Although CBD doesn’t make you high, it’s still causing a stir in the medical community. Recently, there has been an increase of interest in cannabidiol also known as CBD. It is derived from a hemp plant and has therapeutic properties and has no intoxicating effects. A lot of sellers online and start-ups have taken on the trend offering CBD as the next big thing and a miracle oil than can shrink tumors, stop seizures, and alleviate chronic pain without getting its users “stoned”. With the increasing awareness regarding the potential benefits of cannabidiol is also an increase of misconceptions about CBD.
#1 “CBD is medical. THC is recreational.”
A lot of people have been messaging Project CBD looking for “CBD, the medical part” of the hemp plant and “not THC, the recreational part” which gets its user “stoned”. This is often times the request of most people but THC, which has the reputation of causing its users to become high, also has great therapeutic properties that are beneficial to the user. At Scripps Research Center located in San Diego, scientists have found that THC inhibits an enzyme that is involved in the formation of amyloid beta plaque, which is seen in Alzheimer’s-related dementia. Single-molecule THC (Marinol) is recognized by the government for its anti-nausea and appetite booster properties, categorizing it as Schedule III pharmaceutical which is a category for drugs that have little abuse potential. Although the whole cannabis plant is still recognized as a Schedule I drug, those who have no medical value, even though they are the only natural source of THC.
#2 “THC is the bad cannabinoid. CBD is the good cannabinoid.”
Drug warriors usually tout CBD as the effective compound while shunning THC. Those who are diehard marijuana prohibitionists usually uses the news on the effects of CBD in order to further stigmatize cannabis rich in THC making tetrahydrocannabinol look bad while CBD as the good one. This is because CBD does not really get you high, unlike THC. Project CBD rejects this moralistic outlook comparing the effect of both of the compounds and is more in favor of using whole plant cannabis as a treatment for various conditions.
#3 “CBD is most effective without THC.”
THC and CBD work best when their effects are combined. Various studies have shown that THC and CBD interact synergistically by enhancing the therapeutic effects of each other. British researchers have stated that CBD potentiates the anti-inflammatory properties of THC in animal models with colitis. At the California Pacific Medical Center located in San Francisco, scientists found out that CBD and THC, when combined, are more potent in preventing cancerous tumors in the brain and breast rather than when CBD or THC alone is used. Numerous clinical research has also shown that the combination of CBD and THC is more effective for neuropathic pain than using either compound alone.
#4 “Single-molecule pharmaceuticals are superior to ‘crude’ whole plant medicinals.”
Some components of the marijuana plant like THC and CBD have been stated to have medical value by the US government. This outlook on marijuana only looks at the single-molecule of the plant and only benefits big pharmaceutical companies since most of them produce single-molecule medicines only since it is the one approved by the FDA. But we should know that this is not the only way since singling out a specific molecule is not the only way to experience the optimum benefits of cannabis since cannabis has a lot of compounds like flavonoids, aromatic terpenes, and other minor cannabinoids aside from just THC and CBD. Each of the components of cannabis has use in therapy and the combination of these compounds have been dubbed by scientists as the holistic “entourage” or “ensemble” effect which means that the whole plant has a much greater therapeutic impact in comparison to only one of its molecular parts only. The problem is that the Food and Drug Administration does not approve plants as medicine.
#5 “CBD is not psychoactive.”
Although CBD is not intoxicating, it is still misleading to say that CBD does not have any psychoactive properties. Those who are diagnosed to have clinical depression might benefit and experience a great day after such a long time from a low-dose of CBD-rich sublingual spray or tincture since CBD is a compound that can strongly alter the mood of a person. It is much better to say that “compare to THC, CBD is not as psychoactive” rather than simply saying that CBD is not psychoactive. Users that CBD might not get high from taking it but CBD can have a great positive impact in their psyche in a lot of different ways.
#6 “Psychoactivity is inherently an adverse side effect.”
For most people, the high from marijuana is an unwanted side effect and most huge pharmaceutical companies producing marijuana products are focused on developing marijuana-like products that do not get its users high but it’s not really obvious why the euphoric feeling that is gotten from taking marijuana is so widely unwanted. The word euphoria meant “having health” or a state of well-being in ancient Greece. This is why the euphoric properties of cannabis is hardly an unwholesome side effect and do a lot in contributing to the therapeutic effect of the plant. According to Dr. Tod Mikurya, we should think of cannabis first and foremost as a medicine that happens to have psychoactive properties like most medicines, rather than as an intoxicant that happened to have some therapeutic effects on the side.
#7 “CBD is sedating.”
CBD in moderate doses can result in more alertness or the user can also be mildly energized but CBD in high doses can have a biphasic effect and promote sleep instead. The myrcene-rich terpene profile of CBD-rich cannabis flowers can be attributed to the sedative and painkilling properties of the CBD since Myrcene itself is a terpene that has both sedative and painkilling properties. By itself, CBD does not sedate intrinsically but can help to restore better sleeping pattern by reducing anxiety levels.
#8 “High doses of CBD work better than low doses.”
Higher doses of CBD isolates are needed in order for it to be more effective than CBD-rich oil extracts from the whole plant. Although this does not exactly means that single-molecule CBD is better than CBD-rich cannabis, which has a wider therapeutic window compared to a CBD isolate. Clinicians and patients have reported that a combination of CBD, THC, and other cannabis components act synergistically and are effective at low doses as little as 2.5 mg CBD or 2.5mg THC. There are also some patients that need a higher dose of CBD oil in order for the compound to be effective in treatment. One thing that you should note is that both CBD and THC are biphasic, which means that low and high doses can result in opposite effects. This means that CBD in excessive amounts might be less effective in treatment rather than a moderate dose.
#9 “CBD converts to THC in a person’s stomach.”
Humans can easily tolerate and administer oral CBD but there have been reports regarding the adverse side effects of CBD that might limit its use in therapy and its potential in the market. These reports are misleading and it is also not true that CBD is converted to THC (the high causing component) in the stomach. Numerous clinical trials have been done and have shown that high doses of CBD even those above 600mg does not cause any psychoactive effects on its user, unlike THC. It has even been shown that in enough amounts, CBD can lessen or neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC. The issue has been touched by the World health Organization and in a report from 2017, it was said the WHO had given CBD a clean bill of health. WHO stated that “the spontaneous conversion of CBD to delta-9-THC in the simulated gastric fluid has not exactly been demonstrated in humans undergoing treatment using CBD”.
#10 “CBD is fully legal in the United States because it’s no longer a controlled substance.”
Not quite. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp (defined as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC) in the United States and removed various derivatives of hemp, including CBD, from the purview of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Controlled Substances Act. But the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) views CBD as a pharmaceutical drug. And because it has already approved CBD as a pharmaceutical (Epidiolex) for treating two forms of pediatric epilepsy, the FDA maintains that it is illegal to sell hemp-derived CBD as a dietary supplement. The DEA, meanwhile, retains jurisdiction over CBD derived from marijuana (cannabis with more than 0.3 percent THC), which is still prohibited under federal law. Rooted in reefer madness racism and enforced disproportionately against people of color, marijuana prohibition is akin to the Confederate statue still standing – a testament to enduring bigotry and social injustice.
#11 “Legalizing CBD, but not cannabis, adequately serves the patient population.”
In the US, seventeen states have enacted the “CBD” only laws, can also be called as “low THC” or “no THC” laws and 30 states have legalized marijuana used for medical purposes in different forms. Sources of CBD-rich products are restricted in some states and the disease in which it is to be used must be specified while others do not. The problem with this is that not everyone responds well to products rich only in CBD and has only little THC content. Some parents who have children that suffer from epilepsy have found out that adding THC (or THCA – the raw and unheated form of THC) helps a lot in controlling the seizures of their children. Also, THC-rich products are more effective rather than CBD-rich products in some epileptics and other people who use medical marijuana. This meant that not every patient will be accommodated by laws that only cover the legality of CBD-rich products. Patients must have the right to access to broad-spectrum cannabis remedies and not just medicine with high-CBD and low THC content. Anything less means that not everyone who is suffering from a condition will be able to use medical marijuana fitted for them. The statement “One size fits all” does not work with cannabis therapeutics and one compound, product or strain of marijuana is effective for everyone.
#12 “CBD is CBD–It doesn’t matter where it comes from.”
CBD oil can possibly be extracted from some industrial hemp cultivats that have low resin content but fiber hemp is not the best source of CBD since they have less cannabidiol content compared to CBD-rich cannabis flower tops that are high in resin. This means that when using industrial hemp as the source of CBD, more of it is needed to extract a small amount of CBD which is not ideal since hemp is a “bio-accumulator” that gets toxins fromthe soil, it increases the risk of contaminant in the products. The debate regarding the sourcing of CBD is becoming less relevant nowadays since most plant-breeders are developing more of cannabis varietals (marijuana) that are high in resin content which satisfies that legal criteria on what type of hemp can be used for production which are thise the have less than 0.3% THC Content and more than 10% CBD by dry weight. “Pure” CBD that are synthetically made or sourced from industrial hemp lacks content like medical terpenes and other compounds that act together with CBD and THC to enhace their beneficial effects.