CBD (cannabidiol), one of cannabis’s compounds, is riddled with myths and misconceptions. The existence of such can be partly attributed to the fact that no one really polices information about CBD or cannabis in general, and not everyone is updated on the latest research about it.   

As a pharmacist, doctor or even as a patientit’s in your best interest to distinguish between fact and fiction, especially if it’s health-related. To start, let’s extinguish five CBD myths and misconceptions.  

1. CBD binds with the endocannabinoid’s receptors 

 Many of the THC and CBD clinical effects work through the human endocannabinoid system or ECS [1], which is responsible for several events such as pain relief, inflammation, and so on.  

 The ECS’s message-receivers called receptors bind with certain cannabinoids like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for activation [2]. Although structurally similar to THC, CBD can’t bind with receptors [3].   

On the other hand, CBD stimulates endocannabinoid production [4] and mellows THC’s psychoactivity [5]. 

2. CBD has the same medical benefits as THC but without you getting high 

THC and CBD differ in how they operate in the human body [2]. Naturally, all of THC’s intrinsic medical abilities are not possessed by CBD and vice versa. 

 Despite their glaring differences, people can still mistake one for the other. For example, people use THC and CBD for the same complaints like pain or arthritis. Although both help in their unique ways, you can’t expect THC to yield the same experience as with CBD.  

 When articles say “CBD isn’t psychoactive as THC,” they mean that CBD can’t get you high the way THC does. Technically, any psychoactive agent is anything that alters our perception [6], and CBD falls in that category [7]. 

 The effects of both cannabinoids can’t be confined within the marketing they’re packaged. This line of thinking is also true when experts say, “CBD might work for him, but it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.” Every human body is simply different. 

 3. CBD works in a snap 

 There are anecdotal reports in which people experience an almost immediate relief on their symptoms after their first CBD administration session [8]. Unfortunately, this is not the same for everyone.   

Depending on the goal, dosage, product, brand, CBD concentration, and so on, the patient might not feel anything for the first few days. Not until they’ve religiously taken CBD every day for weeks [9].  

The hallmark of a positive CBD effect is the relief of a symptom that the patient is aiming to eliminate in the first place. Keeping tabs on how the symptoms evolve or diminish over time is a good way of knowing whether a certain CBD product is suitable. 

4. There is a dire body of research on CBD’s medical benefits 

The Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act 2016 allowed the prescription of medical cannabis to Australian patients with special conditions under the guidelines set by the Therapeutic Goods Administration [10]. 

 Australia’s nod to CBD is an acknowledgment of CBD’s medical abilities. This approval wasn’t done out of whim. It came from several clinical trials, research, reviews, non-human experiments, and so on.  

 With that said, not all medical conditions marketed to be relieved by CBD have a string of credible research on their belt. Thus, it’s important to distinguish which claims are backed by scientific research and those that aren’t. 

5. The more CBD, the better the results 

This might be correct in some cases but not necessarily true every time. For example, CBD in pure forms has a peak effective dose. Anything higher than the peak dose can be ineffective [11]. 

 Another point to ponder is, products with higher CBD concentrations do not necessarily yield better results than broad-spectrum products, which are a mixture of lesser amounts of CBD, terpenes, and cannabinoids [12]. 

 CanView does not endorse the use of Medicinal Cannabis without lawful prescription. Just like any Medicine, Medicinal Cannabis may have both positive and negative side effects on the user, and should only be prescribed to patients by a Health Professional with the authority and expertise to do so. The information provided by CanView is for informational and educational purposes, and is of a general nature. If you are interested in accessing Medicinal Cannabis please talk to your doctor and request a referral to a Medicinal Cannabis clinic.  

Endnotes: 

  1. Manzanares J, Julian M,CarrascosaA. 2006. Role of the cannabinoid system in pain control and therapeutic implications for the management of acute and chronic pain episodes. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/
  1. Atakan, Z. 2012. Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/
  1. Raypole, C. 2019. A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system#cbd
  1. Elmes, M. et al. 2015. Fatty Acid Binding Proteins (FABPs) are Intracellular Carriers for Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Available at: https://www.jbc.org/content/early/2015/02/09/jbc.M114.618447.short
  1. R B Laprairie. et al. 2015. Cannabidiol is a negative allosteric modulator of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. Available at: https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bph.13250
  1. Science Daily. N.D. Psychoactive drug. Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/psychoactive_drug.htm
  1. I, Stewart. 2019. United States: It’s TimeToSet The Record Straight – CBD Is “Psychoactive”. Available at: https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/food-and-drugs-law/809252/it39s-time-to-set-the-record-straight-cbd-is-psychoactive#:~:text=CBD%20is%20certainly%20a%20mood,on%20the%20central%20nervous%20system
  2. Anderson, D and Jones B. 2019. What happened when I took CBD for a week to help with my anxiety. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/cbd-benefits-pain-relaxation-thc-experiment-2019-8 
  1. Johnson, M. 2020. CBD Not Working for You? Here Are 5 Possible Reasons Why. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/CBD-reasons-it-doesnt-work#dosage-and-tolerance
  1. Federal Register of Legislation. 2016. Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act 2016. Available at:https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2016A00012
  1. Linares, I. et al. 2018. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30328956/
  1. Leonard, J. 2020. What to know about CBDisolate.Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cbd-isolate 

 

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