4 min

Here Are 8 Common Myths About CBD

4 min

CBD is more popular than ever, but it's still very much misunderstood by most people. In this article, we debunk 8 common myths about CBD.

CBD has become incredibly popular over the last few years. And while the media is publishing all kinds of information about the compounds in cannabis, there are still many myths out there. In this article, we’ll debunk 8 common myths surrounding CBD, its effects, and more.


CBD Is Non-psychoactive

This myth is super common, and many professional CBD companies and news publications still make the mistake of calling CBD “non-psychoactive”. What they actually mean, however, is that CBD is “non-intoxicating” or “non-psychotropic”.

Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause the high we associate with cannabis. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t psychoactive. CBD, as you probably know, affects the endocannabinoid system.

By activating this system, CBD definitely has an effect on the mind. It won't, however, leave you feeling high or stoned. And while that might seem like a trivial detail, it is actually a pretty important distinction to make.


CBD Is Sedating

Some early studies into the effects of CBD suggested it had sedative effects. However, that isn’t exactly true. More recent research shows that CBD can actually have alerting effects, delay sleep time, and even induce waking[1].

Where did all this confusion come from? Well, it turns out that CBD can actually have opposing effects on sleep depending on the dose. In smaller doses, CBD tends to have alerting properties. However, some people find that larger doses can be sleep-promoting. 

Some people who consume CBD-rich cannabis flowers also find they have more sedative effects. It's important to note that cannabis and hemp plant matter contains other sleep-promoting compounds, like myrcene, which may contribute to their sedative effects more than the CBD itself.


All CBD Is The Same, Regardless Of Where It Came From

CBD is a chemical compound. And sure, the CBD molecules found in a full-spectrum hemp tincture are going to be the same as those found in CBD-rich cannabis flowers or CBD isolate crystals. However, that doesn’t mean that the three products are going to produce the same effects.

Cannabis and hemp are really complex plants and can contain over 400 different active compounds. These compounds can synergise to create an “entourage effect” with very different results.

Now, it’s also important to realise that there are hundreds of varieties of hemp and cannabis, and they all contain different concentrations of these compounds. Hence, a CBD product made from one type of plant may have a very different chemical makeup than a CBD product made from another plant. And the effects of a CBD isolate product are going to be different again because it doesn’t contain other hemp/cannabis compounds besides CBD.

Moreover, the way CBD is administered can also greatly change its effects. The effects of vaporized CBD, for example, aren’t the same as those of a tincture or topical.

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CBD Binds To Cannabinoid Receptors

The endocannabinoid system has two very specific receptors: CB1 and CB2. Researchers discovered these receptors while studying the intoxicating effects of cannabis, which are caused by THC binding directly to CB1 receptors in the brain. So, you might think that CBD works similarly, right?

Wrong. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have a high binding affinity for either cannabinoid receptor. So how does it delivers its unique effects? Well, we still don’t know for sure. Studies have shown that CBD interacts with a variety of receptors, including 5HT1A, TRPV1, GAMMA receptors, and more. In fact, research[3] has identified over 65 molecular pathways that can be activated by CBD.


CBD Is Most Effective When Taken In Isolation

Many people believe that CBD isolates are more effective than full-spectrum or “whole plant” CBD. However, a growing body of research is starting to show that that’s not the case. Again, this has to do with the entourage effect we mentioned earlier.

The entourage effect is a term first used by Raphael Mechoulam, a highly revered cannabis researcher from Israel. Today, Mechoulam and many other respected researchers in the field suggest that the unique properties of cannabis are caused by the entourage effect.

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And it makes sense. After all, the health benefits of an orange, for example, don’t just come from vitamin C. Instead, they come from all the compounds found in the fruit. Research on the entourage effect suggests that the same is true for cannabis.


The More CBD, The Better

Correctly dosing CBD is super important. And like other medicines or supplements, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dosing CBD. That’s because, just like other cannabinoids, CBD effects different people in different ways.

Some people might find that they need large doses of CBD to get the effect they’re looking for. Others might just need a few drops of oil. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different, and the right dose of CBD can vary depending on the desired effect, the strength of the CBD product being used, the method of administration, and much more.

Any reputable CBD brand should provide some reliable dosing information for its products, and it’s a good idea to stick to those guidelines at first. If, however, you’re not getting the effects you’re after, don’t be scared to experiment with smaller or larger doses. Just remember that when increasing your dose of CBD, it's a good idea to do so gradually over time.

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CBD Isolate Is The “purest” Form Of CBD

Whether a CBD product is made with isolate or full-spectrum extract doesn’t necessarily tell you about its purity. It just tells you whether the product contains other compounds from the cannabis plant or not.

CBD products should come with a measurement of how much active CBD they contain. This is usually presented either in a milligram (mg) value or a percentage. Unfortunately, many people consider isolate products to be “purer” than full-spectrum products. As we mentioned earlier, there’s a solid body of research to suggest otherwise.


CBD Is The Only Therapeutic Compound Found In Hemp/cannabis

This is one of the biggest myths surrounding cannabis. As we mentioned earlier, cannabis and hemp plants contain over 400 different active compounds. And while CBD is definitely one of the most studied, early research into other cannabinoids and terpenes (even including THC) shows that many of them have their own unique, potentially benefits too. Unfortunately, a lot more research is needed in order for us to really understand the complexities of the cannabis plant. But what we do know for sure is that the cannabis plant is much more than just one single cannabinoid.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
We are not making medical claims. This article has been written for informational purposes only, and is based on research published by other externals sources.

External Resources:
  1. Potential Effects of Cannabidiol as a Wake-Promoting Agent -
  2. Does CBD Make You Sleepy? -
  3. How CBD Works -
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