CBD has achieved star status in a number of years. In the process, the media pay a lot of attention to the compounds in cannabis. Yet, there are also tabloid stories circulating. In this article, we debunk myths about CBD, its effects and more.
1. CBD IS NON-PSYCHOACTIVE
You’ll come across this one often. Many CBD producers and news media mistakenly call CBD “non-psychoactive.” However, they mean to say that it does not induce “intoxication” or that it is not a “psychotropic” substance. Unlike THC, CBD does not induce a high, as we know it from cannabis. However, that is not to say that it does not have psychoactive effects. As you probably know, CBD affects our endocannabinoid system. By activating this system, CBD definitely affects your mind. However, you don’t feel high or stoned. This may seem like a nit-picky detail, but it is important to make this distinction.
2. CBD HAS A CALMING EFFECT
CBD has been studied quite extensively. Yet we know very little about this complex compound and how it works in your body. Early research on the effects of CBD has suggested that it has a calming effect. However, this is not entirely true. More recent research shows that CBD sometimes has stimulating effects as well. For example, it is said to be able to delay bedtime and help you wake up. How did this disarray occur? It turns out that CBD can have opposite effects on sleep, depending on the dosage. At lower doses, the effect is more likely to be stimulating. However, some people find that higher doses promote sleep. Some people who consume CBD-rich buds also find that the effects are more soothing. It is important to note that cannabis and plant hemp material also contain other sleep-inducing compounds, such as myrcene, so CBD may not bring about sleep on its own.
3. ALL CBD IS THE SAME, REGARDLESS OF ORIGIN
CBD is a chemical compound. And of course, the CBD molecules in a full-spectrum tincture are the same as those in CBD-rich buds or CBD isolate crystals. However, that does not mean that these three products have the same effect. Cannabis and hemp are complex plants and sometimes contain more than 400 different active compounds. These compounds are able to work together to create an “entourage effect” with varying results. Now it’s also important to know that there are hundreds of cannabis and hemp varieties. And they all contain different concentrations of these compounds. So a CBD product from one type of plant sometimes has a different chemical composition than a CBD product from another plant. And the effects of a CBD isolate are different again, because isolates contain no other hemp/weed compounds besides CBD. On top of that, the way you administer CBD sometimes affects the effects as well. For example, the effect of vaporized cannabidiol is not the same as that of a tincture or lubricant.
4. CBD BINDS TO CANNABINOID RECEPTORS
The endocannabinoid system has two particular receptors: CB1 and CB2. Researchers discovered these while investigating the intoxicating effects of cannabis, which come about because THC binds directly to CB1 brain receptors. So you’d almost think CBD would work the same way, right? Wrong. Unlike THC, CBD has no tendency to bind to either receptor. But then how do its unique effects come about? We don’t know exactly yet. Research has shown that CBD interacts with several other receptors, including the 5HT1A, TRPV1, GAMMA receptors and more. Studies have even identified 65 molecular pathways that CBD may activate.
5. CBD IS MOST EFFECTIVE AS AN ISOLATE
Many people think that CBD isolate is more effective than full-spectrum CBD. However, more and more research is showing that this is not the case. This has to do with the entourage effect mentioned earlier. The entourage effect is an expression first used by Raphael Mechoulam, a cannabis researcher from Israel. Today, Mechoulam and other respected researchers suggest that the unique properties of cannabis are brought about by this effect. And that sounds plausible. After all, the health benefits of an orange, for example, aren’t solely due to vitamin C either. Instead, the benefits have stumbled upon all the compounds in the fruit. Research on the entourage effect suggests the same is true for cannabis.
6. MORE CBD IS BETTER
Dosing CBD accurately is super important. And like other remedies or supplements, there is no standard dosage. That’s because the effects of CBD, like those of other cannabinoids, affect each person differently. Some people find that they need higher doses of CBD to achieve the desired effects. Still others need only a few drops of oil. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different, and the right dosage of CBD varies with that, depending on the desired effects, the strength of the product, the method of administration, and so on. Respectable CBD brands should provide reliable dosing information for products and you would be wise to adhere to it initially. However, should you not experience the desired effects, feel free to experiment with higher or lower doses. If you increase your dosage of CBD, remember that you should do so incrementally.
7. CBD ISOLATE IS THE “PUREST” FORM OF CBD
Whether a CBD product is made with an isolate or full-spectrum extract doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about its purity. It only tells you if the product contains other compounds from the cannabis plant or not. CBD products should have an indication of how much CBD they contain. Usually this is indicated in milligrams (mg) or in percentages. Unhappily, many people consider isolates to be “purer” than full-spectrum products. Again, many research findings indicate otherwise.
8. CBD IS THE ONLY THERAPEUTIC SUBSTANCE IN HEMP/WEED
This statement is among the biggest lark about cannabis. As we have already noted, cannabis and hemp plants contain more than 400 active compounds. CBD is perhaps the most studied of these, but early research on other cannabinoids and terpenes (including even THC) shows that each has its own potential benefits. Unfortunately, more studies are needed to properly understand the intricacies of the cannabis plant. One thing we do know for sure, however, is that the plant is more than one cannabinoid.