While the CBD market continues to boom in the US, there is still a lot of confusion around the product.
You may have seen CBD in more forms than one could imagine lately. Due to its huge burst in popularity, marketers are racing to get products on the shelf, hoping consumers will strike while the iron is hot. I’ve used bath bombs, tea, lotions, salve, gummies and supplements, and I’ve heard of everything from flawless CBD capsules, infused water, to hand sanitizer. In spite of this, CBD or cannabidiol remains a mystery. Here are a few misunderstandings I’d like to clear up.
It is a cannabinoid.
- A cannabinoid is a component of the cannabis Sativa plant.
- Cannabinoids impact receptors in the central nervous system. Some are psychoactive, some are not, all to varying degrees.
- Including CBD, there are 66 cannabinoids.
- CBD is more common than the rest.
- CBD is not psychoactive; THC is. But the more CBD a plant has, the less powerful the THC will be.
It is not the same thing as THC.
Its actual name is cannabidiol, but its nickname is CBD.
- Cannabis, or marijuana, contains THC. THC is the ingredient that gets you high.
- CBD is part of medical marijuana, marijuana is not part of CBD. So, CBD will not give you any kind of high.
- CBD is from the hemp plant, which is related to the marijuana plant. To be clear, although they are related cannabidiol will not get you high.
It is natural.
As I’ve said, CBD comes from the cannabis Sativa plant, a naturally occurring product.
- Cannabinoids are commonly found on the female part of the plant.
- Hemp is derived from the cannabis Sativa.
- It is thought to originate from Asia.
- It isn’t created artificially… yet. I believe they are trying.
It is not addictive.
According to research from the Government of the District of Columbia, cannabis has low to moderate dependence potential. Because there is no high associated with CBD, addiction is a non-issue.
The World Health Organization is very clear in its stance.
“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with pure CBD use.”
Anecdotally, many people talk about using CBD without any signs of dependence.
It has a reputation to treat a number of common ailments.
CBD treats a long list of illnesses. Its inclusion on Schedule I of the controlled substances list has greatly reduced the access to study its benefits.
Many people find that it reduces anxiety and helps them sleep. I myself have tried numerous brands, and have experienced no reaction at all to a very mild dip in my anxiety. In my opinion, if it works for you, it is a far better alternative to Ativan or Xanax, both of which not only have side effects but are addictive.
NASEM has supported its use in oral form for the treatment of multiple diseases based on limited available studies.
- Chronic pain
- Multiple Sclerosis-related spasticity
- Chemo-induced nausea and vomiting
- Numerous mental health diseases, including anxiety and sleep disorders, depression, PTSD, addiction and schizophrenia
- Spasticity not related to MS
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
It can interact with conventional medication. I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions about CBD.
Many people assume because it’s natural, it’s safe.
- It can interact with certain prescription medications like blood thinners, anti-depressants, benzodiazepines and more.
- It is similar to the interaction of grapefruit with theses medicines and can change the levels in the blood, changing the way it impacts your body.
- Using a topical instead of ingesting an edible or smoking reduces the chance of interactions as less is absorbed by the skin.
- I read an article a while back from a doctor in California who had been treating patients with medicinal marijuana (same plant but with THC) who said that he had not had any patients experience a negative interaction. I imagine the small doses used would help with that.
Its legal status varies in the U.S.
This is an area of CBD that gets rather murky.
- Hemp-derived CBD was federally legalized in the U.S. in 2018. As long as the product does not contain more than .3% THC — a minuscule amount that would not have any effects on you.
- It is not legal in all 50 states.
According to Farm Aid, the 2018 Farm Bill ensured that CBD was no longer a controlled substance federally and gave states and other localities the ability to set their own guidelines.
- However, the law maintained the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) full authority over both cannabis and cannabis extracts.
- It cannot be sold as a dietary supplement because cannabidiol is the active ingredient in Epidiolex, an FDA-approved seizure medication.
- The FDA bans transportation of CBD food and drink across states.
As you can see by the number of products online and on shelves today, this an often overlooked violation. Only in cases where products have made outrageous health benefit claims has the FDA stepped in. However, they are looking into allowing it to be added to food and beverages, the Epidiolex creates a conflict. How can one product be both an approved drug and dietary supplement? If cannabidiol were to be classified as a supplement, it would not require regulation by the FDA. They don’t approve them as safe but will remove them if proven dangerous.
See the FDA Q&As around hemp and cannabidiol here.
Its safety for pets is still up for debate, though you’ll still find vets, dispensaries and online stores selling infused treats.
- There are vets and fur parents who claim they have given their animals CBD oil, usually orally, with no negative effects.
- The report reduced symptoms of seizures, anxiety and cancer side effects, some of the same things seem in humans.
- However, I don’t know that it is something I would give my dog, although I take it myself.
- There is little known about the dosing for pets. The ASPCA reports an increased number of calls regarding dogs who ingested more than the recommended amount of treats or oil showing symptoms similar to dogs who consumed too much THC.
In conclusion, as this topic grows in popularity we are likely to hear even more claims of success, more myths and more failures. Now that it is no longer a controlled substance, we’re much closer to medical studies with scientific backed results. Until then, indulge accordingly.
About the Author
Kristin Hodnett is a freelance lifestyle writer and digital marketing specialist. She specializes in content designed to improve profits for business, quality of life for individuals, and society overall by creating conscious consumerism. In addition, she is an experienced blogger who has contributed to travel and fashion blogs as well as running her own wellness blog. Frequent topics include personal finance, entrepreneurship and marketing, motivation, wellness, fashion and cannabis.
Prior to freelancing, Kristin worked for a Fortune 500 company and has a B.B.A. in Marketing from Radford University. She loves romance novels, nitro brew iced coffee, road trips, and John Mayer. She resides with her family, including her Maltese, Zoe in Virginia.
Read more of Kristin’s musings or learn about her freelance writing and marketing services at Kristin Hodnett.
Do you use any CBD Products? What have you learned about CBD?
Hello, I’m Thuy of honeybunnytwee. I write a Wellness Wednesday guest bloggers series. Send me an article or link to a blog post about health and wellness, self-care, fitness, or mental health at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always looking for more Wellness Wednesday submissions.