The hottest thing since sliced bread or a busted flush? The jury is still out for some on Cannabidiol (CBD), the newest tool in the wellness arsenal. At GreenBox, we focus on an education first philosophy. We prefer to give our customers the information they need to make the decision for themselves. Whether you are looking to throw a Kim Kardashian style CBD oil themed baby shower or find the perfect wellness gift for a loved one, the world of CBD is fraught with misinformation and unsubstantiated claims. Here we tackle the five biggest myths in the world of CBD.
1. CBD is illegal
Cannabidiol (CBD) is not illegal, and it does not have any psychoactive properties which would impair the consumer, unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The CBD we consume in UK/Europe is derived from the hemp plant, a variety of the cannabis sativa plant with lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD than its cannabis cousin.
There are strict regulations in Europe about the amount of THC allowed in an industrial hemp plant, which under current EU laws is less than 0.2% of the plant. So, to put this in perspective, a cannabis plant could have levels up to 18-22% THC. The 0.2% trace amount likely wouldn’t even show up on a lab report or result in a negative drug test. CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid in the plant and differs from THC as it does not interact directly with brain transmitters. CBD works to slow the breakdown of enzymes in our internal systems that help keep our bodies in balance.
2. CBD can cure everything
The EU has specific rules on nutrition and health claims to help protect the consumer. The rules of the regulation apply to nutrition claims such as “low fat” and to health claims such as “Vitamin D is needed for normal growth and development of bone in children”. The objective of these rules is to ensure that any claim made on labelling, presentation or advertising is clear, accurate and based on scientific evidence.
This brings us to the CBD grey zone. No CBD brand can make health claims, such as “this product can cure eczema” without scientific evidence. However, there is enough anecdotal evidence out there and a smattering of clinical data that suggests CBD may help with a few chronic health issues like inflammation and insomnia. With the passing of the US Farm Bill in December 2018, which federally legalized industrial hemp, it has led to a gold rush of clinical studies to study different clinical endpoints of CBD.
There are in fact some approved CBD products with medical claims. For example, Epidiolex is an approved drug in the EU and US used to treat seizures for two types of epilepsy. Additionally, MediCabillis is a pharmaceutical GMP grade, full-spectrum extract that is currently being trialled in the UK with patients to help manage a range of symptoms associated with several conditions including:
- Chemotherapy-Induced nausea and vomiting
- Management of epileptic seizures and conditions
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Inflammation related conditions
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Pain conditions included neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and mixed chronic pain
3. All CBD Is Equal
As with any new industry, standardization takes time and the CBD is no different. There has been a proliferation of high dosage (1000mg +) products sold at cheap prices. Is there really the amount of CBD as advertised in the product? As part of an ongoing study, a California-based cannabis testing company independently tested 37 different brands and found only 73% contained the advertised amount of CBD.
Third-party testing of products is crucial and helps ensure that not only are you getting the amount of CBD as advertised but also there are not any other nasties like lead etc. in the product. It is important because hemp plants can participate in a process called phytoremediation. This means the plants sucks up toxins, chemical, heavy metals, and even radioactive elements in the soil around it. Think of phytoremediation as nature’s vacuum cleaner, sucking up the mess left behind by poor farming practices and industrial waste.
This highlights the importance of knowing where and how the hemp has been grown. While toxins can be removed during processing, buying CBD from hemp grown with sustainable farming practices ensures the toxins are not an issue. You can bet the cheaper the CBD price, the more likely the hemp has come from questionable sources. At GreenBox, part of our Hemp Lap Series goes into how to read a lab report. On our site, we read through every lab report to ensure we are providing trusted products to our customers. We even send the products off for third-party tests ourselves to ensure quality and compliance with UK and European laws.
4. Extraction Method Does Not Matter
Now we are going to get a bit technical. But in short, it does matter. CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and processed to add into CBD-infused products. There are various methods of extractions techniques but the one you will see most often on products is CO2 extraction. There is nothing scientifically wrong with doing it this way. However, this method filters out some of the extra plant material which contains other useful terpenes acting in concert with CBD.
The view of our scientific advisor Drew Ford is alcohol extraction is the best method. It is quickly becoming the most popular method for hemp extraction too, and usually utilises ethanol as the alcohol. Alcohol extraction is the most effective at gathering as much of the spectrum of the plant contents versus other methods.
5. Dosing Does Not Matter
The guidelines from the health authorities in the UK is a consumer should not exceed 70mg of CBD per day. It is not possible to overdose on CBD, however. It might be the case you think that more is better, but CBD has what are called biphasic properties. What this means is CBD can have the opposite effect at much higher levels than it does at lower levels.
You should try to keep to a consistent daily dosage and see how it impacts you. A daily dose of 70mg would be on the high-end anyways and 20-30mg would be more typical. It is sometimes difficult to figure out from the product you have bought how to dose. GreenBox has created a simple dosage calculator to help each person more easily determine their dosage.
These are just five of the many myths floating through the internet ether about CBD. Nonetheless, it’s an exciting new plant extract that really does have a number of promising health and wellness benefits. If you do decide to try it for yourself, just be sure to do your homework and know what you are buying.