17 Myths and Facts You Didn't Know About CBD
1) CBD is addictive
In a comprehensive report on CBD, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on its potential for addiction.
The report concluded:
“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
Here's why CBD is not addictive
2) Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are the same
Although CBD oil and hemp seed oil both come from hemp, they by no means the same.
CBD oil can be extracted from the leaves, stalks and flowers of hemp.
Hemp seed oil is made exclusively from the seeds of hemp plants. Whilst these contain beneficial nutrients like omega fatty acids and many vitamins and minerals, the seeds contain almost no CBD.
3) There's no clinical research with CBD
According to a comprehensive report in 2017 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), CBD has "been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy".
The report also states there is "preliminary evidence" that CBD could be effective for Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Psychosis, Multiple Sclerosis, and diabetic complications, in addition to pain, anxiety and depression.
Other preliminary studies hint at a role for CBD in sleep disorders (*), drug addiction (smoking) (*) and high blood pressure (*).
4) CBD works the same for everyone
How CBD works for you depends on your state of health, your genetics and how your own endocannabinoid system interacts with CBD. It also depends what you’re using it for.
Some people use CBD to bring a little bit of happiness and ease back into their day, and others to manage symptoms of disease. It may not necessarily have any meaningful effects for others, who may otherwise be happy and healthy.
Certain people's endocannabinoid system may need more support than others, and it depends on what environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors are at play in someones life.
CBD supports everyones ECS differently. Herbs that do this are known as adaptogens - they morph to meet peoples individual needs.
A lot of folks endocannabinoid systems are working just fine without CBD. There are other ways to support the ECS besides just CBD.
5) CBD isn't safe
In 2017, a detailed report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that naturally occurring CBD is safe and well tolerated in humans and is not associated with any public health effects.
It goes on to say that, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
The World Anti doping Agency (WADA) also removed CBD from its banned substances list in 2017. Athletes can now use CBD, but must still be careful to monitor small levels of THC in CBD products.
EPIDYOLEX (cannabidiol) has been recommended by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to receive routine reimbursement from NHS England, for seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome.
6) CBD is totally non-psychoactive
Although CBD doesn’t get you high, like THC does; a lot of people say it boosts their mood and lessens anxiety.
These effects have been well documented in animal studies showing that CBD enhances serotonin signalling in the brain (*), which is a chemical which makes us feel happy, connected and lessens anxiety.
There's also good preliminary evidence in humans which demonstrates CBD's ability to ease anxiety (*), (*), (*), (*).
CBD also boosts our natural feel good endocannabinoid called Anandamide (*), the very same feel good chemical that gets released after we exercise.
If CBD has these effects in the brain, then there’s clearly some sort of psychoactive element to it.
7) All CBD is the same
CBD is technically a singe compound, which is the same no matter where it comes from. However, the other things that are bundled with CBD in an extract are also beneficial, and serve a role in supporting health.
In nature, CBD does not exist as a single compound, but is found within plants with over a hundred other cannabinoids. When extracted, you not only get CBD, but all the other cannabinoids. These are called full spectrum extracts (which most people just call CBD extracts).
In contrast, CBD can be isolated from its original packaging to yield 99.9% pure CBD. You guessed it; this is what CBD isolate is.
Here’s and analogy to compare Full Spectrum CBD to CBD isolate. If you think of CBD as the sugar contained within an orange; when you use full spectrum, you get the whole orange, sugar included. However, CBD isolate is basically just extracting the sugar from the orange, meaning you don’t get all the other great stuff in the orange.
The effects with CBD isolate are questionable compared to the complete package of a full spectrum CBD extract.
8) CBD wont affect other medications
CBD works really well for a lot of people, but those taking certain medications may find CBD alters the way their drug(s) work. This may impact the effectiveness of their current medication, which may affect the management of their medical condition.
There's not a lot of (clinical) research on drug interactions, and a lot is based on animal experiments and theoretical science. However, in some cases CBD has been found to alter the way some drugs work, in much the same way grapefruits do.
Anyone on prescription medication(s) should consult with their GP before using CBD because:
- CBD can lower blood pressure
- CBD may cause additive effects with sedative drugs like Valium, which target the central nervous system.
- High dose CBD may increase the potency and toxicity of other drugs, by inhibiting P450 enzymes in the liver which break them down.
9) A little is all it takes
This again ties into everyones unique needs for CBD, what its being used for and what type of CBD is being used.
In clinical research, 99.9% pure CBD is used, which typically requires much larger doses for a noticeable effect.
Full spectrum extracts tend to require lower doses, because there's other compounds in there which support the function of CBD.
There’s a common phrase in the CBD industry which relates to dosing; thats start low and go slow.
Whilst thats a useful and safe means of introducing CBD to newcomers, some may may find that low doses just don’t cut it. Especially someone with intense pain or severe anxiety, who may require larger doses than others with milder symptoms.
1) CBD is found in both Hemp and Marijuana (MJ)
CBD is not exclusively found in hemp. Its 1 of over 100 similar compounds called cannabinoids that are also found in MJ plants.
Although they both contain CBD, MJ tends to be a more plentiful source than hemp. The amount of hemp relative to MJ needed to extract CBD tends to be greater, making MJ the more economical (but not legal) option.
2) CBD isn't a cure all
Whilst CBD may lend a helping hand in supporting health, its another thing to suggest it can be a cure all.
To say that CBD cures anything is scientifically inaccurate, because the evidence is only just starting to come in, and its from preliminary studies that are short in duration. Longer studies focusing on specific diseases are needed to suggest otherwise.
There’s also root causes that are driving disease in the first place. Although CBD may help people manage symptoms, it often doesn’t address the root cause of why the body becomes imbalanced in the first place. You could think of using CBD as a bandaid approach to supporting health.
These kinds of claims can be misleading, because it also implies that just because one thing works for someone, it’ll work for others too.
3) Side effects can occur with (certain types of) CBD
It’s not all rainbows and lollipops, like a lot of people may make out. CBD has been known to produce some side effects, albeit relatively mild ones.
It also depends on what type of CBD is used. Most side effects are seen with 99.9% purified CBD.
The side effects of CBD are considered pretty good compared to that of some conventional drugs (*). So for a few conditions, some people may find the experience with CBD preferable to conventional approaches.
4) CBD is non-intoxicating, but you may still feel great
Although CBD isn’t fully non-psychoactive, it still wont get you high. Its all to do with the mechanism of action of CBD.
CBD doesn’t activate the CB1 receptor in the brain, like THC does. This means that CBD cannot produce the alterations in consciousness and awareness characteristic of the high from THC.
CBD can make people feel good though, in much the same way a box of chocolates, a hug or a warm bath can.
Thats because CBD boosts a natural feel good chemical called, Anandamide. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid which also activates CB1 in the brain, but to a much lesser degree than THC. This alternative mechanism is what is thought to provide a sense of wellbeing from CBD, without the high.
5) CBD has been used in traditional medicine
CBD is one of the key constituents of hemp. Its been around for thousands of years, and has a documented use across India, Egypt, Europe, China and Japan (*).
Traditionally, hemp has been used for many of the ailments people use CBD for today; anxiety, insomnia, pain and menstrual cramps being just a few.
6) CBD from hemp is legal
Most strains of hemp naturally contain no more than 0.2% THC. In the UK and EU, so long as CBD extracts from hemp don’t surpass this level of THC, its legal.
MJ on the other hand contains much higher amounts of THC (5 - 30%) which makes it less desirable to extract given that the THC has to be removed, otherwise it would be illegal. In the US, CBD extracted from MJ is federally illegal, even if the THC is removed.
7) CBD is classed as a medicine (kind of)
Most CBD products you’d find online and in stores have been classed as food supplements in the UK. But, in 2016 the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) actually voiced another opinion on CBD.
They suggested it's a medicine, but only if it's marketed for medical purposes. Basically this means only pharmaceutical preparations, like Epidiolex, which is a 99% pure CBD extract can be classed as a medicine.
As you can probably tell its still a grey area as to how CBD is actually classified, but for most people in the UK, it remains a food supplement.
8) CBD isn't for everyone
For most people CBD is completely safe, however there are special considerations for some people.
Cannabinoids can affect neuronal growth of developing babies, which is why CBD is not recommended during pregnancy or for children under the age of 18.
Some people taking medications like warfarin and statins may need to exercise caution with CBD, and work with their GP's to explore safe usage / whether to use at all.