As the popularity of CBD continues to grow, the spread of misinformation has unfortunately become more commonplace. Untrustworthy CBD companies continue to put forth overstated and unfounded marketing claims, while even some well-regarded online publications have printed inaccurate information. These inaccuracies have made it even harder for the CBD consumer to discern truth from myth. Here are the most commonly circulated CBD myths and why they are incorrect.
Misconception #1: CBD works by binding directly to your body’s receptors within your ECS.
Explanation: It is incorrect to say that CBD binds to your body’s primary CB receptors (like THC does), as many online sources have claimed. The lack of direct binding accounts for a crucial difference between CBD and THC and is one of the primary reasons why THC can induce a psychoactive high, while CBD cannot. Instead, when CBD comes into contact with receptors within your ECS, it turns down their activity level by changing the shape of the receptor. This is an important distinction.
CBD primarily supports your ECS by increasing anandamide levels. Anandamide is your body’s “bliss molecule.” CBD increases anandamide by inhibiting FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase), an enzyme that breaks down anandamide as part of your body’s natural process. Anandamide, your primary endocannabinoid, is a neurotransmitter responsible for many of CBD’s health benefits.
Adequate or increased levels of anandamide helps your body maintain a state of psychological balance. As we age, or due to other health factors, we may begin to experience a deficiency or depletion in our natural levels of anandamide. CBD supplementation works by restoring levels of anandamide so that the body remains in a balanced state.
Misconception #2: CBD will make you feel euphoric or high
Explanation: Cannabidiol (CBD) does not have negative, mind-altering effects like THC does. In addition, it can modulate how other cannabinoids affect your ECS because it influences the shape of CB receptors. A state of “euphoria” is also an inaccurate description of CBD’s effects. Although CBD promotes overall balance and well-being by providing support to your ECS, it does not cause acute psychoactive changes to your brain— including euphoric feelings. One may feel an overall sense of “betterment” when using CBD, and that may be attributable to your ECS reaching a state of homeostasis from the daily support of CBD.
Misconception #3: CBD is a sedative
Explanation: Technically, CBD is non-sedating, but in specific doses, it can contain sedating properties because of its biphasic effect. A biphasic substance is one that has different effects on the body at different blood level concentrations. At very low doses, CBD may not produce any effect or may produce a mild awakening effect. Alternatively, at very high doses, CBD may have a sedating effect. A moderate dose is usually the most effective dose for most people to achieve the desired effects. However be advised that there are no official universal dosage guidelines available at this time, since physicians still cannot prescribe CBD.
In addition to its biphasic properties, CBD can promote healthier sleep cycles by supporting your ECS. Your ECS is the body’s most important regulating system and is responsible for sleep cycles and circadian rhythm, among many other daily processes. Daily CBD supplementation promotes homeostasis or balance within your ECS, and in turn, supports healthy sleep patterns. CBD’s most significant benefits are related to how it supports your ECS for longterm full-body balance.
Misconception #4: More CBD is better
Explanation: In Misconception #3, we explored how CBD has biphasic properties and can produce opposite effects if too little or too much is consumed. Consuming high amounts of CBD can cause a less-than-ideal experience if it does not align with your intended goals. If your intended effect is alertness and focus, a moderate dose will produce results more closely aligned to your wellness goals. Several other factors contribute to one’s own experience with CBD, including your weight, metabolism, current health status, frequency, and length of use. Your ideal dosage of CBD may need to be adjusted as your body goes through changes.
Everybody is different, and the amount of CBD that works for one person will probably not match your ideal amount. The goal is to find a dose that works best for you and to continue to provide daily support to your ECS for sustained balance. CBD has a cumulative effect on your body. The longer you continue to supplement with it, the longer it gets stored and used by your ECS to keep your body in a prolonged state of homeostasis.
Misconception #5: CBD is addictive
Explanation: CBD has been proven to be a non-addictive substance. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that when subjected to the “potential for abuse tests,” CBD exhibited results similar to placebo substance. The WHO went on to state, “To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”¹
With its lack of adverse side effects, non-addictiveness, and beneficial value, the future of CBD in a therapeutic setting shows excellent promise.