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July 2, 2020

Understanding CBD: Expectations vs. Reality

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CBDfx Team

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One of the beautiful things about being human is our ability to both tell and learn from stories. 

It’s what separates us from other animals, and what helped us to build the civilization that we currently enjoy. Without stories, we probably wouldn’t have anything to help get our kids to sleep each night. We wouldn’t have Netflix or Comic-Con, or Star Wars or anime.

As with any sword, however, there are two sides that cut. Our ability to craft myths that allow us to make sense of a hectic world also means that we’re sometimes prone to believe in something, even if it isn’t true.

You know those Viking helmets, with the horns? Those were created by a costume designer in the 19th century. Ever seen photos of a bull-fighter waving his red cape in front of a charging bull? It’s where the term “to see red” comes from, yet bulls are colorblind.

As CBD continues to gain popularity across the world, people tell stories about it, too. From friends to health professionals, to strangers in the grocery store checkout line, you never know where you’re going to hear another tale about CBD oil, cream, and gummies.

This can be super confusing, so we thought we’d put together a list of common misconceptions surrounding CBD. 

We hope you find it useful. 

Story #1: If You’ve Seen One Oil, You’ve Seen Them All

A popular misconception about CBD oil is that all of them are the same. You extract the goodies from the hemp plant, and then what you’ve got is going to be the same substance across all applications. It’s sort of like saying that all caffeine sources are the same, like a cup of coffee is going to be the same as tea or the same as a caffeine pill. 

The truth of the matter is that the way an oil expresses CBD can vary incredibly! This all depends on the levels of terpenes and other cannabinoids, like CBN and CBG that exist in the hemp plant originally sourced. 

This could depend on growing conditions, varietal, and how the oil is actually extracted. So you’ll not only have a variation in flavor between, say, a vape oil with Sour Diesel Terpenes and one with OG Kush, but the way you experience the entourage effect will vary. 

Story #2: The More CBD, the Better Me

Oil tincture in hand

You’ll see a lot of products out there that boast super-high CBD concentrations. This is especially common with CBD tinctures, some of which will have upward of 4000mg of active cannabidiol inside them. While we think this is a fantastic away to maximize the efficiency of the almighty dollar, it doesn’t mean dumping the stuff down your gullet is going to guarantee exponential wellness results. 

In fact, research on CBD isolate has shown that there is a peak efficacy and that for some people taking a low amount could work just as well as a super high one. As with anything crafted to promote your wellness, it’s important to listen to your body and find the balance that works for you. 

Story #3: CBD Has No Side Effects

Now, we love CBD as much as anyone and it’s true that the kind of mellow it induces is truly special, but it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Clinical trials have shown that CBD taken in very high amounts—1000mg per day—can bring about tiredness, reduced appetite, and digestive changes. 

It can also affect the way our bodies metabolize certain prescription medications, like anything with a warning about eating grapefruit, anti-epileptics, HIV antivirals, and chemotherapy. If you’re feeling hesitant about how CBD’s going to affect you, there’s no harm in checking with a medical professional.

As with anything, it might not be a good first for your body. If you find it works for you, then side effects are unlikely…unless you’re jamming literal pounds of gummies on a given day, but that should be easy to avoid.

Story #4: CBD + Cannabinoid Receptors, Together 4 Ever

Hemp plants

Perhaps by now, you’ve heard about the endocannabinoid system. If If you’re unfamiliar with it, the endocannabinoid system is a natural collection of messenger molecules and their associated molecules. These endocannabinoids affect your health and mental state by activating specialized message-receivers, called cannabinoid receptors.

THC, the main intoxicating molecule found in cannabis, is a plant-based cannabinoid that can activate these receptors — just like your body’s natural endocannabinoids. Now, even though CBD is structurally very similar to THC, classified as a cannabinoid, and even named cannabidiol when tested in the lab, CBD does not activate cannabinoid receptors. 

What CBD does do is encourage your body’s natural production of endocannabinoids, and can dampen the activity of some cannabinoid receptors (which is why some people use CBD to counterbalance the anxiety and psychoactive side-effects of THC).

Story #5: CBD isn’t Psychoactive

The misconception that CBD isn’t psychoactive is all over the place, and to be fair, the spirit behind this story is solid. What people really mean when they tell this tale is that CBD won’t get you high like cannabis, or more specifically THC, will. 

This is true. Technically, however, a psychoactive substance is any molecule that alters our brains and the ways we perceive our world. Caffeine falls into this category. Some could say binge-watching The Wire does as well. So does cannabidiol. Truth be told, it has a range of targets, like 5-HT1a Serotonin Receptors, which even THC doesn’t interact with. 

With so many stories out there to sift through, we hope this little guide clarifies a little something for you.

If you know of any more myths and tall tails you’d like to dispel (they don’t have to be about CBD), we want to hear about them!

For more information on CBD oils and other CBDfx products visit CBDfx.

Did you know?

The strength of the CBD needed (500mg, 1000mg, and 1500mg) will depend on the dog.
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