Thanks to over 80 years of prohibition and government propaganda, a beautifully healing, tremendously therapeutic group of plants has been outlawed, stigmatized, and off limits for patients and need and scientists who wanted to research it.
Because of the lack of public research (in the US, at least) and the negative stigmas around cannabis plants, not only have patients been missing out on a potentially life-saving form of natural medicine, but scientists and doctors have had to risk their licenses, jobs, and livelihoods to get even a little bit of research done.
Recently, due to legislative reform and a large push-back by the general public, things are finally turning around in the United States. Consumers are more curious than ever about CBD, but there are a lot of unanswered questions thanks to lack of awareness. After all, this wasn’t something the media has talked about for the better part of the last century, so how were people supposed to know how CBD works?
As such, there are so many misconceptions when it comes to CBD oil drops. We’re here to myth bust and set the record straight.
Misconception 1: CBD is Marijuana
First and foremost, it’s time for a vocabulary lesson. CBD means “cannabidiol” — it’s a phytocannabinoid (plant compound from cannabis) that interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Yep! You, yourself, in your own human body, have a specific system of receptors that are designated for cannabinoids. You learn something new every day, right?
Marijuana is a plant; a plant within the cannabis family. Cannabis plants come in many varieties, and marijuana is the type that’s high in THC content — THC is another kind of phytocannabinoid. There is some CBD in a marijuana plant, but it’s typically much lower than the THC content. Most CBD comes from hemp plants that are high in CBD and low in THC.
Misconception 2: CBD should only from hemp
False! While yes, a lot of CBD does come from hemp plants, CBD can come from any cannabis plant. Whether or not it comes from marijuana typically depends on where it’s grown, manufactured, and distributed. As mentioned, marijuana plants typically have a lower CBD content, so farmers have created hybrid strains of these cannabis plants to create high-CBD low-THC varieties for the purpose of CBD medicine.
The end result you receive is rooted in a high concentration of CBD. Think of it like vitamin C — you can get it from orange juice, or you can get it from a slice of watermelon. Regardless of where it comes from, it’s still vitamin C and your body processes it in the same way. CBD doesn’t necessarily have to come from a hemp plant; so long as it comes from safe, sustainable cannabis from a clean, organic farm, you’re golden.
Misconception 3: CBD gets you high
Remember how we talked about CBD and THC? Two phytocannabinoids with two totally different effects on your body’s endocannabinoid system. In fact, THC is the only phytocannabinoid (out of more than 100!) that has the psychoactive, intoxication effects known as the euphoria or “high.” If you’re looking to get stoned, CBD is not the option for you.
Though CBD does have a form of psychoactive effects, it’s not in the way of a euphoric high. CBD relieves symptoms of anxiety, psychosis, bipolar disorder, depression, and other psychological conditions, so in that way, it can be considered psychoactive, but not in the way you’ve typically thought about marijuana.
Misconception 4: CBD is medical, THC is recreational
Many people still have the idea around THC that it’s only used for that euphoric intoxication. Not the case! THC has medicinal properties that CBD does not; in fact, it may be more effective for pain relief than CBD is as well. In addition, THC has been shown to be extremely effective for treating glaucoma and ocular pressure, whereas CBD is not. THC is also useful to help chemotherapy patients regain their appetite, whereas CBD does not have as potent effects in that regard.
These are just a few of the proven medicinal benefits of THC. All in all, THC is used for so much more than “getting stoned.”
Misconception 5: CBD is good and THC is bad
As you can probably tell, THC is hardly “bad.” It’s best to not pit CBD and THC against each other, as they both serve specific purposes within the body and mind and are both therapeutic forms of plant medicine.
Misconception 6: CBD is better if it’s isolated
Speaking of not pitting them against each other, did you know that CBD and THC can actually work better together? It’s a symbiotic, synergistic effect known as the “entourage effect.” It hasn’t been exhaustively studied just yet, but many scientists and cannabis experts have reported that these phytocannabinoids work even more effectively when they’re not split up. It takes two to make a thing go right, right?
CBD isolate definitely serves a purpose — it can blend into different kinds of edible products and can be combined into naturopathic medicines, but isolating a molecule is very much akin to western pharmaceuticals vs. natural plant medicine. In addition, there is potentially a U-shaped response curve when it comes to CBD isolate. This means there’s actually a threshold of efficacy, and after a certain amount of milligrams, the isolate becomes less effective. This is not the case with CBD distillate or full- and broad-spectrum hemp extract.
In these distillates and extracts, even if there’s no (or very little THC), the terpenes and flavonoids from the plant create a holistic healing profile that again, create a more synergistic effect and deliver stronger symptom relief.
Misconception 7: CBD cures everything
Cannabidiol has been showing more and more promise for its ability to treat a remarkable number of diseases and ailments. That said, you can’t rely on CBD for everything when it comes to your medical woes. While it can help alleviate anxieties and inflammation, you won’t want to take CBD for a respiratory infection.
This is particularly important to remember when it comes to oncology and cancer treatment. CBD is becoming quite popular when it comes to a natural cancer remedy, and some studies have shown that it may be able to inhibit tumor growth and even cause cancer cell death. This is HUGE! However, you should never forgo the advice of your oncologist while you’re under their care for cancer treatment. In fact, CBD could potentially interact negatively with chemotherapy treatment, so work closely with your specialist if this is an area of concern for you.
Misconception 8: CBD is illegal
To be honest, there are a lot of misconceptions around the legality of CBD, as the legal landscape has been rapidly changing over the past few years, most prominently the last six months. Thanks to the Farm Bill, hemp is 100-percent legal and hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states.
The difficult part comes down to whether your CBD product was derived from hemp or marijuana. As long as the finished product has less than 0.3-percent THC content, it shouldn’t matter. That said, if you live in a state in which THC is legal, the sky’s the limit when it comes to THC content.