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CBD Myths

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Is CBD a wonder drug? Cannabidiol (CBD) has been touted in the media as a miracle treatment for everything from depression to cancer. But the truth is not that simple.

Yes, CBD has many potential therapeutic uses and has helped millions of people enhance their health. But buyers need to beware of the greed that has penetrated this billion-dollar industry. In a quest for cash, brands and advertisers have cooked up a cauldron of myths about what CBD can do for you.

Uncover the truth about CBD and learn what the science has to say as we dispel seven common myths about this popular cannabinoid.

Myth: CBD Is Not Psychoactive
CBD is psychoactive, but is not intoxicating in the same way that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is. CBD does not bind to the same receptors in our bodies as THC does, and does not produce the same intoxicating effects. However, CBD does interact with our brains and exerts an influence on serotonin receptors like 5HT1A – the definition of “psychoactive.” It does, after all, have anxiety-beating effects, and often can make people feel relaxed when taken in large doses, especially when there’s some THC in the mix

Also, if you’re using a CBD-rich, unprocessed cannabis bud/flower, there will be terpenes in it. These terpenes will also have a physiological effect and will interact with CBD and other cannabinoids in different ways to produce a variety of effects. A high concentration of myrcene in a product, for example, may have sedative effects.

Myth: CBD Is Medicine, THC Is a Drug
In fact, we can view both CBD and THC as medicine. After all, both cannabinoids have shown therapeutic promise in treating a range of physical and psychological conditions. You may consider THC a drug in the sense that it can get you high, while CBD cannot.

But THC has proven just as useful for health as CBD, and in some cases possibly more useful. For example, both cannabinoids have been channeled as anti-vomiting agents for people going through chemotherapy, but some anecdotal evidence has spotlighted THC as the better option for this purpose.

Myth: Indica Strains Have More CBD
While indicas and sativas have become common colloquial descriptors of the effects from different strains, the terms are inherently misleading. Indica and sativa refer simply to the growth patterns of a particular plant (sativas grow taller and have narrow leaves, whereas indicas tend to grow short and stout and have broader leaves). Over the years, most cannabis strains have become a hybrid of different types, with thousands of strains containing different chemical compounds.

CBD can be found in all kinds of cannabis varieties, both sativa and indica. Many CBD-rich strains originate from sativa and hybrid strains (e.g. Island Sweet Skunk, Charlotte’s Web, ACDC, Purple Cheese) as well as indica strains (e.g. Dark Star, Violator Kush).

There may, however, be a good reason for the confusion, as there are sometimes differences between cannabis varieties from different geographic regions. Cannabis varieties from Afghanistan, where many of today’s “indica” varieties hail from, may contain a high amount of CBD. Varieties from closer to the equator (e.g. Durban Poison) may contain more THCV, leading to more energetic (but perhaps shorter-lasting) effects.

However, it must be said that cannabis plants also produce specific cannabinoids in reaction to its environment (e.g. type of soil, amount of sunlight, age of harvest) and not just its genetics. This means that you might not always get the same cannabinoids if you’re growing a particular variety in two different environments, even if you’re growing the same type of plant.

Myth: CBD Can Cure Cancer
Let us be clear: there is no cure for cancer. While CBD is not a cure for cancer, the cannabinoid does have the potential to shrink cancerous cells and tumors. In fact, one 2020 study hailed CBD as a promising anti-cancer drug. Researchers explained how CBD may be a powerful tool against cervical cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and many other types of cancer. In the studies cited, CBD was found to inhibit the growth and metastasis (spreading) of cancerous cells. The authors of the research praised CBD as “robust” in attacking cancerous cells and tumors.

Myth: CBD Has No Side Effects
It is true that the side effects of CBD are usually mild, but to say that CBD poses no side effects is inaccurate. While some people may not encounter any side effects from CBD, other people report minor side effects. The minor side effects of CBD may include headache, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, and skin irritation or rash if you’re using topical products. Most of these side effects are transient and mild enough that people do not need to seek medical attention.

Myth: CBD Is the Same as Cannabis

Many legal CBD products derive the compound from the hemp plant not the cannabis (marijuana) plant. This botanical origin explains why CBD products only contain trace amounts of THC. The cannabis plant and hemp plant are indeed the same species, but their concentrations of THC differ dramatically. This is because they are bred for different purposes: hemp for its stalk and fiber, and cannabis for its cannabinoid content.

THC is present in concentrations of 0.3% or less in the hemp plant, while the psychoactive cannabinoid clocks in at over 0.3% in the cannabis plant. In a nutshell: it’s likely to be hemp-derived CBD if it has less than 0.3% THC, and it’s cannabis if it has more than that amount.

Myth: CBD Is Addictive
There is no research that indicates hemp-derived CBD is addictive in any way. Even whole-plant cannabis with intoxicating THC is not generally considered addictive. However, some people may consume the plant (in particular THC) too frequently and develop cannabis use disorder. No corresponding disorder or condition exists with CBD. In fact, quite to the contrary, CBD has been studied for its potential as a natural intervention for addictive behaviors.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is CBD completely non-psychoactive?
No, it would be more accurate to classify CBD as mildly psychoactive or “non-intoxicating.” While the cannabinoid won’t affect you the way THC might, CBD can still influence your mood and mindset in subtle ways. This mild psychoactivity is one reason why CBD may be useful in treating anxiety and sleep disorders.

Does CBD really do anything?
Scientists have uncovered many potential health benefits of CBD, from relieving muscle aches to shrinking tumors. However, everyone will react to CBD differently, and your experience will depend on multiple factors, including the quality and potency of the product you use and the condition you are trying to treat.

Your own endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a huge part in this outcome as well. Some people will find that CBD alone is helpful, whereas others will need some THC in order to get any therapeutic benefits from cannabis. Others may find that CBD alone is helpful, but that THC actually improves CBD’s efficacy and lowers the dosage needed to benefit from its healing effects.

What are the bad things about CBD?
Overall, CBD has an excellent safety and tolerability profile. But that doesn’t mean side effects are non-existent. You may experience dry mouth, nausea, dizziness or diarrhea when using CBD, or you may feel amazing. The “bad things” about CBD really depend on how your unique body chemistry interacts with the cannabinoid.

CBD and cannabis medicine can be an integral part of your healthy lifestyle when you obtain a medical marijuana card. Our experienced medical team is on call to help you apply for your MMJ card quickly and easily from the comfort of your home.