Debunking the 10 Most Common CBD Myths

Common CBD myths, block letters spelling out "myths" with green plant in the background.


CBD has found itself being everywhere and in everything.

The interest in CBD has surged due to increasing scientific research that this compound has several therapeutic and medicinal uses. 

Coming from a period of prohibition, there is still a lot of misinformation and stigma surrounding CBD. 

On one hand, CBD is being touted as a magical pill that will be the solution to every single one of your problems, from managing anxiety to curing cancer. Such exaggerated claims make many people doubt the science behind it and write it off as being an overhyped product.

While on the other hand, the legal CBD market is rapidly growing worldwide. With more and more people embracing CBD in their medicinal or wellness regime, clarity on what's true and what’s not is more important than ever to ensure the safety of consumers. To help with this, we’re debunking 10 of the most common CBD myths you may encounter. 

Myth #1: CBD will get you high

The first and most common myth to dispel is that CBD will get you high like marijuana does. It won’t.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the dozens of cannabinoids found in the cannabis Sativa plant. Besides CBD, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the other most well-known cannabinoid. THC is the cannabis compound responsible for the euphoric feeling of being high.

The CBD compound will not cause you to experience a head high.  

Most legal CBD sold is derived from industrial hemp. Both hemp and marijuana belong to the cannabis Sativa family. The difference is that marijuana has a higher level of THC. While according to the 2018 Farm Bill, legal hemp cannot have more than 0.3% THC. 

This small percentage of THC will not get you high.

In fact, CBD may counteract the intoxication caused by THC. 

Myth #2: CBD is not psychoactive 

While CBD won’t get you high, it’s misleading to say that CBD is not psychoactive. Psychoactive substances alter the mind, and it’s been proven that CBD impacts our psyche. 

Our bodies produce their own endocannabinoids that impact our emotional and physical health. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and exerts some effects on our mood, like relaxation and positive feelings. 

So technically, CBD is psychoactive in that it can help you feel more relaxed. However, it does not cause intoxication like THC. And it doesn’t cause you to experience any sort of high. 

Myth #3: CBD will cause a failed drug test

Drug tests do not test for CBD as it is not illegal, so CBD will not cause a failed drug test. 

However, THC is not legal in many states, and it can trigger a failed test. Even though the legal CBD products sold cannot contain more than 0.3% THC, although it is extremely rare, this THC could show up on a drug test (especially if the product contains a higher amount of THC than claimed).

So, if you are worried about failing a drug test, you may want to avoid full-spectrum CBD and instead look for CBD isolate. This is pure CBD oil with no other plant compounds. 

Pay attention to the product labels:

●    Full-spectrum CBD: Contains a small number of other compounds of the cannabis plant, such as other cannabinoids and terpenes, including the cannabinoid THC (less than 0.3%).

●    Broad-spectrum CBD: This type of CBD contains other terpenes and cannabinoids, but does not contain THC. 

●    CBD isolate: Pure CBD oil. No other plant compounds are found.

Two CBD tinctures with shadows next to them.

Myth #4: All CBD is the same

It’s not.

Not all CBD is made the same way. It’s important that you do your research before purchasing a CBD product. Especially since according to a 2017 study, over 60% of CBD products sold are not labeled accurately. This means they do not accurately disclose the amount of CBD or other ingredients found in the product. 

To ensure that what you are getting is of good quality and safe, look for CBD products that are tested by a third-party lab and are accompanied by a certificate. The certificate will show exactly what is included in your CBD product and at what dosage. This way you can weed out the bad products. 

Myth #5: CBD has no side-effects

Generally, everything you consume can cause some side effects in high doses. Even vitamins. 

While CBD is deemed safe by the World Health Organization (WHO), people using it may experience some mild side effects or complications. 

According to a report from Harvard Health Publishing, CBD may cause a few side effects including fatigue, nausea, and irritability. Moreover, CBD may also increase the level of other medications in your blood, like the blood thinner coumadin. 

Another concern comes from the other ingredients found in CBD products. It’s important to know exactly what the product you are using contains to avoid any potential side effects. That’s why you should only purchase from brands that are transparent and include a certificate released from a third-party lab. 

Before adding CBD to your daily regime, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider.

Myth #6: CBD works the same for everyone

CBD is popular, but that doesn’t mean that it works the same for everyone. It may happen that CBD simply doesn’t work for you. And there’s a scientific explanation for that.

Your reaction to CBD depends on a myriad of factors, from your metabolism absorption level to genetics. In fact, some people may have a genetic mutation where their endocannabinoid system produces more endocannabinoids. These people don’t feel the effects of CBD as much as they already have extra endocannabinoids. 

However, you should give it some time before dismissing it. The research on this area is consistent - the effects of CBD are noticeable when it’s used daily and over some time. If you are not seeing any of the desired results after a few months, then it’s time to re-evaluate whether it’s the right product for you. 

Myth #7: CBD is addictive

Given that CBD is derived from the cannabis Sativa plant, some people may think of it as a drug to stay away from or you’ll turn into an addict. 

However, the World Health Organization has stated, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

So no, CBD is not addictive.

Myth #8: CBD is a marketing scam

CBD is the “it” health and wellness product of the moment. You can practically find every type of product infused with CBD. Over the past couple of years, CBD has been advertised as a magical elixir. And some companies have been taking advantage of that to justify selling higher-priced products by making some non-evidence-based claims.

While there is a lot of research that supports many of the therapeutic and medicinal properties of CBD, there are also companies selling CBD-infused products that they falsely claim will cure diseases. So yeah, in some cases it’s easy to see that CBD is being used as a marketing tool. 

CBD clearly doesn’t need to be in every product, but that doesn’t diminish its legitimate benefits and applications. 

File tab labeled "research."

Myth #9: CBD is a Schedule I drug so there is little scientific research 

Although the prohibition of cannabis has hindered the research on CBD, there are over 20,000 citations regarding the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids like CBD on PubMD. 

In the U.S., cannabis remains a Schedule I drug. Despite this, some U.S. universities and organizations have been permitted to study it. Moreover, a lot of research is also done outside the U.S. Israel is the first country to pioneer the medical marijuana industry and research in this field. 

Research into the medical properties of cannabinoids only began in the 1940s. It’s a relatively new field of research. But with the loosening of cannabis laws, we’re seeing a growing number of studies conducted on this topic. 

Myth #10: CBD hasn’t been scientifically proven to help any health condition

Scheduled I drugs are considered to have no medical values. So it’s easy to see why this myth persists.

However, in 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CBD as a pharmaceutical (Epidiolex) for treating two rare and severe forms of pediatric epilepsy. 

Epidiolex is the first cannabis-derived medication to receive FDA approval and marks a monumental achievement. It goes against the U.S. classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug with no medical value. 

While not yet approved by the FDA, other scientific studies have shown promising results in using CBD as a treatment for different health conditions. 

2018 study showed promising results in the usage of CBD for treating ulcerative colitis. In 2014, a study published in the Elsevier journal suggested that CBD inhibits the growth of colorectal cancerous cells. 

This is not to say that CBD is a cure for cancer or other illnesses, however, there is scientific research showing that CBD has the potential to help treat several health conditions. 

Therefore, CBD does have medical values.

So far, we know quite a lot about the positive effects of CBD, yet a lot more remains unknown. Further research is needed to fully comprehend and take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of this cannabinoid. 

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