Debunking the Myths About CBD

Let's set the record straight about CBD. // Photo via Getty Images

Despite the fact that CBD is being hailed as one of the buzziest ingredients around, misconceptions abound about its use. “There is a still a negative stigma with CBD, as many people associate it directly with marijuana and its societal taboos,” says Francine Kagarakis, cofounder and co-owner of Lira Clinical. “Many people don’t know that CBD is non-psychotropic. It will not get you high.” Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical responsible for doing that.

According to Vanessa Marquez, cofounder and CEO of CBD Care Garden, another misconception people have is that CBD will show up in a blood or drug test. While this is highly unlikely, some CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC, which is the real culprit. Marquez suggests the surest way to ensure a clean blood test is by using CBD products that have undergone third party testing by a state licensed lab and show 0.0 percent THC.    

What about the misconception that CBD is not effective without the presence of THC? This is due to what many now refer to as the entourage effect, which is the idea that the compounds in cannabis work better together. “CBD stands strong in its healing powers as its own compound and does not need THC,” says Marquez. “However, THC in the medical community is better received by the body with CBD, as CBD works to mitigate the potential harmful and long-term damage the psychoactive compound of THC can cause.” While more research is needed on the entourage effect, many manufacturers subscribe to the idea that there is some truth to the idea. Says Marquez, “The reality of the entourage effect is that cannabinoids work better with the other natural phytochemicals contained within the plant, yet the single psychoactive compound of THC can be removed while the remaining 539 phytochemicals—540 total have been discovered to date—work synergistically.”

Another misconception is that all CBD products produce the same effect on the skin. Says Janet Schriever, founder of Code of Harmony, “This isn’t true and depends much on the entire formula as a whole and the supporting or conflicting ingredients." When it comes to sourcing an effective CBD oil, it’s important to understand from where it comes. Both hemp and marijuana are varieties of the cannabis sattiva family. Each contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the most active and researched cannabinoids. “The main difference is that marijuana is bred to have high THC and low CBD, whereas hemp is bred to have high CBD and low THC,” says Shauna Blanch, co-owner and COO of Color Up Therapeutics. “Whether the CBD and THC are extracted from marijuana or hemp doesn’t change the molecular structure of the compound or its level of efficacy. Legally, as long as the plant is harvested with under 0.3 percent THC, classifying it as hemp, it is legal to be used in the treatment room and sold in retail settings in all 50 states.”


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