Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is the non-toxic component of the cannabis plant which is generating interest everywhere for its seemingly amazing and wide range of therapeutic effects and health benefits that many are praising.
As CBD’s significance continues to grow, so do the misconceptions around the uses and effects of the wellness cannabinoid. That being said, we are here to debunk the CBD myths you’ve probably been hearing both on and offline.
Before delving into these general CBD misunderstandings, it’s important to keep these key facts front of mind:
- CBD is one of the most remarkable compounds in the natural world as it is said to relieve anxiety, depression, inflammation, addiction, seizure and so much more – all while remaining non-psychoactive, meaning CBD will not get you high.
- Legal CBD is not a mind-altering substance because it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, as it comes from hemp, and not marijuana.
- THC is the main, psychoactive component found in cannabis that gives users a high.
- While studies are showing promising stats on CBD’s highly beneficial (and sober) health benefits, more research is being conducted to give the official say on all of CBD’s therapeutic properties, which is a huge list.
Now that you have the basics of CBD and THC, here are the most 4 common misconceptions about CBD, along with their corrections.
1. CBD is illegal
Controversy on this misconception is due to CBD being a derivative of the cannabis plant, which U.S. courts have been going back and forth on the legal stance of for years and years.
Here is the law-abiding truth: For residents of the United States, it is completely legal to purchase and use CBD oil derived from hemp. Where it comes from is key, as hemp is high in CBD and has less than .3% THC, whereas marijuana has high levels of THC and varying levels of CBD, therefore only the hemp derived products are legal. Whether you order a CBD product (oil, capsule, ointment, or other) online or purchase it from a specialty retail store, this form of CBD is legal because it comes from hemp, which, unlike other cannabis plants like marijuana, is NOT included in the federal Controlled Substances Act.
2. CBD is the good cannabinoid, THC is the bad cannabinoid
This misconception most likely stems from the fact that marijuana (the cannabis plant that contains copious amounts of THC) gets people high, and is illegal in many areas.
But, similar to how CBD has a long list of health benefits and apparently endless healing potential, so too does THC, evidenced most obviously through its successful use by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
And, when CBD and THC work together (known as the entourage effect) they are said to enhance one another’s effects, making them a great team for many therapeutic applications.
Speaking on behalf of CBD specifically, researchers haven’t found any major negative side effects with CBD, making the “CBD is the good cannabinoid” part of this misconception quite true.
The bottom line is: both CBD and THC can have positive health effects, together or separately. The idea of good vs. bad is merely a reflection of the stigma of the high caused by THC.
3. CBD is medical, THC is recreational:
Just because THC is responsible for the high users feel, does not mean it is all “bad”. THC has excellent therapeutic properties, which is why it is the drug of choice for many people with chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
The federal government recognizes single-molecule THC (Marinol) as an anti-nausea compound and appetite booster, deeming it a Schedule III drug, a category reserved for medicinal substances with little abuse. However, whole plant marijuana, the only natural source of THC, is classified as a dangerous Schedule 1 drug without medical value (an attitude and law that proponents hope to change).
CBD is not viewed as recreational because it does not produce mind-altering effects the way THC does. Instead, CBD is viewed most accurately as a natural wellness supplement to improve users overall health and quality of life.
4. CBD from Hemp is better than CBD from Marijuana
CBD can be derived from marijuana, or it can be derived from hemp. Because there are negative connotations attached to the marijuana strain of the cannabis plant, (you know, the whole “getting high” thing) many people believe hemp-derived CBD to be the best or safer option.
There is no difference in the plant’s cannabinoid therapeutic value, no matter what the source is. CBD derived from hemp and marijuana have the same effects. In fact, organic CBD from any source will function and affect the Endocannabinoid System the exact same way. The only difference maker lies in the amounts of other components – like THC, terpenes, or other plant matter – if any, that are contained in a product and how those work together with the CBD in the body.
Franjo Grotenhermen of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines is famously quoted for saying, “CBD is CBD. The human body does not care where the molecule comes from.”
So, CBD is CBD, no matter where it stems from.
CBD from hemp is sold legally throughout the United States and in numerous countries throughout the world. It is usually sold as a nutritional supplement meaning consumers can obtain CBD without a prescription or special permit.
CBD products can be purchased in online and offline retail stores, drug stores, pharmacies, natural product stores, hemp product stores, and specialized CBD stores. It is important to note they can vary significantly in terms of quality, effectiveness and safety, so it is crucial to select a reputable brand or store when buying CBD products.
- CBD from hemp is federally legal across all 50 states
- CBD works well on its own, and when in conjunction with THC
- The source where CBD was derived from does not have any bearing on whether or not CBD is better from one source or another, but it does have bearing on the legality. It’s the quality of the CBD product that matters most