Articles often refer to CBD as a new wellness trend that is now present in everything from herbal medicines to cosmetics to CBD gummies. Moreover, they then make more exaggerated claims, stating that CBD is possibly the answer to all your health problems.
And by the time any actual scientific facts are stated, you’ll probably be thinking that CBD is a celebrity-endorsed load of nonsense flaunted by status-conscious people.
Even though this might not seem to be doing any harm, this misrepresentation of CBD and its merits can cause social workers, healthcare professionals, pharmacists, and the general public to negatively influence and manipulate people’s lives.
This is why clarification is extremely important when it comes to interpreting the incorrect or misleading claims that are often highlighted in CBD-related articles.
8 Myths about CBD
So today, we’ll be discussing (and dismissing) five common myths about CBD, and will also guide you on how to decipher reliable CBD information.
Myth No. 1: CBD is Illegal
This is the first myth and misconception that needs debunking.
The Farm Bill of 2018 allowed for the use of industrial hemp, from which CBD is extracted. Hence isolates and any cannabinoids extracted directly from the hemp plant are legal.
However, there is one thing to note: CBD products are only considered legal and allowed to be sold over-the-counter if they have a percentage of THC (the intoxicating compound found in hemp) lower than 0.3%.
But all in all, hemp and CBD oil are recognized as federally legal.
Myth No. 2: There is no CBD-based Medication that helps with Any Health Condition
One thing almost every article always mentions is that CBD hasn't been proven to help with many health conditions. The claims in these write-ups are often vague, making statements such as "there is some indication that CBD may help treat few health problems; however, there isn't solid evidence.”
And even though this may seem true, this assertion is not truthful. And here’s the proof.
Unknown to many, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Epidiolex, an extremely effective CBD-based drug for epilepsy and difficult-to-treat seizure disorders. Results of clinical trials were so promising that the administration was forced to approve its use.
And that’s not all. Epidiolex was the first cannabis-based medication to get FDA’s approval since cannabis was characterized as a Schedule 1 drug (meaning ‘no medicinal value’) in 1970 – that’s a massive development!
Myth No. 3: Being a Schedule 1 Narcotic, there is No scientific research on CBD
While it is a fact that cannabis is categorized as a Schedule 1 drug which makes research on it difficult, certain universities in the United States have been given permits to research the compound.
And what’s important to note is that all this research is publically available for examination by a journalist or any inquisitive individuals on the internet.
Let’s take a study conducted at Columbia University that investigated the use of CBD for treating glioblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor common in adults. Conventional treatment for glioblastoma includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Results showed that CBD prompted cell death and improved the radiosensitivity of cancerous cells while protecting healthy cells.
Even outside of the United States, significant research has been conducted on CBD, some even funded by the U.S. government. Israel was the first country to eagerly conduct studies on cannabis.
Here are a few examples of other countries that have also invested in CBD research:
- 2014: a study from Italy showed CBD could inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.
- 2017: scientists in Brazil investigated CBD for anxiety and showed that individuals taking CBD had reduced anxiety in public speaking.
- 2018: a study from the UK using CBD to treat ulcerative colitis revealed promising results.
Now one thing is certain: these studies surely DO NOT mean that CBD is a miracle cure for cancer, anxiety, and ulcerative colitis. But, they do reveal credible evidence that CBD may have the potential to manage certain health disorders when conventional methods have failed.
Myth No. 4: CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil are the Same Things
Now, this is more of a misconception than a myth. Nevertheless, we must address it.
If you search online for CBD, results regarding hemp seed oil also pop up. This is particularly common on online stores and platforms where CBD sale is prohibited. A casual user will assume that since CBD search results are also showing hits for hemp seed oil, they’re probably the same thing, and will readily purchase products.
But in reality, hemp oil contains no CBD at all!
CBD is extracted from leaves and flowers, whereas hemp oil is extracted from seeds. Even though the latter does have therapeutic potential due to its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, it is not the same as CBD.
Myth No. 5: CBD Works the Same for Everyone
Unfortunately, this isn’t true either.
Even with prescription medications and supplements, not everyone has the same reaction. And the same is true for CBD pills and other products. For some people/patients, the effects might kick in within minutes, while for some it may take a few hours. And some might not experience any effects at all!
When considering the correct dosage of CBD, every individual needs to consider their weight, metabolism, body enzymes, level of tolerance, whether they’ve used it previously, and other factors. All these factors play an important role in determining the effect CBD will have on your body.
Myth No. 6: CBD Does Not Interfere with Other Medications
This is not true. CBD can interact with certain medications and natural supplements. CBD affects how drugs work within the body, hence affecting their impact and management of the medical condition they are being used for. If taken in particularly large amounts, CBD can also increase your liver enzymes.
For instance, if you’re an elderly individual taking cannabis, you need to take precautions about falling. If you’re taking CBD-based seizure medication, you need to be careful if you’re already on blood thinners.
What’s important here is that physicians should work closely with patients and educate them about how CBD works and influences their system, so that they can figure out a safe and effective path to wellness.
Myth No. 7: CBD Doesn’t Have Side Effects
Contrary to what most articles state repeatedly, CBD might have side effects for certain people.
For example, while CBD is not intoxicating, it can have extremely relaxing and uplifting effects. That’s why a small number of users report that CBD makes them quite drowsy and sleepy.
Some patients report that taking CBD makes their stomach upset. And this is fairly common with any medicine and supplement. With CBD, it's usually the carrier oil accompanying the CBD that affects the stomach rather than the CBD.
Myth No. 8: All CBD Products are Safe and Regulated
It is a fact that CBD is not FDA regulated. Even though CBD products are being sold on the regulated market, they're also readily available on the illicit market. The latter are products that haven’t been tested, nor have their ingredients been identified.
For instance, CBD eye drops and CBD aerosolized nebulizers have not been tested, and neither have CBD nasal sprays.
So it is mostly the responsibility of the consumer or patient to make sure whether the product they are purchasing is reliable, authentic, and the third party tested.
There are a few things that can help you with this. First off, check the label of the product for a COA (certificate of analysis). This tells you the quality of the CBD source and potency. For instance, does the product contain any microbes, solvents, heavy metals, or pesticides? Also, make sure the lab conducting the tests is credible.
Unfortunately, you need to do a lot of homework to make sure the CBD product you purchase is as good as it is claimed to be, but better safe than sorry.
Final Thoughts: How to Authenticate CBD Information & Products
Now that you know the truth about CBD, you’ll also want to find out how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to reading information online and purchasing products.
Here are a few things you should look out for:
- FDA approval
- Reliable research from other countries
- No exaggerated/unproven/false claims about the medical potential of CBD
- Reputable brands and sources are quoted when talking about CBD products
We hope that this information will help clear your mind about the myths and misconceptions surrounding CBD, and you’ll be able to make a more informed decision when it comes to purchasing CBD online and over-the-counter.