Like most "new" things, especially those with a history of banned use, CBD seems to attract a fair amount of misinformation. People are still trying to uncover the myths, often perpetuated by those opposed to CBD use, from the truths. With so many sources of legitimate information and simply untruths, how does one find out the truth?
How about asking someone trained in medicine and how chemicals affect the body? Well, that's what we're going to do here, look at the logic and research to help bust the ten most common myths circulating on the internet and among people about CBD.
Read on to find out what the CBD myths are and what the facts are!
Myth #1: CBD is addictive
One of the main myths often talked about among non-CBD users is that CBD is addictive. Some believe that CBD falls into the same potential addiction category as amphetamines, cocaine, opioids and marijuana. Addictive drugs affect a specific set of neurons in our brain designed to motivate us to seek and repeat pleasurable experiences. This pathway of brain cells is sometimes called the addiction pathway or reward pathway of the brain and involves areas such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the nucleus accumbens (NA) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC).
An important distinction must be made at this point between someone who is physically dependent on a substance or activity and someone who is psychologically dependent. When someone is physically dependent on a substance or activity, the individual will experience adverse bodily symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, trembling, among others.
Conversely, someone can be psychologically dependent on something if they rely on the substance or activity to calm them or reduce anxiety. When we become psychologically dependent on something, and the substance or activity is withdrawn or discontinued, we may feel distressed.
Current research on pure CBD is that it does not activate the brain's addiction pathway. A conclusion shared by the World Health Organisation which states: "At present, there are no reported cases of abuse or dependence related to the use of pure CBD".
Myth #2: you can overdose and die from CBD
The myth that you can overdose and die from CBD prevents many people from trying CBD for the first time. The myth has a small grain of truth embedded in a larger falsehood, so we are going to take the time to explain this myth in detail.
Most of the time, when we think of overdosing on something, we associate it with extreme outcomes, such as being hospitalised or even death. If we break down the word overdose, then the true meaning of the word becomes clear, which is taking a dose of a substance in excess of what has been proven to be beneficial.
In this sense, almost everything we make or consume could fall under this definition, even drinking water! Yes, you can "overdose" on water, often referred to as water intoxication, which, interestingly enough, can be fatal. One of the best things about CBD is its safety profile.
Another aspect of this myth that has not been borne out in research or reports is that someone can die from ingesting too large a dose of CBD. To date, there has never been a confirmed death attributable to the ingestion of pure CBD.
Myth No. 3: CBD can get you high
A common fear of first-time CBD users or those who are thinking about trying CBD is that after ingesting CBD, they will get "stoned" and "high". " . This is another myth that has a grain of truth overlaid with a larger deception. If you have ever used marijuana or seen others use it, then you know that someone can get "high" on this product.
This is because marijuana contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive part of the plant. In states where recreational marijuana is legal, you can buy CBD oil derived from cannabis with large amounts of THC, which may or may not produce a "high" sensation.
Compare cannabis-derived CBD oil with CBD derived from the more common industrial hemp, which by law must contain less than 0.3 % THC. The THC content found in CBD derived from industrial hemp is not enough to make a person feel "high".
If you are concerned about feeling "high" when ingesting CBD, be sure to take a high quality industrial hemp-derived CBD product, such as Menorca Seeds oil.
Myth #4: All CBD is equal
Those researching CBD and CBD products may be confused when encountering terms such as CBD isolates, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum, not to mention the various forms in which they can be used. These factors and others influence the effect one feels when taking a CBD product.
Let's start by breaking down the broad categories of CBD products, i.e. the difference between broad-spectrum, full-spectrum and CBD isolates. Full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD contains 0.3 % of THC, cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids. Some experts believe that leaving a small amount of THC in the final CBD product enhances the effect of the other cannabinoids; a phenomenon often referred to as the "entourage effect".
Broad spectrum CBD products further refine the CBD oil to remove the THC, leaving the CBD and other cannabinoids. Broad spectrum products are an ideal choice for people concerned about having THC in their CBD products, but still want the benefits of having other cannabinoids combined with cannabidiol.
A product labelled as CBD isolate has all THC and other cannabinoids removed from the product, leaving only the chemical cannabidiol for ingestion. Professionals working in fields where regular drug testing and a zero-tolerance policy apply, such as doctors and airline pilots, often choose a CBD-isolated product.
We mentioned that not all CBD products are the same and that the route of administration can make a difference to the effects you do or don't feel when taking CBD. We debunk this myth later in the article, so read on for more information!
Myth #5: It doesn't matter how CBD is extracted.
If you dig deep enough into CBD and the CBD products available, you will soon realise that there are different ways manufacturers extract cannabinoids from the industrial hemp plant. The three most common ways manufacturers extract the chemical compounds include steam distillation, solvent extraction and CO2 extraction.
Steam distillation is one of the oldest methods of extracting chemicals from plants. The technique is relatively simple in that water is heated to a boil, which penetrates through the plant material, resulting in the production of steam containing the plant oils (cannabinoids) and water. The vapour condenses into a liquid and the water and oil separate, leaving the final oil product.
While this technique is relatively simple, it has some disadvantages, including the difficulty in regulating exact cannabinoid doses, requiring large amounts of plant material, and the possibility of overheating the plant material, which could result in altered cannabinoid chemicals.
Solvent extraction is another popular method used to separate cannabinoids from the industrial hemp plant. The solvent extraction process is almost identical to the steam distillation method, except that water is replaced with a solvent, such as a hydrocarbon or a natural solvent like olive oil or ethanol.
Hydrocarbons include chemicals such as naphtha, petroleum, butane or propane, which are known to be harmful to humans if ingested in appreciable quantities. While hydrocarbons are assumed to burn off at the end of the solvent extraction method, previous studies have found trace amounts in certain CBD products using this extraction method.
The use of natural solvents such as olive oil or ethanol does not have the potential health problems associated with hydrocarbons, but some users of CBD derived from natural solvents report unpleasant tastes often associated with chlorophyll.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is sometimes referred to as supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), which refers to the inherent chemical properties of CO2. CO2 extraction involves using pressurised carbon dioxide to separate the cannabinoids from the plant matter of industrial hemp. The carbon dioxide will eventually evaporate from the cannabinoid oil.
The disadvantages of CO2 extraction are mainly felt by the manufacturer, as this process requires expensive specialised machinery. Carbon dioxide extracted CBD is the best extraction method currently available, but you may or may not have to pay a little more for the CBD product, as the cost of producing the product is higher.
Myth #6: All forms of CBD products have the same rates of absorption.
While it may be nice to think that while taking a delicious CBD jelly bean, you are getting the same dose as if you were using a CBD tincture; this is simply not the truth. How you finish ingesting your CBD will affect how much and how long the CBD stays in your system.
Generally, the two quickest ways for cannabinoids to pass from the mouth into the bloodstream are to smoke/vape CBD or to leave CBD under the tongue, known as sublingual absorption. CBD in capsules, on the other hand, has to pass down the throat, through the stomach and into the intestines before crossing the gastrointestinal barrier into the bloodstream, which can take up to four hours!
A research study found that less than 33 % of CBD found in capsules reaches the bloodstream compared to less than 35 % of CBD absorbed when CBD is held in the mouth for 30 seconds for sublingual absorption.
The benefit of CBD oil for absorption under the tongue is twofold: sublingual absorption bypasses the first round of metabolism in the liver, meaning more of the product reaches the receptors, and sublingual administration only takes less than half an hour to absorb.
Myth #7: CBD oil will not cause a positive urine drug test result.
Some people believe that they will not test positive on a urine drug screen (UDS) when taking CBD. If you are unsure about this question, you will be glad you took the time to read this myth, as it could cost you your job. Some jobs require their employees to take random or annual drug tests, especially those who work in jobs where other people's lives are in their hands, such as doctors or airline pilots.
In a previous myth, we mentioned that CBD oil derived from the industrial hemp plant is required by law to contain a THC content of 0.3 % to be sold in all 50 states. The fact is that although 0.3% seems like a small percentage, this amount is known to cause people to show a positive UDS.
While there are many ways in which employers test their employees for illicit drugs, including saliva tests, blood tests and hair tests, urine is the most common. Most urine tests can detect THC in amounts as low as 50 ng/ml.
People concerned about testing positive for THC when taking CBD oil should avoid consuming full-spectrum CBD oil and choose a broad-spectrum oil or CBD isolate. Even if you buy CBD oil that features a broad-spectrum formulation, there is a small theoretical chance that it may show a positive result due to a cannabinoid called cannabinol (CBN), which has been shown in at least one study to show a false-positive test result for THC.
When taking a CBD product when your job depends on having a negative UDS result, your best option is to use a CBD isolate, which contains nothing but cannabidiol.
Myth #8: CBD oil requires a doctor's prescription
You may think that, like medical marijuana, CBD oil requires a doctor's prescription to obtain the product. This myth is simply not true, at least in some states, as CBD oil can be purchased without a prescription as long as the CBD oil contains less than 0.3 % THC.
Myth #9: You need to take a large dose of CBD for it to be effective
Many CBD newbies adopt the classic American mentality that the more you take, the better, but this is not necessarily true for those who take CBD. While we are not here to give you advice on CBD dosing, many companies label their products with a recommended starting dose of 10-25mg per day. This slow dosing allows people to slowly get used to CBD and find the minimum dosage that gives the individual the desired effect.
Also, the more CBD you take in a dose, the more likely you are to experience adverse side effects like the ones we discussed in myth #2. For more information on dosage and whether you can take too much CBD, take a second to check out this article!
Myth No. 10: Minimal research on CBD is done and conducted
While there may have been limited research on CBD prior to the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, primarily due to the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance, this federal classification made it extremely difficult for non-academic research institutes to obtain cannabis and industrial hemp in order to extract CBD. Throughout the 20th century, there were research studies that examined the various effects of THC and CBD, most of which were conducted on animals.
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalisation of CBD extracted from industrial hemp, CBD research has exploded. More and more evidence and findings on CBD, other endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids are accumulating.