6 Common Misconceptions About CBD and Hemp
The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 criminalised hemp production, thus limiting scientific studies of its practical benefits.
However, recent legislation changes have intensified the cultivation of hemp. Public interest in the plant and its extracts have surged — including, most notably, the plant’s most featured cannabinoid, CBD (cannabidiol).
From what was once a non-existent market, the CBD marketplace has attracted near-on six million customers in fewer than five years. There is a reason for this, as scientific studies suggest that CBD may pack a slew of medicinal efficacies.
Hemp enthusiasts greet the heightened interest as they have known all along hemp’s phytoremediation properties: the plant’s ability to potentially reverse the symptoms of a damaged eco-system. After all, an interest in CBD generates further demand and interest in hemp.
But, as with any new (or re-emerging) industry, facts may be falsified either deliberately, or because of a lack of understanding. This has led to a wave of misconceptions. In this article, we cover some of these common misunderstandings and false statements.
1. Is hemp cannabis? Is hemp CBD better than cannabis CBD?
One of the most common misconceptions is that hemp isn’t cannabis, and with that, CBD’s molecules differ between the two plants.
Hemp and cannabis are part of the same species. The cannabis plant consists of over 40,000 cultivars. These are determined by a plant’s terpene profile (terpenes being the aromatic components of hemp) and cannabinoid count.
Cannabinoids aside, the most common cannabis terpene, myrcene, alone can determine whether the cannabis strain is either Indica or Sativa. But it’s not terpenes that classify the plant as hemp; the only definition is the amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
If the cannabis plant has under 0.2 percent THC — the psychotropic component of cannabis responsible for the “high” marijuana users get — then it is classified as hemp. This is raised to 0.3 percent within the United States and Canada (read more about the legality of hemp and CBD here).
As for CBD from either cannabis or hemp, it is exactly the same, as the molecular structures are identical. Should they differ by a fraction, then one or the other would possess a different terminology.
2. CBD cures cancer
During the 1990s, a medical cannabis activist, Rick Simpson, claimed to have cured stage-four skin cancer with cannabis oil. With that, he believes that cannabis oil is a cure for cancer.
Rick isn’t alone: thousands of cancer patients have turned to cannabis oil as a last-hope medicine. Some of them claim to have seen successful results and several scientific studies are examining such claims.
However, it should be stressed that there is no specific dosage or conclusive proof of a cure just yet. CBD is sometimes used as part of cancer treatment, as it is believed to help alleviate the nausea associated with chemotherapy. No current protocol uses hemp products exclusively, though.
What is Rick Simpson’s Oil (RSO)?
Admittedly, a potential cancer cure is a mouth-watering prospect. Unfortunately, this makes it a target for “snake-oil salesmen.” In addition to potential conmen, misinformation can be spread as truth.
Rick Simpson claims that his recipe for ” Rick Simpson Oil” (RSO) has saved over 5,000 lives. But the truth is that his oil consists of THC, not CBD.
As previously mentioned, hemp is cannabis. However, any plant containing more than two percent THC makes the plant illegal in the UK. As a result, only CBD oil can be legally produced and bought.
Maybe CBD oil will prove to be a resourceful supplement for cancer sufferers. Research suggests that CBD may inhibit the growth of cancerous tumours and aid with treatment. However, we’re still years away from proving such claims.
3. CBD is non-psychoactive
Something that you may often read is that CBD is non-psychoactive. This is true… in part.
Perhaps the largest consumer-base of CBD products is sufferers of anxiety looking to alleviate their symptoms in a natural way (check out our post on CBD, depression, and anxiety here).
By definition, anything that can alter your mood is psychoactive. The correct term is that CBD is non-intoxicating.
However, if you want to trial cannabinoids as medicine but do not wish to get “high,” fear not, as this is merely word-play. CBD does alter your mood, but the effects are not “high-inducing.”
4. Taking more CBD increases desired results
One of the most confusing aspects of CBD for consumers is the correct dosage (check out our post on determining the correct dosage for you here). What dose works for one, may not work for another. Additionally, an individual may feel CBD’s effects almost instantly, whereas another may not see any results for a month or beyond.
A possible reason for this is that CBD may be biphasic: lower doses could have the opposite effect than high ones.
In order to identify your required dose, it is best that you try “microdosing”: start low, go slow. Eventually, the increase in the effects of the cannabinoid will subside, suggesting that you have passed your optimum dosage.
Should you insist on taking more, you are quite simply wasting your hard-earnt money.
5. CBD does not have any side-effects
Cannabinoids are molecules that derive from a plant and may offer a bountiful supply of natural remedies. Many CBD users claim that CBD helps them alleviate their symptoms or use it as a wellness-supplement.
However, CBD may also induce side-effects, albeit mild. Potential side-effects include nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and dry mouth.
Should you suffer from any of these side-effects, then you are either taking too much, or you are of the minority who has an adverse reaction to the substance.
6. Does CBD show up on a drug test?
As a matter of fact, yes, CBD will show up on a drug test but only if that test is targeting the specific substance. That is how producers check their product or purity and efficiency.
However, drug tests like the ones administered by certain companies target THC; not CBD. In theory, you should pass a drug test if your CBD product contains less than 0.2 percent of THC, as cannabidiol is not a targeted substance.
However, in order to ensure that you do not fail a drug test for cannabis use, you may have to steer clear of THC altogether. It is suggested that minimal traces of THC in CBD oils may show up and mislabeled CBD products may contain more THC than their labels suggest.
So what is true about CBD?
Although the benefits of CBD may have been exaggerated, that’s not to say that the cannabinoid is useless:
- Cannabinoids have a natural affinity with the human body. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is considered to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in medical science.
- Animals can take CBD: Any animal with a vertebra responds to CBD, as the ECS is present within every mammal. However, it is important that you choose a CBD product that has been produced specifically for pets as some ingredients of traditional products may be harmful to animals.
- CBD may be a natural anti-inflammatory. It is for this reason that CBD may offer such an array of medicinal benefits.
- CBD may be a remedy for anxiety and depression: A large number of CBD oil users opt for the substance to treat their depression and anxiety.
- There are many kinds of CBD oil: Several ways exist to extract CBD. Depending on the extraction method, the resulting substances will be either CBD isolate, CBD broad-spectrum, or CBD full-spectrum – with the latter usually considered the most superior product as it contains all of the plants’ natural molecules and terpenes.
If you wish to try CBD, consult with your doctor first, especially if you suffer from a condition like glaucoma (CBD has been found to increase intraocular pressure) or are taking medication. To learn more about CBD and its potential health benefits, check out our previous post, reported benefits of CBD.