, even a 600 milligram dose of CBD did not produce a sedating effect. Some confusion may come from strains that are high in CBD, but may also be high in other compounds such as mycerne, a terpene that promotes sedation and is often found in Indica-dominant strains.
Interestingly enough, despite the alerting effects of CBD, it is actually very beneficial to individuals suffering from insomnia. So while CBD can be alerting, what it is really doing is balancing the activity of hormones, neurotransmitters and other processes within the body. In doing so, CBD can help balance many functions – including sleep cycles. In addition, its ability to help alleviate pain and manage mood disorders (including PTSD) can help reduce anxiety and patients at ease so that they feel safe and comfortable falling asleep.
Myth #4 – CBD from Hemp, Isolate & Medical Cannabis is Equal
Despite popular belief, not all CBD is created equal and can come in many forms. Here is what you need to know:
CBD From Hemp: While hemp shares a lot of the same genetics as cannabis, it is not entirely the same plant. Despite its many, many uses hemp does not contain the same level of cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis plants. Therefore, more hemp is required to produce the same amount of CBD as opposed to cannabis. In addition, hemp-derived CBD is inherently mislabelled as per results from a study that tested 84 CBD products bought online and found only 31% of them to be accurately labeled.
CBD Isolate: CBD Isolate is as it sounds, a fully-isolated form of CBD that is pure CBD with no other cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids present in the product. This is a great product for individuals looking for relief from PTSD, mild to moderate chronic pain, depression or anxiety, difficulty concentrating as well as seizures due to its pure nature. It is also a great supplement for individuals who normally use high THC products as it can help to balance the use of THC.
CBD From Medical Cannabis (Full-Spectrum): CBD products that are derived from medical cannabis strains or are “full spectrum” are the most effective on the market. Full-spectrum CBD can refer to either high-CBD/low-THC flower, which contains all the plant compounds from a balance of cannabinoids to terpenes and flavonoids, or concentrates. CBD oils and tinctures that are labelled as full-spectrum will generally have minimal THC but will still retain the terpenes and flavonoids conducive to that strain. The reason to choose full-spectrum products relates to the “entourage effect” which proves that cannabis is most beneficial when taken as a whole as the terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids are all meant to work together to produce the desired effects whether it is pain relief, help sleeping, mood balance or beyond.
Myth #5 – CBD Activates Cannabinoid Receptors
A slightly more scientific myth on our list is that CBD activates cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system the same way that THC does. This is not true. While THC works similar to our bodies endocannabinoids, in that it can flip on cannabinoid receptors in order to increase neurotransmitter production, reduce the inflammatory response (to relieve pain) and more, CBD is somewhat different.
Unlike THC, CBD does not directly stimulate either CB1 or CB2 receptor. When CBD comes in contact with these receptors it instead shuts down their effects resulting in a decrease of THC and endocannabinoid signals to the CB1 receptor (found throughout the brain). However, it has also been found to indirectly increase cannabinoid signalling by influencing the body’s natural cannabinoid, anandamide. Anandamide is also known as the “bliss molecule” but it goes far beyond that! This naturally occurring human cannabinoid is responsible for influencing memory, motivation, mood, higher thought processes, movement, pain, appetite and even fertility!
While this sounds very confusing, the results are essentially dictated by your own endocannabinoid system. CBD can help with filling in gaps or fixing damage by increasing anandamide signalling, but it can also help to balance the system by shutting down signals to CB1 when these receptors are over-activated. This is why most individuals find CBD to be very calming and to improve their mood; it is simply restoring the balance.
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