From pet supplements to cosmetics, countless products now contain CBD. But despite its growing popularity, people still have a lot of doubts about what CBD is, how it works, and what benefits it does or doesn’t have. In this article, we separate the fact from the fiction regarding CBD.

COMMON CBD MYTHS

  • CBD MYTH #1: CBD ALWAYS COMES FROM HEMP

Hemp is a special type of cannabis that has been bred for industrial purposes, such as to source fibre, oil, or seeds. These plants have also been specifically bred to contain only trace amounts of THC, and they look very different from the cannabis plants bred by seedbanks like ours. In the US, cannabis plants only qualify as hemp if they contain less than 0.3% THC, whereas throughout most of the EU, the threshold is 0.2%.

A lot of people believe that CBD oil is exclusively sourced from industrial hemp. But that’s not true. While some manufacturers, us included, do use industrial hemp to produce CBD oil, others create their products using CBD-rich cannabis strains. This is especially true in the American market. These strains usually produce more flowers with higher concentrations of CBD than industrial hemp, which, again, is grown mainly for its fibre.

  • CBD MYTH #2: CBD OIL IS NON-PSYCHOACTIVE

Cannabis naturally contains over 100 cannabinoids, all of which have their own unique effects on the body. Out of all these compounds, the most studied are THC and CBD. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion in the general public about the effects of these compounds.

THC is often thought of as the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. However, many of the cannabinoids found in cannabis, including CBD, affect the mind and are therefore psychoactive. THC is, however, the main intoxicating agent in cannabis, and is what causes that iconic euphoria or high we associate with the cannabis plant.

  • CBD MYTH #3: CBD BINDS TO CANNABINOID RECEPTORS

The endocannabinoid system is a key regulatory system that mediates the effects of cannabinoids in the body. One of the main components of this system are cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Some cannabinoids can mimic naturally produced endocannabinoids and bind directly to these receptors. THC, for example, binds directly to CB1 receptors.

CBD is different. It has a low binding affinity to cannabinoid receptors, with research instead pointing to CBD acting via 60 different molecular pathways in the body. It's via these systems that CBD is believed to indirectly affect the endocannabinoid system.

  • CBD MYTH #4: CBD MAKES YOU SLEEPY

The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating many different bodily processes. One of those processes is sleep. However, it's a common misconception that CBD makes people sleepy or has a sedative-like effect. In fact, studies have shown that CBD can actually promote waking and delay sleep time.

Studies also suggest that CBD may have opposing effects on sleep that vary depending on dose and a variety of other factors. A 2014 review published in the journal Current Pharmacology highlights experimental evidence suggesting that CBD could work as a wake-inducing drug. On the other hand, some sources show CBD to help induce sleep by relieving anxiety and stress in individuals with anxiety disorders.

  • CBD MYTH #5: CBD IS THE MAIN MEDICINAL COMPOUND IN CANNABIS

Many people think that CBD is what drives cannabis’ potential as a medicine—and indeed, that is partially true. But the cannabis plant actually contains over 400 different active compounds, including over 100 cannabinoids, many terpenes, flavonoids, and more. And many of these compounds contribute to cannabis’ potential health benefits, not just CBD.

In fact, there’s a solid body of research suggesting that the magic of cannabis may come from the ability of these compounds to synergise. This is known as the “entourage effect”, a theory supported by some of the leading cannabis researchers in the world.

 

THE MAIN CANNABINOIDS AND THEIR THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS
THC - Tetrahydrocannabinol Antitumor effects.
CBD - Cannabidiol Anticonvulsive, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antidepressant.
CBG - Cannabigerol Adrenergic, serotonergic, enzyme modulator, analgesic and anidepressant.
CBN - Cannabinol Induce sleep and possesses anticonvulsive properties.
CBC - Cannabichromene Anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and anti-fungal.

 

CRUCIAL CBD FACTS

  • CBD FACT #1: CBD WON’T GET YOU HIGH

Earlier, we clarified that CBD acts on the mind and is therefore psychoactive. However, it isn’t intoxicating. Unlike THC, CBD won’t produce any kind of high or euphoria, even in extremely high doses.

However, it’s important to note that some full-spectrum or whole-plant CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC. That’s because THC is a natural compound that is present even in industrial hemp plants. Full-spectrum oils contain the whole profile of chemicals found naturally in hemp, and therefore may contain trace amounts of THC. These concentrations are so low, however, that they won’t be enough to get you high.

  • CBD FACT #2: CBD HAS REAL HEALTH BENEFITS

There’s been a lot of research into cannabinoid therapy lately. And it’s true; cannabis compounds like CBD have real health benefits. That’s because the endocannabinoid system helps regulate a lot of bodily processes, including everything from pain to the formation of memories.

So far, research suggests that CBD can relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress, pain and inflammation, improve sleep, reduce seizures and tremors, and much more. It’s important to note that the research in this field is still ongoing and there is a lot we don’t know about cannabinoids and how they work.

CBD RECEPTORS 

  • CBD FACT #3: CBD ACTS VIA MULTIPLE DIFFERENT PATHWAYS IN THE BODY

As mentioned above, studies have identified over 60 different mechanisms of action via which CBD works on the body. Many of these molecular pathways belong to neurotransmitter systems such as serotonin, GAMA, and more. Research shows that CBD can affect these systems by either increasing or decreasing their signalling. Studies also suggest that CBD could work as a reuptake inhibitor of endocannabinoids like anandamide. This can lead to a temporary increase in the concentrations of these chemicals in the brain, affecting things like mood and pain sensation.

  • CBD FACT #4: CBD CAN PRODUCE SIDE EFFECTS

Yes, CBD has side effects, and it’s really important to acknowledge that. Luckily, most of the side effects of CBD are mild and can be avoided with proper dosing. Some examples of potential side effects of CBD oil include reduced appetite, diarrhoea, and dry mouth.

Finding the right dose of CBD depends on a variety of factors, including the strength of the CBD supplement you’re using, your weight and individual body chemistry, and the reason you’re trying CBD in the first place. Hence, there’s really no silver bullet to dosing CBD, and it's recommended that you start with a small dose and gradually increase until you achieve the results you’re looking for.

  • CBD FACT #5: CBD IS LEGAL IN MANY COUNTRIES

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the legality of CBD supplements. And while the law regarding these products obviously varies from country to country, many places allow the legal sale of CBD supplements, so long as they contain only trace amounts of THC.

For example, CBD is legal in many European countries, New Zealand, the UK, Uruguay, Canada, and more. In the US, CBD is legal federally if it is derived from hemp, i.e. cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC.

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