Myths and Facts About Cannabidiol
Recent studies into the diverse pharmacology of canabidiol (CBD) have stunned the medical community. To date, researchers have discovered that CBD, one of the main compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant, can be used to treat a variety of conditions with its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiemetic, antianxiety, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, and cytotoxic properties (confined to malignant cell lines).
These discoveries have completely changed the medical landscape. However, even with its popularity surging, common misconceptions about CBD that have caused confusion amongst patients, recreational consumers, legislators, and even physicians.
In this article, we attempt to address some of the top myths surrounding CBD and clear up some of the confusion. Hopefully this will allow you to make an informed decision when you decide to purchase your next CBD product.
Myth: CBD is completely non-psychoactive and non-psychotropic
Although CBD is frequently characterized as ‘non-psychoactive’ or ‘non-psychotropic’, the truth is a little more complicated. Technically, although CBD doesn’t produce the same euphoric “high” as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it can be used to treat anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction, and possibly even depression.
Clearly, CBD is a mood-altering substance, so more accurately, it would be better to say that CBD is “not psychoactive like THC,” rather than repeating the somewhat misleading characterization that “CBD is non-psychoactive and non-psychotropic”.
Myth: CBD acts as a sedative
Many people believe that CBD acts as a sedative on the human body and use the substance based on that belief. Unfortunately for these people, studies have shown that CBD counteracts the sedative effects of THC and in fact, is distinctively alerting in low to moderate doses.
But although pure CBD itself is not sedating, some preparations of CBD do have a sedative effect. This is attributable to the monoterpenoid called myrcene which displays a prominent narcotic-like profile that is seemingly responsible for the ‘couch-lock’ phenomenon frequently associated with cannabis. Selective breeding of low myrcene chemovars can yield cannabis plants or extracts that won’t be sedating.
Myth: CBD is like Rimonabant
Rimonabant, also known as SR141617, Acomplia, or Zimulti, was a controversial appetite suppressant and anti-obesity drug developed by Sanofi-Aventis that was first approved and then withdrawn worldwide due to serious psychiatric side effects; it was never approved in the U.S.
Rimonabant worked as an inverse agonist for the cannabinoid receptor CB1. It was pulled from the market because it caused depressive disorders, mood alterations, and even suicidal ideation along with many other adverse effects. The Rimonabant controversy spilled over into all CB1 inverse agonists including natural compounds.
Fortunately, CBD produces none of the Rimonabant’s adverse effects. It acts as a non-competitive antagonist at CB1, meaning it binds to CB1 and blocks it from being activated by other compounds. It seems to work as a negative allosteric modulator of CB1 and has been shown to reduce the potency and efficacy of THC. So far, CBD has proven to be a safe and effective form of treatment on the body.
Myth: CBD in isolation is better than CBD in whole plant medicine
Back in the late 90s, Israeli scientist and cannabis research pioneer Raphael Mechoulam discovered that the compounds found in cannabis showed no significant activity when they were tested alone. In fact, he and his team found that compounds actually worked synergistically when they were combined to intensify the healing power of the binding molecule. After this revelation, Mechoulam coined the term the “entourage effect”.
The entourage effect should come as no surprise for most people. Similar to how eating whole foods provide better nutrition than just taking supplements and multivitamins, whole plant preparations of cannabis are more therapeutically beneficial for the human body than just isolated compounds. The combination of terpenes and CBD in particular could be one of the most powerful pairings found in cannabis.
Terpenes are potent, aromatic, naturally occurring hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants. They have a strong odor and play a vital role in the plant kingdom. As flavor and fragrance components common to humans, terpenes have unique therapeutic effects that contribute to the entourage effects of CBD. CBD and terpenes that work together through the entourage effect are much more powerful in treating a variety of conditions than single isolated compounds. In CBD’s case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Of course, using the whole plant oil is of little interest to pharmaceutical companies who prefer single compounds or synthetic versions that can be patented and sold.
Myth: All CBD is created equal
With the explosion of one of the fastest growing market categories in the hemp and legal marijuana industries with a compound annual growth rate of 59%, a lot of questionable CBD has reached the marketplace. Lack of transparency and regulation, misleading marketing and advertising, and poor quality and consistency have resulted in the sale of inferior CBD products that have failed to meet customer expectations.
Safe extraction methods (preferably with supercritical CO2), clear labeling of ingredients, trusted plant sources (preferably certified organic whole plant cannabis), CBD-rich strains (content level above 4%), and strict testing by reputable labs, can separate good products from the mediocre and the bad. All CBD is not created equal and consumers should educate themselves before they decide to invest in poorly made product. Here at I Want My CBD, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to laboratory test some of the more popular brands of CBD oil on the market today. See the results for yourself.
CBD has exploded into the mainstream in a very short amount of time. Aside from anecdotal evidence of its miraculous healing powers, research into its therapeutic benefits has uncovered a wealth of previously unknown health benefits for users. Although myths and misconceptions about CBD have surfaced, several of the more popular ones are clearly unfounded and shouldn’t be believed. If you decide to try CBD as a medicinal product, make sure to do your research and consult a medical professional before you embark on any experimental treatment.
Here at IwantmyCBD.org, we are dedicated to ensuring your right to obtain CBD legally. We are working hard to make sure CBD rich hemp oil remains a dietary supplement. To see what we are up to, sign up for the I want my CBD Newsletter. If you feel that CBD is right for you and want to join the fight to protect your access to CBD, you can help by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter or Pinterest. Join us in spreading the word on CBD and let’s keep the momentum going!
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