While cannabidiol, or CBD, is a very common supplement for humans and pets, there are myths about CBD that need to be addressed. Today I want to debunk 26 common myths about CBD, and give a clear understanding of what it is and what it is not.
Myth 1: CBD Can Make You High
One Liner answer: No, CBD will not make you high.
Explanation: One of the most prevalent myths about CBD is the belief that it can make you high. CBD is a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant, which means it does not produce the "high" effects associated with THC, that you would get for example by smoking marijuana.
Myth 2: CBD is a Cure-All
One liner answer: Not at all, CBD is not a cure-all supplement.
Explanation: Another widespread misconception is that CBD is a panacea for all ailments. While research suggests that CBD may have therapeutic benefits, it is not a universal cure. The effectiveness of CBD varies depending on the condition and the individual. For example, there are rumors about CBD curing ringing ears, yet, there is no scientific evidence, and CBD does not work for Tinnitus. Steer clear from any company that makes exaggerated statement.
Myth 3: A Little CBD is Enough
One liner answer: No, that's not the correct way to use CBD.
Explanation: I have heard many people saying that you can "take just a little", without indicating the actual concentration or form. The idea that only a small amount of CBD is needed to be effective is misleading. To be exact, the appropriate dosage of CBDfor pets and humans can differ significantly from person to person, or from dog to dog. It depends on factors such as body weight, the condition being treated, and the concentration of CBD in the product. We do strongly recommend to start with the lowest dose, and then adapt based on what you observe. Yet, the term "lowest" is specific for an individual person or dog, and has to be measured quantitatively.
One liner answer: No, CBD oil not it is not a placebo.
Explanation:Some skeptics claim that CBD oil is nothing more than a placebo. However, scientific studies have demonstrated that CBD can interact with the body's endocannabinoid system and can have measurable physiological effects. It is true that more research is needed to better understand CBD, and how CBD works in humans and pets. Most of the current research in pets is done with small number of animals, thus making statistical inferences not fully accurate. It is also true that different people and pets respond differently, and may require different doses to obtain the same effect.
Myth 6: CBD is Legal in All 50 States
One liner answer: No, CBD oil not fully legal in all 50 states.
Explanation: The legality of CBD is complex and varies by state. While the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD at the federal level as long as the THC levels are less than 0.3% in dry weight, state laws can differ. For example, Idaho requires CBD to contain zero % THC, and it must come from the mature stalks of the hemp plant. In Tennessee, CBD products are legal with less than 0.6% THC in dry weight. In Alabama, and many other states, the maximum THC level allowed is 0.3% as by federal regulation. Moreover, other states have restrictions on the sale and use of CBD products.
Myth 7: CBD Works As Soon As You Take It
One liner answer: No, CBD oil will not work as soon as you take it.
Explanation: CBD is just like any other thing you ingest: the body needs to absorb it, process it and use it to bind to the endocannabinoid receptors (and others). In humans and pets, it can take up to two hours to work. This means that if you want to give CBD to your dog because it's July 4th or New Year's Eve and fireworks freak them out, then you better give it to them by 10pm or 10.30pm. In this way, there will be enough time for your pet to process it and feel the calming effects before fireworks start blasting.
Myth 8: CBD is Only for Adults
One liner answer: Not fully, there are studies around the use of CBD in children.
One liner answer: No, there can be side effects from using CBD.
Explanation: Like any other compound, medicine, or even food, CBD can cause unwanted symptoms. Though they are generally considered mild, they can occur in both people and pets. Possible side effects include fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite or weight. While mild, you should always use caution, start using CBD at the lowest doses possible, then increase only once it's safe. The same approach applies to pets.
Myth 10: CBD is Addictive
One liner answer: No, CBD is not addictive.
Explanation: CBD is not considered to be addictive, nor there are scientific reports saying that it is. Based on CBD molecular mechanism of action, it does not appear to have the potential for abuse, that is associated with some other cannabinoids, such as THC.
Myth 11: CBD is Only Derived From Marijuana
One liner answer: No, CBD is derived from the hemp plant.
One liner answer: It might if labels are not accurate.
Explanation: Standard drug tests typically screen for THC, not CBD. However, the threshold to identify THC is generally at 50 nanograms per milliliter. Some CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC that could potentially lead to a positive drug test. This is caused by vendors not being transparent about the THC content of their products. Once on the market under false claims, there can be serious consequences for customers. This is why you should always use products that come with third-party lab tests.
Myth 13: CBD is a Marketing Scam
One liner answer: CBD is not a marketing scam, for the most part.
Explanation: The interest in CBD was at its peak at around 2018-2019, and by that time, online marketers did anything they could to sell CBD. Unluckily for legitimate sellers, scammers created a hype by faking data, inflating results, and selling CBD products with inaccurate labels. While there are certainly unscrupulous marketers in the CBD industry, dismissing CBD as a scam ignores the growing body of scientific research supporting its potential benefits. It also ignores the beneficial effects and truly legit benefits of CBD.
Myth 14: CBD Products are All FDA-Approved
One liner answer: The FDA did not approve CBD products.
Explanation:The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has only approved one CBD-based medication, Epidiolex, for the treatment of specific types of epilepsy. Most CBD products on the market are not FDA-approved and lack regulation. This is also the reason health claims are dangerous when made by unscrupulous vendors that promise results not backed by scientific studies.
Myth 15: CBD is Harmless in Any Quantity
One liner answer: CBD can have side effects.
Explanation:While CBD is generally well-tolerated, taking excessive amounts can lead to negative side effects. It is important to follow dosage recommendations and consult with a healthcare provider. Studies indicated that the equivalent of a lethal dose of CBD in monkeys is about 200mg/kg, equivelnt to 16,000mg of CBD at once to a 185lb (80kg) adult. That's 10 bottles with 1,500mg of CBD...taken together...that's a lot!
Myth 16: CBD Can Replace Prescription Medications
One liner answer: CBD should never replace prescription medications
Explanation: CBD as we, and others, sell it, is a supplement and should not be used as a substitute for prescribed medications. While it may have therapeutic properties, it is not a replacement for other treatments. If you intend to do so, you should always consult your primary physician first.
Myth 17: CBD is Only for People And Pets With Health Issues
One liner answer: CBD can be beneficial for healthy individuals and pets
Explanation:CBD can surely be helpful for the management of arthritis, joint pain, anxiety, and other conditions. And that is why most people believe that CBD is only to be used when there are specific manifestations. However, it can also be used by individuals without specific health issues for its potential to promote general well-being and health balance.
Myth 18: CBD Has Been Thoroughly Researched
One liner answer: False, more research on CBD is needed
Explanation:While research on CBD is expanding, there is still much to learn about its effects and potential uses. The body of evidence is growing, but it is not yet comprehensive. Several studies revealed the benefits of CBD in pets and humans. Yet, the initial study design was limited due to the study groups or to the lack of power in statistical analyses. Overall, this indicates the potentials of CBD, and the need of better designed clinical trials to fully capture its therapeutic potentials.
Myth 19: CBD is the Same as Medical Marijuana
CBD is just one of many compounds found in cannabis. Medical marijuana typically contains a mix of various cannabinoids, including THC, and is used for different therapeutic purposes. They are different things, and they should not be confused, nor used interchangeably.
Myth 20: CBD is Always Consumed as Oil
One liner answer: False, there are multiple ways to consume CBD
Explanation:CBD is not always consumed as an oil. It comes in various forms, including tinctures, capsules, edibles, topicals, and more. The most common ways to give CBD to dogs remain treats, cookies, and food toppers. Topicals and shampoos exist, but they are not the most common ones. Moreover, the method of consumption can affect the onset and duration of effects.
Explanation:The term "psychoactive" is often used to describe substances that impact brain function, leading to alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior. While CBD (cannabidiol) is generally considered non-intoxicating and does not produce the "high" associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), there is some debate about whether it is truly non-psychoactive.
Some experts argue that CBD can be considered psychoactive because it can alter mood and behavior by creating calm and relaxed moods, even though it does not produce intoxicating effects or alter perception. Therefore, while CBD is not intoxicating, it may have some degree of psychoactivity.
Myth 22: Hemp products are subject to the same rules as CBD.
One liner answer: Partially, it depends on the final extract
Explanation:Hemp products, including CBD derived from hemp, are subject to specific regulations. Yet, hemp oil and CBD oil are two different things. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, removed hemp from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act. This means that hemp is no longer federally regulated as a controlled substance. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has specific regulations regarding cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including CBD. The FDA has concluded that THC and CBD products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition. Additionally, the FDA has not approved the use of CBD in food or beverages, and it is illegal to market CBD as a dietary supplement or add it to food or beverages. Therefore, while hemp-derived products are no longer regulated as controlled substances at the federal level, they are subject to specific regulations from the FDA and other relevant authorities.
Myth 23: CBD can become THC
One liner answer: This is not true, CBD cannot become THC.
Explanation:CBD cannot be metabolized into CBD. Their metabolic pathways start from the same common parent, called cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), but they cannot be converted into one another.
Myth 24: Full Spectrum CBD is The Best
One liner answer: It depends, but generally not for pets.
Explanation:Full spectrum CBD, as opposite to broad spectrum CBD and CBD isolate, contains THC. Albeit at a concentration of less than 0.3% as per Federal regulations, that small amount of THC can still be enough to cause adverse effects. THC is toxic to dogs and cats. Studies in dogs demonstrated that dogs who received CBD oil with and without THC had different responses and side effects. The presence of THC was the determining factor, and the group that received CBD-only (and no THC) did not have any side effects recorded in the study. (Vaughn, 2020)
Myth 25: CBD Oil and Hemp Oil Are The Same Thing
One liner answer: CBD oil and Hemp oil are not the same thing.
Explanation:CBD is derived mostly from the hemp plant, however, hemp oil and CBD oil are not the same. Hemp oil is derived from the seeds, it's rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and it's a great supplement for overall health. CBD oil is derived from the leaves, flowers, and stalk. There are also different regulations for CBD oil that do not apply to hemp oil.
Myth 26: CBD and Marijuana Are The Same
One liner answer: This is not true, CBD and marijuana are different things
Explanation:CBD and Marijuana are definitely different things. It's true that the hemp and marijuana plants belong to the cannabis family of plants, and while CBD can be derived from both the hemp and marijuana plant. However, here's some main differences:
CBD is non-intoxicating, marijuana is intoxicating.
This means CBD will not get you high, marijuana will get you high.
CBD comes mostly from hemp, marijuana comes from marijuana.
Using CBD will not show up in a drug test, using marijuana will come up in a drug test.
CBD is safe for pets, marijuana is not safe for pets.
CBD helps to manage anxiety in pets and humans, using marijuana can cause anxiety.
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- Vaughn et. al, Preliminary Investigation of the Safety of Escalating Cannabinoid Doses in Healthy Dogs, Front. Vet. Sci., 11 February 2020. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.00051/full
Seb has been a research scientist for the past two decades and is the founder and owner of My Blissful Pet. Seb grew up with cats and dogs and married his passion for science and animals with My Blissful Pet by wanting to help dogs and cats live healthier lives.