Our understanding of CBD and its potential benefits has accelerated dramatically in the past decade and will only increase further in the coming years. However, despite the popularity of CBD products, many remain confused or unsure about what it is and what it actually does.
In This Article
The Internet can be a fantastic resource to learn about CBD, but there is also no shortage of misinformation in the form of articles that make dismissive claims about it, or those which are flat-out false. Some of these articles will over exaggerate its potential benefits or make outlandish claims. In some cases, authors claim CBD has no benefits at all and users will suffer from side effects.
Unfortunately, real harm can be done when misinformation permeates into those who have the power to influence people's choices. Some clarification is needed when it comes to all of the false or misleading statements about CBD that crop up.
This article will correct the most common myths that are in circulation and also provide the facts about CBD.
Fact: CBD is NOT psychoactive.
When people talk about the “high” they are confusing CBD with THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol). It’s not uncommon to get CBD (cannabidiol) and THC mixed up. This mix-up happens because these chemicals come from Cannabis sativa, a plant species that includes both cannabis and hemp plants.
Cannabis sativa is a plant family and cannabis and hemp are sisters within that family. So, what makes these plants different? The major distinction is the type and amount of active ingredients in each plant.
Hemp contains more CBD than THC, whereas cannabis plants contain more THC than CBD. This is important because THC is the psychoactive compound that is responsible for feeling high, as it travels to the brain via the bloodstream and interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, and produces an intoxicating effect.
The endocannabinoid system is associated with pleasure, pain, movement, and thought. CBD does interact with the body's endocrine system but doesn’t produce an intoxicating effect.
What about the reports of “uplifting” CBD?
This isn’t due to intoxication, as CBD is known to affect serotonin receptors (serotonin is involved in feelings of happiness and contentment). The way CBD can modulate serotonin receptors is likely the reason for its stress-reducing effects. However, more research is needed to understand exactly how it accomplishes this.
Fact: CBD is NOT addictive.
Addiction is defined as a compulsive need to use a substance and an inability to stop. The majority of addictive substances work by targeting the pleasure centers of the brain, which means to experience more pleasure or avoid withdrawal symptoms, a person must carry on consuming the substance.
Another characteristic of an addictive substance is the need to use more of it to produce an effect. While some substances can lead to dependance, the World Health Organization states that CBD exhibits no indicative effects of abuse or dependance in humans. This could be because CBD doesn’t produce intoxicating effects.
Fact: CBD legality is a gray area.
CBD derived from hemp contains lower than 0.3% THC. This means that it is not illegal, and hemp is also not a controlled substance, however, anything over 0.3% THC is classed as illegal.
The only way to fully understand CBD legality in your state is to consult its health department website or a professional with knowledge of the law.
Fact: CBD is generally considered safe at low doses
CBD products are well tolerated by most people. Hemp-derived CBD doesn’t contain THC and therefore will not produce a “high”. CBD’s medical and health applications are being actively studied, however, more research understanding all of the benefits is still limited.
There are some potential side effects of very high doses of CBD - including:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
There are potential interactions between CBD and other medications. This is why it’s very important to ask your doctor for advice if you’re taking medication and want to try CBD. A qualified medical professional will help determine the best dosage for you and take into account your medical history.
It’s unclear if CBD is suitable for children.
Fact: CBD provides support for many aspects of your well-being.
Evidence shows that CBD supports your well-being and may help lower excess cortisol. Some preclinical evidence shows that CBD can help with sleep, minor pain,.
However, these benefits do not apply equally to all CBD products. Topical creams rubbed into the skin do not absorb into the bloodstream but do have skin-soothing benefits.
Another issue is determining if the product you’re buying contains the ingredients it states on the packaging. In some major brand stores, as little as 4% of the products tested contained the ingredients stated.
It’s integral that the consumer does their own research and finds reputable products and brands.
Fact: Effects can vary between individuals.
Every CBD product is different and while it’s becoming a popular supplement option that doesn’t mean it works the same way for everyone. How your body absorbs and metabolizes CBD depends on factors that include biochemistry and your unique genetics.
CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system and everyone's system will function a little bit differently. The time taken for a CBD product to work its way into your system depends on both the individual and how the product is consumed. For example, oil-based capsules consumed orally have a bioavailability as low as 6-19%. However, there are various things an individual can do to increase bioavailability - such as taking CBD with a meal.
The industry is developing new methods of CBD consumption to make this process as efficient as possible. These developments can enable more and more individuals to benefit from CBD as quickly as possible. Our SmartSorb tech is designed to do precisely that, by enhancing bioavailability and working with your body’s systems.
Anyone new to using CBD as a supplement should start at low dosages levels and take it nice and slow. A qualified physician can also help you determine the correct dose for you depending upon your specific health care needs.
Fact: CBD is neither a scam or a miracle cure
Ever since the herbal supplement boom in the US, a $49 billion-a-year industry in motion since 2010, CBD sales have increased exponentially. This growth comes in tandem with a surge in mental health problems and has resulted in a thriving industry. These factors mean there is a critical outlook on the benefits of CBD, especially because there’s less clinical evidence and unrealistic marketing claims thrown into the mix.
New industries can attract customers who may not fully understand what to look out for - which allows scammers the potential to flourish. However, this doesn’t invalidate the benefits that CBD can offer.
Studies on CBD have documented its potential properties. The wellness industry may seek to capitalize on the increasing interest by adding CBD to their products - which can leave the consumer with the impression it’s simply added to make products more expensive. All this simply means is that the consumer needs to research and make decisions based on their own needs.
Fact: There are many different forms of CBD, and CBD oil is one of the least effective.
The usual CBD formulation is oil, but CBD is also sold as an extract, and an oil-based capsule. Food, drinks, and beauty products are among the many CBD-infused products also available.
The main types of CBD products include:
- Capsules and pills
- Gummies and edibles
- Topicals, such as creams, lotions, ointments, and balms
In fact, CBD oil could be one of the least effective options.
Fact: The type of CBD will affect absorption.
There are multiple different kinds of CBD products available on the market. In its natural state, CBD is extracted from industrial hemp plants and dissolves in fat rather than water. Capsules must dissolve in the stomach and then the released CBD is absorbed. If taking capsules orally, it’s a good idea to take them with a high-fat meal, as this boosts absorption into the bloodstream.
When absorbed into the skin via patches, lotions, creams, and balms, the CBD in these products interacts with local receptors in skin cells, skin nerve fibers, and skin glands.
This technology wraps tiny amounts of CBD inside water-soluble spheres, meaning that they can be dispersed as tiny globules across a larger surface area, for better absorption. NextEvo’s SmartSorb technology makes CBD highly absorbable and more bioavailable.
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. It is derived from hemp plants and doesn’t contain other plant compounds, hemp-derived CBD also typically contains very low amounts of THC. Lower THC and a lack of interfering plant compounds make CBD isolate a suitable choice for first-time users.
Full-spectrum CBD products may also contain up to 0.3% THC which is the psychoactive compound that produces a “high” feeling. A 2015 study concluded that when taking CBD Isolate, the effects may only occur at a specific dose. In contrast, full-spectrum CBD products have increased effects with higher doses.
For some people, the THC in full-spectrum products might be off-putting. Higher doses of full-spectrum products can also produce unwanted effects. It’s important to look at all the facts, results, and ingredients of any CBD product you’re interested in.
Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum in that it can contain other plant compounds. However, an exact definition of what broad-spectrum is and product compositions can vary widely.
Similarly to full-spectrum products, the additional ingredients have the potential for other benefits due to the “entourage” effect. Some CBD products may only be effective because of the other ingredients added.
Most broad-spectrum CBD products contain zero or trace amounts of THC. Also similar to full-spectrum CBD.
Fact: We are continuously learning more about CBD.
There is an increasing body of scientific literature available that is learning more and more about the benefits and effects of CBD.
CBD is sold as a dietary supplement and while many people enjoy its benefits, there isn’t enough evidence as of yet.. Hemp-derived CBD is much easier to study, and this is leading to huge progress in our overall understanding.
Credible CBD studies have been published and they’re available to any individual through PubMed, the Mult Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI open access), and similar resources that provide access to scientific literature.
While more research is needed from reputable scientific authorities to determine the full effectiveness of CBD, it’s also important for consumers to do their own research. The available body of scientific literature on CBD is growing by the day, and this will allow consumers to make better choices more suited to their health needs.