The Top 3 Myths about CBD
by Kiki Athanas
June 03, 2019
Interested in trying out CBD on your specific health ailment or wellness goal - but scared and/or unclear about how to use it, and if you should?
Chances are you’ve heard a collection of mixed propaganda about why CBD is the next be-all end-all in solving all of your health & wellness issues, and you’re likely a little skeptical. After all, trends come and go, and this CBD-"high" the market seems to be on at the moment has got to have it’s gimmicky-side, too - right? Maybe. Or, maybe not.
While there’s definitely a lot to keep in mind and be cautious about when it comes to buying and using CBD - the only cautions I'll suggest are around wasting your money on poor quality, diluted, or simply non-existent active compounds or ingredients. I say this because the fear or uncertainty you may have about using CBD for yourself or your loved ones is most likely muddled with misinformation and unfortunate myths around this incredible (& safe!) plant medicine. That’s why, in the following post, I decided to outline the top 3 misunderstandings that I’ve come across as I educate “newbies” about CBD, so that you can feel more informed and comfortable trying and using CBD once and for all (because it’s too incredible for you to miss out on!).
1. “Will I get ‘high’, or feel ‘intoxicated’?”
No. You could technically down an entire bottle of CBD oil and you wouldn’t get “high” - although you may end up feeling incredibly zen to the point of sleepiness with overly high doses! CBD is naturally non-intoxicating. In fact, it actually counteracts the high effects of THC, which is the compound notorious for getting people high. It is known amongst cannabis smokers that if they happen to get “too high” (i.e. by accident - and need to revert back to “normal” in a pinch), taking some CBD is sure to do the trick. This is precisely why CBD-rich strains of cannabis (either of marijuana or in all cases hemp) are known to be less or completely non-intoxicating, because the CBD is essentially “cancelling out” the effects of the psychoactive THC compound.
It still makes me laugh when people ask me if we can “do” CBD, or that they’ve never “done” CBD. In my opinion, that’s like saying: “I’ve never done Vitamin C before”, or “Hey, do you have any magnesium we can do?”. CBD is something I take - I don’t treat or see it as anything “recreational” for the experience...unless the perspective is a long-term wellness experience - that’s exactly what it “does”.
Now I’m not saying that taking a dose of CBD won’t bring about any noticeable changes in your state - it's main effect is promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. Each person is different (as they have a different endocannabinoid system), so you’ll have to find your own effective dose - from there, you can increase it a bit if you’d like to feel more calm (i.e. to soothe an anxiety attack), or decrease the amount if you’re looking to feel slightly more high energy and alertly focused (although I must say it always ends up benefiting my productivity when I consume it!).
2. Does CBD from hemp (vs marijuana) even do anything?
There is so much confusion around hemp and its medicinal properties - and for good reason...marketing hasn’t helped us! Once the word on the street got out about how powerfully healing hemp can be (mainly popularized fairly recently by the story behind Charlotte’s Web), many hemp-related companies started marketing their product to align with these healing properties. It’s important to understand that full spectrum hemp oil - i.e. from the entire plant, not just the seed, is where the potent CBD compounds lie, and hence the medicinal benefits. So while hemp seeds and hemp seed oil is incredibly nutritious (and in my opinion - delicious!), it is NOT a concentrated-enough form of CBD to be considered medicinal in the slightest.
“Hemp seed oil, it should be noted, is not the same as CBD-rich oil extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant. Oil pressed from hemp seed contains no CBD, no THC, no plant cannabinoids to speak of, but it’s excellent for making varnish, paint, soap, protein-enriched food supplements, and much more.” - Project CBD
Industrial hemp typically contains far less cannabidiol than high-resin CBD-rich cannabis, so a large amount of industrial hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD (ibid.). Hemp can produce a CBD concentration of around 3.5%, and thus you have to ingest relatively more compared to certain LP cannabis strains where the CBD content in the plant is as high as 18-20% (read more here).
Now that’s certainly not to say that hemp is out of the question for medicinal healing, in fact Charlotte’s Web is a cultivar with less than 0.3% THC that has gained popularity as an option for treating seizures as well as a range of other medical conditions.This medical potency is due to its high-CBD content, which was specifically cultivated by Colorado breeders The Stanley Brothers for a young epileptic patient named Charlotte. Contrary to popular belief, Charlotte’s Web is a hemp-derived product (read more here).
3. CBD is just a fad.
I feel you, but I beg to differ. While CBD itself is undoubtedly being “over-marketed” and every CPG company (& it’s subsidiary) is looking to insert the compound into its products, that’s not to say that the real potent ancient healing tradition of the cannabis plant is to be forgotten.
“The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 BC by the Chinese emperor Shen Nung. He documented the drug’s effectiveness in treating the pains of rheumatism and gout.” - Ancient Origins
In fact, both hemp and psychoactive marijuana were widely used in ancient China. The ancient Chinese used virtually every part of the Cannabis plant: the root for medicine; the stem for textiles, rope and paper making; the leaves and flowers for intoxication and medicine; and the seeds for food and oil (ibid.).
While we all seem suddenly obsessed with CBD these days, it certainly boasts ancient staying power. I recently listened to a podcast whereby a health food store CEO was explaining how in his 30+ years of working in the wellness industry, he’s seen loads of supplement trends come and go - joking about how inventory of whatever it was Dr. Oz was recommending that week would fly off the shelves, only to be forgotten for the next best thing in the weeks following - CBD, though, was different. This was something people were excited to try - and re-buy, again and again...because it actually works.
Do I think loads of companies are adding “CBD” in minuscule, ineffective doses and qualities to their products and jumping on the CBD bandwagon for the sake of sales? Absolutely. Do I believe that CBD - alongside all of the other compounds within the cannabis plant (including both hemp and marijuana) that it works synergistically with - has the power to heal and change the world? Most definitely, and the studies (and “proof” so to speak) are in.
Do your research, get comfortable, and know the facts. CBD might just be the necessary ingredient your medicine and/or supplement cabinet (or both!) is missing.