Thanks to television documentaries, viral Facebook stories, and websites such as this one, you’ve probably heard about CBD oil. You’ve likely heard that it is derived from the cannabis plant, that it is used to treat a variety of afflictions, and that it cannot get you high. Right? But what of all that you’ve heard is true?
Because of the stigma that shadows cannabis use, misconceptions about its composition, use, and health effects multiply. Unfortunately for those who would benefit from the medical benefits of CBD (cannabidiol), unfounded rumors and anecdotes scare people away.
The cannabis plant consists a numerous elements, but the key compounds are THC and CBD. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) accounts for the psychoactive response, the body and brain trip that brings pleasure to many users.
The brain and central nervous system have CB1 (cannabinoid 1) receptors. The THC creates the psychoactive punch when it binds those receptors. Chemists call the THC molecule an “agonist” because it sparks the CB1 receptor.
THC imitates anandamide, a neurotransmitter they label “the bliss molecule.” Anandamide stimulates appetite, memory, motivation, and that sense of bliss you feel after a good day of exercise. As such, increased dosage will exacerbate that feeling.
CBD, on the other hand, has little interest in the CB1 receptors. It is an “antagonist” because it does not attach to the CB1 receptors. Moreover, it works at stifling the CB1-activating qualities of THC. So, when you use cannabis in any form, the THC directly stimulates CB1 receptors, while the CBD offsets the influence of the THC.
The different strains of cannabis have different THC: CBD ratios. Those high in THC produce the highest highs, and the CBD-heavy strains produce sedative effects. The highest levels of THC can even lead to paranoia, but the higher the CBD content, the psychoactive impact reduces that THC punch. It turns a “trip” into a “buzz.”
Users can treat medical problems with CBD-rich or CBD-dominant cannabis. And, researchers, scientists, and pharmaceutical developers seek to isolate, synthesize, and test the effects of CBD on a catalog of medical conditions. The theory holds that research will identify the strains and ratios best suited for specific results.
With the growing awareness of CBD as a potential health aid there’s also been a proliferation of misconceptions. Below, we’ve answered 10 common misconceptions about CBD oil in order to help people who may be new to it sift through CBD oil’s many true benefits.
1. CBD is just another type of marijuana.
CBD is NOT marijuana. Though the two can come from the same cannabis plants, CBD is often derived from hemp, and by nature has 0-0.3% THC — approximately 33% less than even the weakest strain of marijuana, and not nearly enough to give you a high.
2. CBD is not psychoactive.
This misconception is a very common one, and for good reason. As previously mentioned, one cannot get high from CBD alone because CBD is not intoxicating. However, it is psychoactive because it does affect one’s mental state, hence its use for things like anxiety and depression. Because it can positively affect a user’s mind, it is more accurate to say that CBD is non-intoxicating.
3. Only adults should use CBD oil.
For those who believe CBD oil is just another type of marijuana, the misconception that only adults should use it is a natural misunderstanding. But because marijuana and CBD oil have very different effects on the body, and because CBD oil contains little to no THC, nothing concrete has ever suggested that CBD oil is unsafe for use by children. In fact, CBD oil has steadily risen in popularity thanks to certain CBD strains drastically improving the health of children who suffer from epilepsy.
4. CBD oil is illegal.
For those who live in the United States, it is completely legal to purchase and use CBD oil derived from hemp. Whether you order online, or purchase over the counter at a health store, this particular form of CBD oil is legal because hemp, unlike other cannabis plants, is not included in the federal Controlled Substances Act. For other countries, it may still be illegal to sell over the counter but legal to order online. Customs may inspect and assess the parcel. If you receive parcels in the mail from outside Australia you are the importer of those goods, even if the goods were unsolicited.
All goods imported by post or mail (whether for commercial purposes or personal use) are assessed for community protection risks, permit and import requirements, duty, taxes and other charges.
If you receive gifts or donated goods through the mail, these are still subject to assessment for duty, taxes and other charges (where applicable).
All imported goods are screened by the Australian Border Force and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (Agriculture).
5. You can become addicted to CBD.
You cannot become addicted to CBD oil of any kind. In fact, studies have shown that CBD oil actually blocks the addictive effects of morphine and other highly addictive painkillers by reducing the pleasure the body feels upon taking it.
6. CBD is good, THC is bad.
Perhaps this misconception stems from the fact that marijuana, which contains THC, is illegal in most places. But while CBD certainly has a long list of health benefits, THC offers its own advantages, as evidenced by its successful use by cancer patients.
7. CBD works best without THC.
Similar to the idea that CBD is better than THC is the misconception that CBD works best without THC. This too is false. THC and CBD are the two most common compounds found in cannabis, and as such they work best together. A number of scientific studies have shown that THC and CBD, when allowed to work together, actually enhance each other’s effectiveness.
8. CBD becomes THC once it enters the body.
Though one early study seems to suggest that CBD converting to THC in the body is possible under very specific circumstances, those circumstances seem to be limited to experiments only.
9. CBD oil from hemp is a sedative.
CBD oil from hemp can act as a sedative, but not consistently enough for this to be considered fact. CBD oil that can be used as a sedative does not usually come from hemp, and has gone through specific preparations that include monoterpenoid, or myrcene.
10. CBD is for medical therapies only.
It’s easy to label THC cannabis as the recreational and the CBD as the medical one. But, it’s not that simple. CBD has many medical applications and is much sought after for therapy. But, consumers enjoy those strains where the CBD buffering balances nicely with the THC psychoactive qualities to produce a relaxing yet alert and creative after-effect.
Medical patients bear unofficial testimony to the curative powers of CBD. Their numbers testify to the help it has provided to those suffering from general anxiety, migraines, PTSD, insomnia, appetite issues, chronic pain, epilepsy, MS, MD, diabetes, arthritis and much more. In strains where it balances with THC, it adds a relaxing element to the psychoactive effects of THC. Unfortunately, because of the clouds attached to cannabis and marijuana in general, it struggles to earn the research support it needs to dispel the top nine misconceptions about cannabis CBD reviewed here.