When it comes to marijuana and CBD there is about as much misinformation out there as there is information. Unfortunately, marijuana has not always had the best reputation in this country and that has led to quite a few myths sticking in the American consciousness. It may not come as a surprise to you that aliens did not plant the first marijuana plants and Bigfoot does not use CBD for joint pain, but there are probably some things that you believe that are not true. In this article we’ll run through some of the most common myths surrounding both marijuana and CBD. So, let’s get to myth busting.
Myth #1: Marijuana kills brain cells
We’ve all seen the caricatures they paint of marijuana users in movies, television, and public service announcements. The burnout who can barely walk and chew gum because he’s destroyed his precious brain cells getting high. The truth is, marijuana does no such thing. A 2003 study conducted at Cambridge University was the first to declare that even heavy marijuana use would not damage brain cells. This was corroborated by a 2015 study done at University of Louisville. In fact, because of the endocannabinoid system’s (ECS) role in supporting brain health, some studies have shown that THC may support neurogenesis, which is the process by which neurons are formed in the brain. You can learn all about the ECS here.
Myth #2: The effects of CBD have not been researched
Relatively new on the scene, you may have heard that CBD has not been clinically researched and its alleged therapeutic effects are only based on anecdotal evidence. This just is not true. There are numerous research studies that have been published to show CBD’s various therapeutic effects. Some of the effects that have been studied include:
There are many more studies aimed at determining how, and to what degree CBD helps with a variety of issues. This type of research requires interest, time, and money to be done effectively. Until recently, there was not much interest in CBD research but thankfully that’s changing. There is still much more research to be done but each day the picture of CBD’s benefits gets a little clearer.
Myth #3: Marijuana users are lazy and unsuccessful
Pundits, politicians, and maybe even your own parents have warned that using marijuana is a one-way ticket to Loserville. All you’ll want is to get high and giggle at the TV from your couch, you won’t be able to hold a good job, and you won’t fulfill your dreams. The truth is, lots of intelligent and successful people in a wide variety of fields are advocates and users of marijuana. Rolling Stone magazine put together a list of the 50 most successful marijuana enthusiasts that includes some surprising names like astrophysicist Carl Sagan and entrepreneur Bill Gates, as well as less surprising names like Bob Dylan and Seth Rogan. One thing is for sure, marijuana doesn’t prevent people from being successful. You can use marijuana responsibly and still chase down your dreams.
Myth #4: Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are the same thing
It is true that CBD comes from the hemp plant so it’s understandable to make the mistake of assuming that hemp seed oil and CBD oil are the same. The truth is that they are very different. Hemp seed oil is made exclusively from the seeds of the hemp plant, and while it does have benefits like beneficial fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, it contains little to no actual CBD. CBD oil is extracted from the leaves, stalks, and flowers of the hemp plant. They can be full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate products. It’s the CBD and other cannabinoids that interact with the ECS to provide the wide range of therapeutic benefits associated with CBD. It’s important to make sure you’re buying from a reputable source. Because of the lack of regulations in the CBD industry, some companies may mislabel their products, masquerading hemp oil as CBD oil. The Green Dragon CBD sources it’s products from the most well-respected producers and makes sure each product has been laboratory tested. If you’re nervous about what to look for when purchasing a CBD product, you can read a helpful guide here on what to look for.
Myth #5: Most people who smoke marijuana are heavy users
With the increased legalization of marijuana and the development of hemp-based THC products like Delta 8 and Delta 10, the culture and perceptions around smoking marijuana are changing. As that culture shift settles in, more and more people are going to try smoking marijuana. Does that mean society is going to become a Cheech and Chong movie? No. In fact, out of the 30 million people who use marijuana, only about 6 million use it on a daily or near-daily basis. That’s about one fifth of marijuana users that would qualify as heavy users. Some people even use THC to microdose.
Myth #6: CBD is illegal
Nope. I know seeing that distinctive shape of a hemp leaf on a product’s packaging triggers the thought of crime. But the truth is, hemp and products like CBD that are derived from hemp are federally legal. The bill that legalized hemp in the United States is known as the 2018 Farm Bill. While CBD is federally legal, individual states can sometimes set up their own restrictions on both the production and the sale of CBD, so it is important to check how your state handles CBD.
Myth #7: You can get high from eating raw weed
With the growing legality of marijuana in the United States, we’re also seeing more edible marijuana options than ever before. But just because you can take a gummy or eat a baked good doesn’t mean you can just chow down on some flower and expect to get high. For THC to become available to be absorbed by your body, it must first go through a process known as decarboxylation. This is done by heating the marijuana, and in terms of edibles, having the THC absorbed by a fatty substance like an oil or butter. So, if you have some marijuana flower and you don’t want to smoke it, don’t treat it like it is food if you want to get high. It might be a nugget, but it’s not a chicken nugget.
Myth #8: CBD works the same for everyone
CBD has a wide range of therapeutic effects it can offer to users, but that does not mean that it’s going to affect each user the same. Cannabidiol imparts its benefits by supplementing the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. You can read a detailed explanation of the ECS here, but essentially it is a system within the body that produces chemical compounds that interact with a network of receptors to help maintain and restore balance to a variety of the body’s processes. When these processes are out of balance, it is the ECS job to get things back to normal. However, things like stress, injury, illness, diet, or environmental factors can make it difficult to do this job on its own. This is where CBD comes in. CBD helps to supplement the ECS in restoring the body to balance. Because different users have different biological factors and different internal needs, CBD will affect each user differently.
Myth #9: Marijuana use causes cancer
It is true that marijuana smoke contains carcinogens, which are cancer causing agents. However, because even the heaviest marijuana smokers consume less marijuana than cigarette smokers do tobacco, it is unlikely to cause lung cancer. A study performed at UCLA in 2006 hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana smoking and lung cancer, no such association was found. Additionally, marijuana does not need to be smoked to be consumed. There are a wide variety of edible and oral options in states where marijuana sales are legal.
Myth #10: All CBD is the same
Cannabidiol, the chemical compound, is going to be the same everywhere, but that does not mean that all CBD products are created equal. When found naturally in hemp, CBD is not just an isolated chemical compound, but rather a rich mixture of a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. These types of CBD products are known as either full spectrum or broad spectrum, and they are made by extracting all the cannabinoids in the stems, leaves, stalks, and flowers of the hemp plant. However, CBD can also be isolated in a laboratory and concentrated to 99.9% purity, and this is what we call CBD isolate. Full spectrum and broad spectrum tend to offer more therapeutic benefits because the cannabinoids of the hemp plant can work together in concert. This is known as the entourage effect. Additionally, it’s important to get CBD from a reputable source. Higher quality ingredients and more advanced extraction techniques yield a better product.
You also might be wondering if CBD even works! Read our blog on it here.
No! Marijuana does not kill brain cells and in some cases may help promote neurogenesis.
Yes! After the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp derived CBD was made federally legal.
No! Marijuana does not cause cancer. While marijuana smoke does contain carcinogens, there is no evidence that it is likely to cause cancer. Also, marijuana does not need to be smoked, it can be consumed orally or in edibles.
No! There are a variety of different CBD products, and they contain different dosages and chemical compositions. Also, producers using higher quality ingredients and equipment will produce a higher quality CBD product.
Busting the Myths
Having a better understanding of marijuana and CBD can help you to make informed and responsible decisions when deciding to incorporate either or both into your lifestyle. There are a lot more questions that need answered than just the myths we busted here, so if there’s anything you want to ask, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. If you prefer a more private consultation, our team would be happy to help you out, just follow our contact link.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, SCOTT JONES
Scott Jones is a freelance writer, author, and digital marketer from Akron, Ohio. He loves to research and write about any and all topics that fascinate him, including CBD. He could afford to watch a few fewer movies and eat a few more vegetables. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Instagram, or read other posts by Scott.