Common CBD Misconceptions and Why They Even Started

Man Thinking About CBD and Sign that Says Common CBD Misconceptions

CBD – it’s been one of the biggest buzzwords in these most recent years, with widespread popularity only gaining as the months continue. It’s generating interest from industry leaders and everyday consumers from all planes of life, and with the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing industrial hemp, it comes as no surprise.

With everyone talking about CBD, though, there’s bound to be some misinformation spread about. Let’s dive into the most common CBD misconceptions to shed some true light on the subject – and find out why those misconceptions started in the first place.

Misconception #1: CBD Can Get You High!

This is possibly the most common misconception. CBD cannot get you high. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is just a compound from the marijuana or hemp plant. Non-psychoactive, this compound can’t cause any psychological effects on its own. On the contrary, THC is another compound extracted from cannabis plants, and that is the compound that can get you high.

CBD products are best described as non-intoxicating because they do have medicinal properties that can affect receptors in the brain, but they don’t do anything that can make you feel high.

THC can saturate the receptors in the brain that cause intoxication; executive functions, motor skills, attention and decision-making can all be affected. CBD, on the other hand, may inhibit THC’s ability to do this. Interfering with these receptors becoming saturated is why some researchers believe CBD can help with anxiety as well as seizures.

Broken down, this means if you ever feel “too high” from THC, you can take CBD afterwards to mitigate the effects and come down from the high.

Misconception #2: The 2018 Farm Bill Means CBD is 100% Legal

While the 2018 Farm Bill legalized each state’s ability to cultivate and sell industrial hemp, there are some stipulations in play when it comes to CBD. Likewise, the 2018 Farm Bill is what allowed us to be able to remove CBD and various other derivatives of hemp from the glare of the DEA and from the Controlled Substances Act.

Firstly, CBD can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana plants, but those plants have very different statuses in the eyes of the law.

Marijuana remains illegal on a federal level; classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning marijuana-derived CBD is also prohibited. You can use marijuana and marijuana-derived products only if you’re in a state that makes it legal to do so.

Industrial hemp farming that falls in line with US regulations, in contrast, is what was made legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. That means as long as a hemp-derived product meets compliance with the law’s regulations for hemp, it’s good to even cross through state lines. To verify if a hemp or CBD brand produces their product under US regulations, it’s as simple as looking at their third-party lab results on their web platform.

So, Is CBD Legal?

It depends on your state. Most states follow the new federal regulations on the matter, which means all hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal for possession and use. That means that hemp-derived CBD is legal, but a CBD brand that doesn’t test every batch of their products to ensure there’s a max level of THC may not be selling legal products. We cannot stress enough – look at the lab results!

Misconception #3: There are Lab Results Online, So They’re a Good CBD Brand

Unfortunately, even though we did just stress how important lab results are, that’s not the only thing to keep an eye on. Instead, make sure you’re looking at lab results for the most recent batch of products.

CBD brands are becoming aware that their consumers want to see lab results from an unbiased source. To still cut corners, they’ll get their first initial batch of products tested, then keep those lab results for all their products going forward. Because CBD formulas can be inconsistent, this opens the risk of a product containing too much THC or an inaccurate level of CBD.

Pay attention to what date a CBD product was tested on. If it was the year before last, or even last year, they are either not able to move their products very fast or don’t test every batch of products. That means you’re either getting a product that’s not fresh and closer to its expiration date than not, or you’re getting a product with an inaccurate cannabinoid reading.  Don’t just look at the lab results, but really dig in and pay close mind to the readings in front of you.

Misconception #4: CBD is What Can Make You Fail a Drug Test

A common misconception, cannabidiol cannot actually show up on a drug test – and here’s why. Drug tests at employment locations are testing for the amount of THC in your system; the test is unable to see if there are any other cannabinoids in your body because it’s just looking for THC. 

These are the more advanced tests, however. If you were to take an at-home drug test after taking CBD consistently for a few weeks, you could pop a positive. This is because at-home drug tests are not advanced enough to tell the difference between CBD and THC. They are molecules that look incredibly similar, so a drug test that’s not advanced enough to detect THC will pop a false positive if it also sees CBD.

So, while CBD can’t make you fail any drug test that would be given in a professional setting, you do run the risk of failing a drug test at home.

Likewise, pay attention to the recommended serving size for the CBD product you’re using. While it legally must contain less than 0.3% THC overall, taking too many servings in one 24-hour setting can increase the amount of THC in your system; not enough to get high, but potentially enough to fail a drug test. Keep a close eye on how much of a CBD product you’re taking each day, or shoot for a CBD isolate that will remain THC-free.

Misconception #5: CBD Acts as a Sedative

Many consumers before they start incorporating CBD into their daily routine are under the impression that it is a sedating substance. On the contrary, moderate doses of CBD can be mildly energizing, bringing focus and alertness to your day. It takes a higher dose than most assume to promote sleep and trigger a biphasic effect due to cannabidiol.

Besides the dose strength used, there’s not much CBD plays a role in when it comes to acting as a sedative. The specific CBD-rich hemp flower used to make the cannabidiol product is the more likely culprit for promoting sleep. For example, a CBD-rich hemp flower that has a myrcene-rich terpene profile may confer a sedating effect, but only because myrcene has painkilling and sedative properties.

CBD is not sedating on its own, but a combination of CBD and other cannabinoids in a full-spectrum experience may be what you’re looking for. Likewise, cannabidiol may still play a role in reducing anxiety and restoring better sleep patterns, even on its own.

Misconception #6: High Doses/Low Doses of CBD Work Best, or [Blank] is the Ideal Dose Strength

It’s not uncommon to see people touting advice about CBD:

“Take just one dropper a day,” “Take half a dropper to feel at your best,” and so on, and so forth.

When it comes to CBD’s dose strength before you start feeling results, everyone appears to have a different answer. Likewise, the dose depends on the formula, whether it’s a CBD isolate or full-spectrum combination, and more. CBD-rich flower and full-spectrum formulas do have a wider therapeutic window than a CBD isolate, but the question remains the same – how much CBD is the “right” dose?

For some people who are especially sensitive to cannabinoids, CBD can be effective at severely low doses – we’re talking as little as 2.5mg CBD per serving. On the opposite end of that spectrum, some people are more tolerant of cannabinoids and require a much higher dose than the average. 

In a clinical review updating the side effects and safety of CBD, participants took over 1,200mg CBD each day for weeks or even months, with no major negative side effects. Since it’s common to see entire CBD containers with less cannabidiol in them by volume than a whopping 1,200mg per day, there’s not really such thing as “too high” of a dose.

Supplement Facts Serving Sizes

That also means there is no “right answer” when it comes to what your ideal CBD dose strength should be. You’ll want to experiment yourself to discover the serving size that makes you feel at your best. 

We recommend doing this by starting with the recommended serving size on the container; if this is your first time using CBD or you know you’re especially sensitive to cannabinoids, take half a serving to start. From there, you’ll work your way up each day until you’ve established the optimal serving size for your needs.

Conclusion

We hope we were able to steer some facts in the right direction by breaking down these common CBD misconceptions. Did any of this surprise you, or did you already know about all the misconceptions on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Author Profile Picture

Rachel Sims | Author

Rachel Sims is a passionate CBD and cannabis writer. A huge proponent for marijuana legalization across the country, Rachel's proud to be on the ground floor of an industry making history. Her goal is simple -- help spread awareness and destigmatize cannabis. Rachel regularly writes for companies in the CBD and marijuana industries, as well as on her own website, Hashing It Out.

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