Cannabidiol (CBD) has become popular during the past several years — and for good reason. This active compound of cannabis is proving to be beneficial to many people suffering from conditions that are either hard to treat or require prescription medicines that are hard to take.

CBD has appeared just about everywhere, from grocery store shelves to gas stations to clothing stores. It can be hard to know who to trust and what companies make safe products.

It's important to be able to discern fact from fiction and make choices to serve your needs, whether it's reducing pain or stress, improving your sleep, or just general supplementation.

CBD oil © r.classen /

Why all the hype surrounding CBD?

Even though it’s a relatively “new kid on the block,” a lot of misinformation about CBD gets around.

Some say CBD is illegal because it comes from the cannabis plant, CBD’s benefits are just the placebo effect, or that CBD can cure everything. The list of rumors and myths about CBD is long because the cannabis plant is new in Western applications and the research is young.

The following table presents some common myths about CBD, along with the actual facts.

Fiction Fact
CBD can cure anything This idea is the myth of all myths about CBD. In reality, CBD has been shown to help some conditions; like anything, results vary.
CBD is a scam. CBD has a lot of legitimate uses.
CBD is a Schedule 1 narcotic drug, which means no one has done any research on it. CBD is now descheduled, and both official, government-sanctioned research and anecdotal evidence around it do exist.
The CBD industry is full of discrepancies and is unsafe. CBD hasn’t been shown to physically harm anyone.

The timing of the legalization of CBD couldn’t have been better. More and more people are looking for alternatives to traditional Western health care, which tends to treat only symptoms. Natural and alternative medicines such as CBD look to the whole and to the underlying causes.

CBD’s compatibility with the human body is truly remarkable. CBD and other cannabinoids address a general balance in the body that can potentially ease symptoms caused by a core condition. It may even address the condition itself in some cases.

Using cannabis without the 'high' feeling

Can CBD get you high? No. CBD doesn’t get you high because it has nothing resembling psychoactive, psychedelic, or hallucinatory properties.

The cannabis plant, hemp’s cousin, became famous as a psychedelic drug. Cannabis contains hundreds of chemical compounds. CBD is one of them, as is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the substance responsible for creating the psychedelic experience. But the fact that CBD and THC appear in the same plant doesn’t mean they’re the same thing in form or function.

Legally, full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD products can have up to 0.3 percent THC, but that amount won’t get you high. Make sure you’re buying quality products with reputable origins and proper testing and labeling, and you don’t need to worry about the high issue.

Anybody in the cannabis space as a whole will tell you that no one has ever fatally overdosed from using cannabis. The studies and anecdotal evidence around CBD all indicate that the side effects are few and far between. And these side effects are only mildly relevant in the scheme of things, especially compared to what you’re trying to treat.

The more serious side effects include possible contraindications with pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drugs. Some of these medications are processed through the liver, as is CBD. Check with your doctor regarding all the drugs you’re taking and the spectrum of potential drug interactions between those and CBD.

Addressing conditions and medical concerns with CBD

The most common CBD offering is full-spectrum tinctures, but you can also find capsules, powders, balms, and salves. Some companies create very targeted ingredients with CBD; some make products with CBD and other ingredients designed to address specific conditions.

Research and anecdotal evidence for the many uses of CBD continue to expand. Broad applications showed success in inflammatory relief, and evidence indicates CBD can address topical conditions like eczema, scarring, and acne. Now researchers are testing extra functions such as antimicrobial and antifungal qualities.

CBD may also help the more than 50 percent of Americans who suffer from chronic pain, sleep, and anxiety conditions. Help with chronic and acute pain, stress reduction, and relief from depression and sleeplessness are some of the reported internal benefits of CBD.

Other applications include gut health, mental fog, arthritis, exercise fatigue, and more. The formal medical uses are limited because of CBD’s novelty, but they show a lot of promise.

Finding the right dose is important when you start using CBD for your particular needs. Titration is the process of determining how much you need to take to get the effect you want. Really, taking a bigger dose than necessary just ends up being more expensive. Across cannabis and hemp, 10 milligrams is generally considered a baseline dose.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Blair Lauren Brown is a plant-medicine veteran and cannabis expert, She’s been involved in every aspect of hemp and cannabis from cultivation to formulation, and medicinal applications of the plant to brand development. Blair is the in-house wellness expert and co-founder of Poplar, a modern drugstore, focusing on all-natural solutions for pain, stress, and sleep, including CBD and more.

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