Cannabidiol: Myth or Fact?

Cannabidiol (CBD), the naturally-occurring compound in hemp and cannabis, has recently emerged as a versatile, novel treatment for many medical conditions, and, according to scientific research, it offers many potential health benefits. Despite the increasing interest and rapidly growing CBD industry, there are also many existing misconceptions about its use.

1. Taking CBD can make you feel “high”

This is a myth. CBD can be derived from both cannabis and hemp plants, and, although both CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are classified as cannabinoids (a class of chemical compounds that act on the cannabinoid receptors in the body), only THC is capable of inducing a mind-altering “high,” while CBD is non-intoxicating.

2. There is no scientific evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of CBD

This is a myth. Although many studies focused on examining the effects of CBD have been preliminary, there have also been various clinical trials to show its effectiveness in treating epilepsy, reducing psychotic episodes of schizophrenia, and treating anxiety. Many other studies are currently underway to examine its potential therapeutic value in diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Taking CBD can result in undesired side effects

This is a fact. Although CBD is generally considered safe to use and well-tolerated, some side effects have been reported, including fatigue, drowsiness, changes in appetite and diarrhea. In addition, CBD can also affect the quality of sleep, and may cause side effects such as alterations in sleep in the sleep cycle, and insomnia.

4. CBD provides more health benefits than THC

This is a myth. CBD and THC provide many of the same health benefits, and are both used for treatment of same several conditions. However, CBD can be preferred because it does not cause the same mind-altering, euphoric effect of THC that can be considered as an undesirable side effect by some.

5. CBD can interact with THC in the body

This is a fact. It has been shown that CBD and THC can interact with each other, and current research is focused on uncovering the way they can affect each other. So far, research has shown that CBD can counteract some of the negative effects of THC, such as drowsiness and motor impairment, and intoxication. At the same time, other research demonstrates that CBD can reduce HTC clearance in the body, and enhance some of its effects. Currently, the precise manner in which they work together is still largely unknown.

Cannabidiol: A brief introduction, potential uses and benefits

What is cannabidiol (CBD)?

Although cannabidiol (also referred to as CBD) is rapidly emerging on the dietary supplement market as the CBD industry is exponentially expanding, many people don’t know what it is.

CBD is one of the naturally-occurring active compounds (called cannabinoids) found in cannabis and hemp. So far, over 80 different cannabinoids have been identified in the cannabis plant. Unlike the other major active constituent of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive, but has been demonstrated to have medicinal properties and therapeutic benefits and applications for many medical conditions.

CBD was discovered in 1940 by the research team of Dr. Roger Adams, a professor at the University of Illinois, while its molecular structure was revealed in 1963. CBD can be extracted from the stalks or stems of cannabis or hemp plants, as it is the second most abundant component of these plants, and makes up about 40% of the plant extracts.

What are the benefits of cannabidiol?

Recently, CBD has attracted a lot of attention, as scientific researchers are working uncovering its mechanisms of action and its potential health benefits. CBD is currently being examined in several clinical trials, and is at different stages of testing for various medical indications.

In contrast to THC (the main psychoactive component of marijuana), CBD does not cause the same mind-altering “high”, and can be taken by mouth, as an aerosol spray into the cheek, or by inhalation as cannabis smoke or vapour. According to scientific studies, CBD has significant analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties. In Canada, CBD can be prescribed to treat pain associated with multiple sclerosis. In addition, in the last two years, numerous clinical trials have demonstrated that CBD can serve as effective treatment for several types of childhood epilepsy. In addition, CBD has been demonstrated to have anti-anxiety properties (including social anxiety), as well as potential therapeutic benefits in treating addiction, and is now being investigated as a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Interestingly, it has also been shown that CBD can help to reduce the adverse side effects of THC, such as intoxication and sedation.

What are the risks of cannabidiol?

Since the field of CBD research is relatively new, any potential long-term side effects of its use are still under investigation. However, CBD seems to be safe to use and well-tolerated by most individuals, and no major side effects have been identified so far. Some of the side effects reported for CBD include fatigue, changes in appetite, and drowsiness.