Today's wave of positive press generated by CBD (Cannabidiol) is full of myths, hyperbole, and conflicting anecdotal evidence. These days, it seems as if everyone is joining the CBD discussion to determine the validity of various claims.
This is because the claims about CBD's benefits are directly relevant to people from all walks of life, including patients suffering from various conditions who are looking for better alternatives to mainstream pharmaceuticals.
CBD is touted as nature's ultimate panacea, a great weapon against substance abuse, an essential nutrient, and a lot more. Surprisingly, the medical community and general population as a whole are accepting the cannabis plant as a legitimate medicinal crop.
However, it's an excellent filtering strategy first to identify the misrepresentations and misconceptions to distill accurate facts. Here, we dissect six highly consequential misconceptions about CBD to help you make the right decisions concerning the use of the drug.
- All CBD extracts are equal.
Unfortunately, this is downright inaccurate. The source of the CBD extract does matter. Regardless of its legal status, industrial hemp is far from being a prime source of CBD. Industrial hemp is a far less optimal source of CBD when compared to its marijuana counterpart. As such, it takes several times the effort and resources to extract CBD from hemp, versus the extraction from CBD-rich marijuana.
There's also the risk of raising the level of contamination in the extract since hemp is a "bio-accumulator" that absorbs heavy metals from the soil. Even worse, medicinal terpenes and secondary cannabinoids present in marijuana strains show zero to trace amounts in single-molecule CBD extracted and refined from industrial hemp or fabricated in a lab. CBD cannot reach its full potentials when these compounds are lacking.
2. The ‘psychoactive' dichotomy
A favorite punchline for CBD critics is that pure CBD extracts are impossible because they always contain THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis. Marijuana critics still vilified THC because it is the supposed culprit responsible for causing the euphoric, "high" feeling that is popularly associated with cannabis use.
However, while CBD doesn't get you "stoned," it does exert some influence on neuronal activities in the brain, making it deserving of the highly contentious "psychoactive" title. Experts prefer sticking to the term "nonintoxicating" since the term "psychoactive" implies effects on the mind or behavior. Considering that definition, nonintoxicating may be a better descriptor, given the well-established fact that the mental effects of CBD are to effectively amend a growing list of psychological conditions such as anxiety disorder, PTSD, depression, seizure disorders, etc.
3. The medicinal/recreational veil
There's a widespread misconception of the value and difference of THC and CBD as recreational and medicinal substances. While THC is mainly associated with the hallmark "high" effect, it has also exhibited some amazing therapeutic properties beneficial for different health conditions.
For one, research undertaken by scientists at the Scripps Research Center in San Diego has shown that THC can forestall the occurrence of the beta-amyloid plaque, which is the critical symptom of Alzheimer's-related dementia. Also, THC-based Marinol has received approval from the United States government as an anti-nausea medication and appetite stimulant. The product now belongs to Schedule III, meaning the THC drug is considered medicinally beneficial with little abuse potential.
On the other hand, CBD can as well serve effectively for leisure and recreation, since it is also known for its lulling and stress-relieving reinvigorating and therapeutic effects, and several companies are capitalizing on this fact.
4. CBD is safer than THC
Legalization critics are now exploiting the perceived difference in the level of risks associated with CBD and THC to further vilify THC and the marijuana plant as a whole. However, the potential side effects of both compounds have been well-documented. CBD can arguably be as risky, in some instances, as THC can be in other cases. In general, both compounds have relatively equal risk levels associated with inappropriate use.
5. The effectiveness of standalone CBD products
THC and CBD are a complementary pair. Several studies show that CBD works best in synergy with THC, not by itself. British researchers have shown that CBD strengthens the anti-inflammatory effects of THC. Similarly, scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco also showed that both compounds exhibited stronger anti-tumoral effects when combined than when used separately. Extensive clinical research has also shown that neither compound is more effective when used independently to treat neuropathic pain than when combined.
6. The difference in quality between synthesized single-molecule products and ‘crude' whole-plant products
Prohibition is based on an absurd assumption that the whole cannabis plant is dangerous to health. In reality though, when broken down into some of its fundamental elements (CBD and THC in particular), the risks associated with cannabis are minimal or eliminated. It's a gross misstatement to portray the idea that the whole cannabis plant itself has no medicinal value.
The popularity of cannabis products today, especially as a medicinal remedy, should call attention to the many claims behind the plant's effects as the CBD compound gains favoritism as the principal therapeutic component of the crop. As more consumers use CBD to "relieve" their medical conditions, it's essential to know all facts before using CBD as self-treatment.