Thanks to over 80 years of prohibition and government propaganda, a group of plants with demonstrated healing and therapeutic properties has been outlawed, stigmatized and made off limits for patients and scientists.
Because of the lack of public research (in the US, at least) and the negative stigma around cannabis, not only have patients been missing out on a potentially lifesaving form of natural medicine, but scientists and doctors have had to risk their licenses, jobs and livelihoods to perform even small amounts of research.
Recently, due to legislative reform and strong pushback by the general public, things are finally turning around in the United States. Consumers are more curious than ever about CBD, but there are many unanswered questions due to lack of awareness.
There are many misconceptions when it comes to CBD. We’re here to bust the myths and set the record straight.
Misconception 1: CBD is marijuana
First, it’s time for a vocabulary lesson. CBD stands for “cannabidiol” — it’s a phytocannabinoid (a plant compound derived from cannabis) that interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). That’s correct: you yourself, in your own body, have a specific system of receptors that are designated for cannabinoids. You learn something new every day, right?
Marijuana is a plant within the cannabis family. Cannabis plants come in many varieties, and marijuana is the type that’s high in THC content — THC is another kind of phytocannabinoid. There is some CBD in a marijuana plant, but it’s typically much lower than the THC content. Most CBD comes from hemp plants that are high in CBD and low in THC.
Misconception 2: CBD should only from hemp
False! While a lot of CBD does come from hemp plants, CBD can come from any cannabis plant. Whether or not it comes from marijuana typically depends on where it’s grown, manufactured and distributed. As mentioned, marijuana plants typically have a lower CBD content, so farmers have created hybrid strains of these cannabis plants to create high-CBD, low-THC varieties for the purpose of medical CBD.
The result is rooted in a high concentration of CBD. Think of it like vitamin C — you can get it from orange juice, or you can get it from a slice of watermelon. Regardless of where it comes from, it’s still vitamin C and your body processes it in the same way. CBD doesn’t necessarily have to come from a hemp plant; so long as it comes from safe, sustainable cannabis from a clean, organic farm, you’re golden.
Misconception 3: CBD gets you high
Above, we talked about CBD and THC, two phytocannabinoids with totally different effects on your body’s endocannabinoid system. In fact, THC is the only phytocannabinoid (out of more than 100) that provides the psychoactive intoxication effects known as the euphoria or “high.” If you’re looking to get stoned, CBD is not the option for you.
Though CBD does provide a form of psychoactive effect, it’s not by means of a euphoric high. CBD can relieve symptoms of anxiety, psychosis, bipolar disorder, depression and other psychological conditions, but not in the way typically associated with marijuana.
Misconception 4: CBD is medical, THC is recreational
Many people still have the notion that THC is only used for euphoric intoxication. This is not the case! THC has medicinal properties that CBD does not; in fact, it may be more effective for pain relief than CBD. In addition, THC has been shown to be extremely effective for treating glaucoma and ocular pressure, whereas CBD is not. THC is also useful to help chemotherapy patients regain their appetite, whereas CBD is not as potent in that area.
These are just a few of the proven medicinal benefits of THC. In sum, THC is used for much more than “getting stoned.”
Misconception 5: CBD is good and THC is bad
As you can probably tell, THC is hardly “bad.” It’s best to not pit CBD and THC against each other, as they both serve specific purposes within the body and mind, and are both therapeutic forms of plant medicine.
Misconception 6: CBD is better if it’s isolated
Speaking of not pitting them against each other, did you know that CBD and THC can actually work better together? It’s a symbiotic, synergistic effect known as the “entourage effect.” It hasn’t been exhaustively studied, but many scientists and cannabis experts have reported that these phytocannabinoids work even more effectively when they’re not split up.
CBD isolate definitely serves a purpose — it can blend into different kinds of edible products and can be combined into naturopathic medicines. In addition, there is potentially a U-shaped response curve when it comes to CBD isolate. This means there’s actually a threshold of efficacy, and after a certain amount of milligrams, the isolate becomes less effective. This is not the case with CBD distillate or full- and broad-spectrum hemp extract.
In these distillates and extracts, even if there’s no THC (or very little), the terpenes and flavonoids from the plant form a holistic healing profile that creates a more synergistic effect and delivers stronger symptom relief.
Misconception 7: CBD cures everything
We’re obviously big fans of CBD at Mood CBD, and cannabidiol has shown significant promise for its ability to treat a remarkable number of diseases and ailments. That said, you can’t rely on CBD for everything when it comes to your medical woes. For example, while it can help alleviate anxieties and inflammation, you won’t want to take CBD for a respiratory infection.
This is particularly important to remember when it comes to oncology and cancer treatment. CBD is becoming quite popular as a natural cancer remedy, and some studies have shown that it may be able to inhibit tumor growth and even cause cancer cell death. However, you should never forgo the advice of your oncologist while you’re under their care for cancer treatment. In fact, CBD could potentially interact negatively with chemotherapy treatment, so work closely with your specialist if this is an area of concern for you.
Misconception 8: CBD is illegal
There are a number of misconceptions surrounding the legality of CBD, as the legal landscape has been rapidly changing over the past few years, and most significantly in the last 6 months. Thanks to the Farm Bill, hemp is 100 percent legal and hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states.
The difficult part is ascertaining whether your CBD product was derived from hemp or marijuana. As long as the finished product has less than 0.3 percent THC content, it shouldn’t matter. That said, if you live in a state in which THC is legal, the sky’s the limit when it comes to THC content.