Why Do People Hesitate to Take CBD?

Why Do People Hesitate to Take CBD?

How many Britons have tried CBD? It is estimated that around 6.5 million of us have tried CBD and over 1.3 million are regular CBD consumers. Bearing in mind that there are more than 60 million people in our country, what makes some hesitant towards CBD?

CBD has been legal since 2017. Since then, the market has been flooded with CBD edibles, gummies, pills, capsules, vapes, and even body creams and face creams—not to mention mattresses and pillows imbued in CBD.

Most people consider it a natural product as it’s based on hemp, and the World Health Organisation has deemed it well-tolerated by the human body and with a good safety profile. So, after 7 years of increased research and more visibility of CBD products, what keeps people from trying CBD?

There is an interesting American survey from 2021 that asked people why they were hesitating to try CBD. There were ten different reasons why people were reluctant to include CBD, from considerations about the cost to concerns about the possible side effects. Let’s take a look at all the concerns people have about CBD.

1.      The cost

21.25% of respondents said that the cost of CBD products was prohibitive.

While many CBD products are not cheap, there is a reason for that. Growing industrial hemp requires licenses and very close attention to the method of production. Hemp growers must make sure that the hemp flowers don’t produce too much THC or their full crop will be unusable. They also have to follow strict procedures during the harvesting and processing which adds to the cost of producing hemp flowers. Organic hemp growing is obviously more expensive, which will increase the final cost of the CBD product.

To produce CBD oil from hemp flowers also requires a manufacturer to invest in a processing facility. Whether with CO2 or ethanol, the extraction process must be well-calibrated so that the wholesomeness of the natural compounds remains in the CBD oil.

Finally, trusted and professional CBD manufacturers must have their products tested to check for the overall CBD content, the presence of THC traces and the existence of heavy metals and chemicals. These lab tests cost money but they also provide customers with the knowledge that the product they are taking is pure.

2.      Lack of reliable information

17.50% of respondents said that they didn’t have reliable information they could trust.

It’s understandable that people find it hard to obtain reliable information. The medical profession is still hesitant about suggesting CBD for helping with conditions like anxiety, depression, and inflammation. GPs rarely mention CBD to their patients and it’s often the patient who must come forward with the idea of trying CBD.

On the other hand, some manufacturers make unrealistic and even dangerous promises as part of their advertising pitch. CBD has not been proven to heal, alleviate, or solve any health issue. There are promising findings from clinical trials and research plus anecdotal evidence that points to that direction, but the NHS has not recommended CBD for any condition, aside from two rare types of child epilepsy.

People are bombarded by commercial information while they don’t have a solid medical outlook on how CBD can help them.

3.      Lack of trust in manufacturers

13.50% of respondents said they didn’t trust CBD manufacturers.

Following the previous finding, it makes sense that respondents don’t really trust CBD manufacturers. A 2019 report from the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis found that many manufacturers were not testing their products thoroughly, if at all: 45% of tested products had measurable THC levels while they shouldn’t, a product advertising CBD had no CBD in it, and one CBD product had so much ethanol from the extraction product that it would qualify as an alcoholic beverage.

Since 2019, things have improved as customers have become more knowledgeable. Trusted CBD manufacturers display their Certificate of Analysis and go the extra mile to show their care in delivering excellent and safe CBD products. Through reviews and customer satisfaction, dependable manufacturers are outcompeting their less trusted competitors.  

4.      Lack of belief in the benefits

11.88% of respondents said they didn’t believe CBD could benefit them.

Because the NHS and some medical professionals don’t actively support the consumption of CBD, it’s normal for consumers to have doubts about its potential. Also, there is no definitive scientific proof showing that CBD is effective with, say, arthritis, anxiety, depression, or chronic pain—things that people regularly use it for. Therefore, it’s normal for people to feel ambiguous about the potential benefits of CBD.

5.      Concern about adverse side effects

10% of respondents said they were concerned about the potential side effects.

This is a failure of the overall medical system. CBD is generally well-tolerated and has few side effects; the most common ones being drowsiness, nausea, and dry mouth. Lowering the dosage often makes the side effects disappear.

Tellingly, in a 2021 online survey on people with fibromyalgia, 72% of respondents said they substituted CBD products for their existing medication like NSAIDs and opioids. The main reasons cited were fewer side effects and better symptom management.

6.      Concern it will show up on a drug test

9.13% of respondents said they were concerned CBD would show up on a drug test.

This is a legitimate fear because some CBD manufacturers have been careless in the past about testing their products for the presence of THC. For a CBD product to be legal in the UK, it must contain less than 0.2% of THC in dry weight which means untraceable quantities during testing in a lab.

Drug tests are not designed to test for the presence of metabolites of cannabidiol but only for THC and other drugs. If you buy from a trusted, dependable, and responsible CBD producer, the product will be safe and it won’t show on a drug test.

7.      Concern it is illegal

8.75% of respondents fear that CBD is illegal.

Since 2017, CBD has been legal in the UK as long as the product is made from industrial hemp. There are specific considerations and processes to be followed by hemp growers to make sure their product is safe.

CBD products in the UK are sold as food supplements rather than medicines, as they are not overviewed by the NHS.

8.      Concern it will make me high

3.75% of respondents are concerned that CBD could make them high.

CBD is non-addictive and non-intoxicating, unlike its THC sibling. Due to a lack of professional and scientific information, people are mistaking CBD for THC. Because CBD was bundled together with marijuana for many years, people still think that it’s the same thing.

To help potential customers understand the difference, there needs to be a sustained effort to explain what CBD is and how it’s unlike THC.

9.      Concern it is only for medical use

3.62% of respondents think it’s only for medical use.

Very few people in the UK take CBD for medical use. There is only one NHS-approved medicine, called Epidyolex, which has been developed specifically for two very rare forms of child epilepsy.

According to the NHS website, the NHS will prescribe medical CBD for these specific cases of epilepsy, adults vomiting due to chemotherapy, and people experiencing muscle stiffness from multiple sclerosis. Very few people get CBD prescriptions for medical CBD.

CBD products sold over the counter are not meant for medical use and are classified as food supplements. They are sold in shops and on the Internet and can be introduced into your daily routine at any time.

10. Concern it can only be smoked or vaped

0.63% of respondents believe that CBD can only be smoked or vaped.

This is a misconception that stems from people’s confusion about CBD and THC. We have all seen images of people smoking THC joints and getting high. But CBD is not THC and won’t get you high.

CBD nowadays comes in many forms: edibles, gummies, capsules, pills, oils, tinctures, topicals, and bath bombs. There is a type, brand, and method of consumption that will surely fit your choices, preferences, and lifestyle.

People need more information about CBD

It seems that across the world we have left the education of people on the potential of CBD to manufacturers and sellers. Consumers would benefit from organised and professional information given by trusted institutions and individuals. Also, it would help if the NHS offered some guidance on if and how to take CBD not as a medicine but as a health supplement.

Customers are confused about the real benefits of CBD while the mix-up between CBD and THC still lingers on and adds to the confusion. This is triggered by the bundling of marijuana and industrial hemp for decades since the 1930s.

Ultimately, a lot relies on the scientific community to prove or disprove whether CBD can help with conditions like anxiety, depression, chronic pain, inflammation, stress, etc.

Until then, people are gauging for themselves whether CBD works for them. If you wish to try it for yourself, check out CBD oil reviews and our list of the best UK CBD stores to be sure that the CBD you purchase is as pure and effective as possible.

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Nicholas C. Rossis, renowned by the IBBY Award and a roster of best-selling publications, is a leading voice in CBD research. His work combines critical acclaim with the analysis of the latest news, studies, research and legal developments in the world of CBD, providing readers with valuable data and insights.

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