When it comes to CBD, distinguishing fact from fiction can be tricky. Check out these myths and facts surrounding CBD and its use.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is at the center of medical research, media hype, and new cannabis legislation. Google “CBD,” and you’ll come up with some 405,000,000 hits.
That’s too much information to be readily useful.
Here at Pura Vida Cure, we’ll tackle some of the mythology surrounding CBD to give you the straight facts.
Myth: There’s no proof that CBD helps any health condition.
Fact: Several studies and pre-clinical trials on CBD have been conducted in the U.S. and overseas.
Recently, the Food & Drug Administration approved the CBD-based, anti-seizure medication, Epidiolex.
In the U.S., the government classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug in 1970. That meant the government determined that cannabis had no medical value despite centuries of recorded use for various ailments. However, Epidiolex’s clinical trials were so persuasive that the FBD had to approve the drug.
A study done at Columbia University looked into using CBD with conventional treatment for glioblastomas, the most common brain cancer in adults. The traditional approach to treatment includes chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. The study found that CBD increased glioblastoma cells’ sensitivity to radiation and induced death of the cancer cells but not healthy cells.
Israel was the first to seriously study medical cannabis, and research results from other countries show promise for several conditions.
- A U.K. study in 2018 suggested CBD can be an effective treatment for ulcerative colitis.
- A Brazilian study in 2017 compared control, placebo, and CBD groups for anxiety for public speaking. The research found that the CBD group had less stress than the other two.
- In 2014, an Italian study reported that CBD appears to inhibit cancer cell growth for colon cancer patients.
Credible, randomized, double-blind studies into CBD have and are being done. Results are available through PubMed, a National Institutes of Health archive, and other sources.
Myth: All the touted benefits of CBD are just marketing hype.
Fact: The promise CBD has shown makes it a natural marketing focus; that doesn’t negate its efficacy.
Given all the hype surrounding CBD and its uses, it can be challenging to know if it’s beneficial or just the latest fad in diet and nutrition.
Plant-based medicine and naturopathic approaches to health have been around for centuries.
“I took CBD for a week: nothing happened, it doesn’t work.”
It’s important to ask yourself what you are taking CBD for; what is the condition you’re trying to treat, and in what form are you taking CBD? Are you taking it regularly? Are you taking enough or perhaps too much? Education around dosage and formulations is essential when it comes to supplemental or alternative health care with CBD.
If you’re taking it for general wellness, you may not notice marked effects. For general use, CBD helps to activate and coordinate your’ body’s systems to help your body balance wellness and daily stressors. In that case, it’s not likely you’d notice the subtle changes in improved sleep, mood, and immunity except over time.
Are you taking the right form? It may be you’re trying an isolate rather than full-spectrum CBD oil.
Or, you don’t have the right mix of THC (where it’s legal), CBD, and the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis. This is where knowledgeable retail staff can be invaluable; they can steer you to the right CBD for you.
Before trying CBD, think about whether your health issue is something that CBD can help.
Myth: CBD is sedating.
Fact: The opposite is true. CBD isn’t a sedative; it lifts mood.
CBD works to counteract THC’s sedative effects. High doses of pure-grade CBD haven’t shown sedation in healthy test subjects.
The confusion may be due to cannabis that has high levels of the terpene, myrcene. Myrcene is known for its sedative properties.
Myth: All CBD is the same, whether from hemp, medical cannabis, or isolate.
Fact: Structurally, it doesn’t matter whether it came from medical cannabis, a lab, or hemp; the CBD molecule is the same. Except, CBD from different sources doesn’t always have the same effects and benefits.
The differences between hemp and cannabis are disappearing, but hemp is not an ideal source of CBD because it takes significant quantities of hemp to produce CBD. It’s also worth mentioning that mislabeling is a problem in the hemp-based CBD trade. A study recently revealed that only 31% of 84 products bought online were labeled correctly for CBD.
CBD works best in combination with its terpenes and the phytocannabinoids (plant-based cannabinoids). Various cannabinoids and terpenes interact to give that particular CBD variety its characteristic effect, a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. That effect enhances CBD’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Myth: Cannabidiol works by activating cannabinoid receptors.
Fact: Everyone (and all mammals) has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS is always at work in our bodies to keep us healthy and restore balanced function at the cellular level.
The system has two receptors: CB1 found mostly in the central nervous system, and CB2, part of the gastrointestinal tract.
These receptors react with a wide array of therapeutic interventions—lifestyle, prescription, and over-the-counter medicines—as well as herbs. CBD does not directly stimulate the receptors. Instead, it decreases their activity level.
CBD also indirectly increases signaling by interfering in the breakdown and transmission of anandamide, our most plentiful endocannabinoid. A clinical study showed that schizophrenic patients treated with 800 mg of CBD daily significantly increased their anandamide levels over 28 days.
Do your research before you buy. Know why you’re using CBD. Look for the evidence that CBD can help your particular area of concern. For example, while you might conclude you don’t need CBD-based cosmetics, you may find it does help with acne, chaffed skin, or swelling; some have found topical CBD to be beneficial for herpes outbreaks.
Looking for a CBD formula that will help you sleep? You might consider one that is balanced with CBN.
Those suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, or asthma may also benefit from CBD, but different formulas and strengths can address different issues.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about CBD, and it can be hard to separate myth from fact. When reading articles or white papers on CBD, make sure the authors cite studies or other research. That’s an essential indicator of reliable information, especially if you can go to the actual research.
Finally, before buying, always ask to see third party certificates of analysis.
If you make an effort, you can get the truth about CBD and what it can do for you.
Lynette Garet is a bilingual freelance writer. A U.S. ex-pat living in Costa Rica with her partner Sil, when not busy with writing projects, she can be found hanging with her favorite “stinky boys” (the Grand-Littles), tending her garden, cooking, reading, enjoying good wine, and dancing in the kitchen to music from a limitless list of genres.