The 10 Most Common Myths About CBD: Let’s Debunk Them

Why is it important to discuss myths about CBD? Well, it seems there is no shortage of dismissive and misinformed articles about cannabidiol (CBD), and they seem to all follow the same formula.

CBD: Is it a myth or a miracle?

CBD cures everything from the common cold to cancer!

If you bathe in CBD oil every day, you’ll live forever!

Okay, I made that last one up, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see eventually. 

CBD has made a name for itself as a hot wellness trend, and its reputation has grown immensely over the years. With its potential to treat numerous medical conditions, it wasn’t hard to understand the hype. However, some people have taken it a little too far.

Take note, there are sources that genuinely care about spreading the reality of CBD in that:

  • It is only an approved prescription drug for epilepsy and seizures.
  • People don’t react to it the same way.
  • It is not a cure for anything.
  • There are negative reactions that come with taking it. 

However, you may find other kinds of sources that make false and exaggerated claims about what CBD has to offer. While it seems they may not be doing harm, that isn’t actually the case. 

Real harm can happen when this misinformation extends to doctors, social workers, educators—anybody who has an influence over people’s lives. Not to mention how these false claims exacerbate the stigma behind anything cannabis in today’s society. Myths about CBD make a misunderstood industry more questionable.

Misinformation about CBD can and does impact people’s lives, like the 7-year old girl who was placed in protective custody away from her family for taking CBD to treat her seizures (effectively, by the way), or the children who take CBD for epilepsy that can’t enroll in school because it interferes with drug policies. 

One measly claim can potentially affect thousands of lives, so kudos to you for opening this article and getting yourself informed.

Let’s start by unraveling the 10 most common myths about CBD and the truth behind these misconceptions.

10 Common Myths About CBD: Debunked

The first five will comprise basic misconceptions, and the last five will be a little more nuanced. By the time you’re done reading about common myths about CBD, you’ll be a step closer to being more well-versed in the lore of CBD.

Myth 1: CBD Is Illegal

In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act was signed into law, and one of the policies was a definition change of marijuana to no longer pertain to hemp, which is a plant material that contains 0.3 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis.

Accordingly, hemp and hemp-derived CBD are not controlled substances, nor do you need DEA registration to grow or research them. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a Schedule I substance, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and is not currently accepted as a treatment for any medical condition. 

In short, CBD is federally legal in the United States, given that it was produced from hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill has also paved the way for the legal distribution of hemp and its derivatives. The federal rule specifically announced the legality of hemp-derived products, which includes different forms of hemp-derived CBD. 

So no, CBD is not illegal as long as you get it from the right sources.

Myth 2: CBD Gets You High

CBD is not psychotropic in any way, meaning it does not get you high. Whether a product has purely CBD or CBD with THC, it still wouldn’t be enough to elicit psychoactive reactions. Although, individuals particularly sensitive to THC may experience some impairment. This is a case-to-case basis. That said, full-spectrum CBD contains THC levels that are still within legal limits, i.e., 0.3% and lower.

CBD was discovered in 1940, which was a year before THC was isolated. And it didn’t take long for researchers to conclude that it posed no impairment to users. Pure CBD will never get you high, and it will not make you fail a drug test. THC is the usual culprit in these situations.

Myth 3: CBD Should Only Be Used For Sick People

This myth about CBD is a big one. You don’t need to be sick or struggling to take CBD. It is highly encouraged to consult a medical professional for a second opinion before you start taking it. Using CBD as a preventative measure may be just as beneficial as using it as a potential treatment. 

CBD has multitudes of studies backing it up for the following medical conditions:

  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep and mood disorders
  • Chronic pain

But that doesn’t mean people who suffer from these health concerns exclusively warrant its use. CBD’s mission in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is to provide homeostasis and equilibrium to your system, regulating parts of you that are out of whack. Hence, its coined term as a wellness agent. 

The mindset that CBD is only meant for sick people feeds into the outrageous claims that it is a powerful cure that can change your life. In reality, CBD is a promising supplement that can help you make meaningful changes in your life, regardless of any illnesses or lackthereof. 

Myth 4: CBD Has To Be Smoked

I get it. Smoking CBD is the fastest way to get it into your system, so why the heck not? But get this: there are a myriad of safer ways to get CBD into your system without compromising the health of your lungs, and they take effect just as fast.

You can hold CBD oil under your tongue to take it sublingually, which kicks into your system in about 10 to 15 minutes. Feel free to apply lotion and creams on your skin if you need a method with less maintenance and have time to kill. You can even consume it with your food if you want it to be a part of your breakfast regimen. There are even a bunch of different ways to give CBD to your dog!

There is a wide range of CBD-infused products on the market today, such as bath bombs, lip balms, candy, honey, tea, and even sparkling water! Diversify your consumption methods and find the one that works best for you. Though vaping CBD has quicker onset reactions, these other methods are much safer for you. 

CBD isn’t a one-trick pony. 

Myth 5: CBD Takes A While To Work

The timeframe and effects of CBD largely depend on the method of consumption and the person’s body weight. And even then, it can still vary. As a whole, CBD does not provide definites, but there are factors that contribute to its efficacy and duration of effect. 

For example, if you decide to take CBD as an edible, and do so with a full stomach, it would take hours for it to register in your system because it needs to undergo the digestive process. And you wouldn’t want it to wait in line for the other food to be digested first.

More often than not, people who take CBD want immediate effects, and the reality is, it just doesn’t work that way. There’s always a give and take. 

If you want to vape it, you risk the safety of your lungs. You ideally need to have an empty stomach to consume it as an edible. If you want to apply it sublingually, you have to chalk out a minute of your day in a private space to do it, which is challenging for people on the go. 

How long CBD takes to ideally work for you depends on you and your needs. A person that struggles with an appetite may prefer the hour-long duration of taking effect when consuming it as an edible rather than needing it as a sublingual application, which takes a much shorter time to work. CBD is an aid, not a fast-paced panacea. 

Myth 6: CBD Is Not Scientifically Proven To Help Any Conditions

CBD renouncers love to resort to this flawed statement, or maybe they’re just working with outdated information—who knows? All we know is that it’s a huge myth about CBD.

With extensive research into CBD, you may have come across vague declarations that go a little something like, “CBD might be useful in treating conditions, but there’s little concrete evidence.” While this is true in some cases, it is false in advocating that CBD is not proven to help with any conditions. 

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication for difficult-to-treat seizure disorders, namely Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome (DS). 

It is the first cannabis-based medication to get the administration’s approval, and it’s worth taking a moment to understand how monumental this is. 

Let’s put it this way: 

According to the FDA, cannabis’s Schedule I status (entailing it has no medical value) was not enough to disprove or alienate the compelling and effective results of Epidiolex, so much so that the FDA was obligated to approve it. 

This threw a wrench into cannabis’s label as a Schedule 1 drug, which resulted in the 2018 Agricultue Improvement Act, which differentiates marijuana from hemp. And it all happened because of CBD’s potential.

So no, CBD has been scientifically proven to help with epilepsy and seizures, enough to actually drive a law to be put in place to champion it. 

Myth 7: CBD Is Non-Psychoactive

This myth about CBD is, by far, the most common and not for any malicious reasons. It’s merely a large-scale misunderstanding. 

I know what you’re thinking, “But you just said that CBD doesn’t get you high!

CBD does not make you high, but it is still considered a psychoactive cannabinoid. Does it cause cognitive impairment like its cousin THC does? Nope. But it does have mind-altering effects, which is basically the definition of psychoactive. It just doesn’t happen in the way you associate it to be.

Research shows that CBD has antipsychotic, anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), and antidepressant properties, which clearly demonstrates a mood-altering effect, or psychoactive in the way it affects the mind and behavior. 

Instead of marketing CBD as a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, it would be more accurate to say that it lacks the intoxicating effects that THC has. This fact is especially important from a legal standpoint, as making deceptive claims like this can result in serious consequences or a cause of action for fraudulent inducement.

This brings us to the next point.

Myth 8: CBD Is A Marketing Scam

There is both good and bad to be found in the wellness industry. The good aims to genuinely impact people’s lives, and the bad aspires to make money. CBD can unfortunately be a victim of the latter, and it’s a feeding ground for myths about CBD.

As a result, CBD unnecessarily ends up in some wellness and cosmetic products, just for the sake of feeding onto the hype and raking in the monetary benefits. So yes, in some cases, it can be a marketing scam. But this is hardly CBD’s fault; it’s the people who take advantage of it that contribute to its scammy perception.

Remember that unnecessary applications of CBD don’t mean that every application of CBD is unnecessary. 

For example, tea tree oil is a well-loved and sometimes overly hyped essential oil with proven antibacterial properties. The wellness industry has also found much promise in this product, enough to put it in everything and market it unnecessarily in unusual application methods. 

Let’s say, you come across a tea tree oil mascara that supposedly helps make your eyelashes glossier. It sounds a bit far-fetched, and you might subconsciously attribute tea tree oil to being another wellness marketing scam trying to get profit. But that doesn’t make tea tree oil any less of an antibacterial solution. 

The same situation applies to CBD. People have a tendency to market it in the most unusual and ‘extra’ ways, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It just means you shouldn’t buy that CBD-infused nail polish for $24. 

Myth 9: “I Took CBD For X Days, And It Didn’t Work”

Ah, the internet is rife with these articles where the author tries CBD for a day or two and finds that they felt no noticeably different than they did before they started taking it. Of all the bad myths about CBD, this is definitely a big one.

CBD provides equilibrium to your bodily system, so if nothing is wrong with you, what exactly would you feel that would be any different? If you’re not feeling any pain and take a Tylenol capsule, what would happen? Well, nothing. That doesn’t mean Tylenol doesn’t work.

CBD can’t do its job if there is no job to do. 

Before considering CBD for your health and wellness, assess whether you have a symptom that CBD can help treat. And always consult a medical professional before you dive into new and foreign products, especially ones that go into your body. For example, CBD is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

Remember: personal anecdotes are not science. 

Myth 10: The CBD Industry Is Problematic, So CBD Is Problematic

The fact that hemp is federally legal and marijuana is not—and you can get CBD from both plant materials makes for some sketchiness surrounding the industry.

Researchers have revealed that many CBD products sold online actually contain little to no CBD. The only FDA-approved CBD product is Epidiolex; the rest still have room for error. So yes, critics are right to highlight quality issues, and consumers must do their research before purchasing CBD.

However, it would be a mistake to conflate CBD’s potential with the CBD industry. It’s been four years since the 2018 Farm Bill, and everyone is still finding their footing with CBD, and yes, that includes shady producers navigating the best exploitation methods. And they definitely exacerbate myths about CBD.

It is a responsibility as consumers to do research into what makes for quality CBD products and what doesn’t. 

For example, you went to the beach and got sunburnt, so off you go looking for some aloe vera to soothe the damage. Unfortunately, the aloe vera you purchased was questionable. You find out it only contains 5% aloe vera and 95% goo. Does that mean aloe vera doesn’t actually soothe burns, or does it mean you found a low-quality product?

The same applies to CBD. Rise above the sketchy parts of the industry and find the sources that thrive off of genuinely helping people, because they are out there. You find these places with enough research and caution. 

Myths About CBD: Due Diligence Is The Key

How do you decipher between reliable and inaccurate CBD information? Well, CBD is no different than other products surrounding health and wellness. It’s all down to doing an extensive amount of research and due diligence. Don’t fall into traps on the myths about CBD.

As you explore what the world has to say about CBD, look out for this information to confirm that you’re reading trusted material:

  • There is a mention of the FDA approval for Epidiolex, confirming that it is the only scientifically proven medication for CBD. 
  • You’ll find basis or research from other countries in addition to the United States.
  • There is no conflation between the therapeutic potential of CBD and its industry issues.
  • You’ll see mention of CBD uses for specific conditions, as opposed to general and vague claims that it treats everything.
  • There is a note that CBD products are not all created equal.
  • You’ll notice a stress on the importance of consumers doing their own research to find reputable CBD sources.
  • There is an emphasis that CBD is not a cure for anything.

Be vigilant with CBD information because you deserve to have the right information for the right purposes. It’s as simple as that.

Disclaimer: We do not recommend CBD in any form for any specific medical purposes in humans and animals, in compliance with FDA regulations.