4 Myths and Misconceptions About CBD

4 Myths and Misconceptions About CBD

Let’s look at some of the popularly-believed fallacies about CBD. The government believes some of these false ideas. Your friends at work probably believe some of them. Outdated pages on the internet propagate some of them too. 

But first, what do you know about the early history of cannabis (from which CBD is extracted)? 

Once upon a time, cannabis was mankind’s friend

Cannabis has a long history as a medicinal plant. Archaeologists have found artifacts that indicate the ancient Chinese used it as far back as 2900 BC. An early Egyptian medicinal scroll from 1550 BC refers to cannabis as a therapeutic agent. In 1000 BC, the Hindus of India used cannabis in both food and drink, and it was listed as a pain reliever in the Ayurveda. 

In the US, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many others grew hemp as a cash crop. It was used to make rope, sails and clothing back in the early days. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, marijuana was readily available at pharmacies across America and used for a range of health troubles including pain, insomnia and seizures. 

So how did cannabis get its negative image?

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover appointed a man by the name of Harry Anslinger to lead the newly created Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the forerunner of the DEA. Early in his 32-year career, he wasn't much interested in cannabis but when Prohibition ended in 1933, he needed a new enemy to hunt down. As Timeline puts it, “when Prohibition ended, it looked as though Anslinger might be out of a job, so he sought a new threat to the American way, essentially manufacturing a drug war.”

Anslinger used every trick in the book to portray cannabis as dangerous. He persecuted and imprisoned users (especially people of color) and he was the moving force behind criminalizing the hemp plant in the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.

Subsequent administrations have pretty much followed in the path he laid down, including Nixon’s ‘war on drugs’ and Nancy Reagan’s ‘Just say no’ campaign. 

Happily the tide appears to be turning, a lot of good research is being done around the world, and people are learning the benefits of this unfairly-maligned plant and its extracts. So what are some of these fallacies, untruths and half-truths that you’ve probably been told? 

Fallacy: CBD will make you high because it comes from cannabis.

The truth is… somewhat the opposite. Surprised? Let me explain. Cannabis contains many compounds but the two that attract most attention are CBD and THC. 

  • THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the euphoriant chemical that can produce euphoric feelings, the so-called ‘high’ sensations. THC is the psychoactive compound from the cannabis plant. It binds with the CB1 receptors in your body.
  • So CBD (cannabidiol) is not psychoactive, right? Yes!  But there is more to it than that. 

It’s about how these two compounds work, which is... very differently. CBD binds with a different set of receptors, your CB2 receptors. And here’s the neat thing, the cornerstone of why CBD cannot make you high. Research has shown that the presence of CBD weakens the ability of THC to bind with its receptors. So in this way, CBD slightly reduces the psycho-active impact of cannabis. 

The government site PubMed says it’s non-psychotropic. “Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring, non-psychotropic cannabinoid of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa L.” Another paper, however, acknowledges that only a few studies have looked at the question of CBD mitigating the negative effects of THC, and that their results have not always been consistent. The research will no doubt continue but for now it looks like CBD actually reduces THC’s euphoria effect (which actually is very mild in full spectrum CBD products anyway, because there’s only a tiny trace of THC in them - in case you were wondering!) 

Fallacy? CBD is addictive.

The truth is… the World Health Organization says it’s safe and non-addictive. And I quote, “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile” (June 2018). And this: “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” They went on to say, “To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” 

In an earlier (2015) report, the National Institute on Drug Abuse agreed, saying, “CBD appears to be a safe drug with no addictive effects, and the preliminary data suggest that it may have therapeutic value for a number of medical conditions.”

However, as late as November 2019 the FDA said in a news release, “the FDA is not aware of any basis to conclude that CBD is GRAS [generally regarded as safe] among qualified experts for its use in human or animal food.” What, my friend, do you make of that?

Fallacy: Anybody can benefit from CBD.

No, some medical conditions mean you shouldn't consume CBD without first having a chat with an informed doctor or health professional. For instance, if you’re on a blood thinner or taking any of a long list of pharmaceuticals. You can see the list at the government’s MedlinePlus site, but it’s not just drugs, it’s also some herbs and supplements (and even vitamins) along with a few food items. These are identified on that web page. The concern is especially for folks with liver or kidney conditions or chronic diseases, says the NIH. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, the FDA says it’s best to avoid cannabidiol. 

Does your medication carry a “grapefruit warning”? Then don't take CBD because there are natural chemicals in your grapefruit (called furanocoumarins) that work somewhat similarly to the way CBD works. They both slow down the rate that meds are metabolized which makes the medication less effective. Worth noting — CBD oils and edibles enter the bloodstream, but topicals (such as lotions, creams, and salves applied to the skin) normally don't, so they may be an option. 

Fallacy: Read the label and you’ll know exactly what’s in that product.

Researchers at Penn Medicine discovered that nearly 70 percent of cannabidiol products that are sold online are wrongly labeled. For a month, the team bought a range of CBD products that are advertised online and found that only 30% of the products contained the amount of CBD the label said it had. Some had more. Some had less. 

Earlier, the same Penn team had found the same mislabeling problem with cannabis edibles. HempGrower reports that these findings are consistent with other studies. 

So what? 

  • If you get LESS than you paid for, and it doesn't help you, you might decide CBD’s no good and you might never reconsider. You’d miss out on its benefits.
  • If you get MORE than you expected, it could produce results you weren't expecting and didn't want. Again, you’d turn away and miss out.

Either way, accurate labeling is important. That’s why every one of our Go Hemp products provides you with a link to an independent third-party laboratory testing report. So you know with confidence that you’re getting exactly what you ordered. 

Recommended reading: 

How Much CBD Should You Take?

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By WriterGary.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.*

 


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