5 most common myths about CBD hemp oil
In the media buzz surrounding the topic of hemp, it is sometimes difficult to tell the valuable and confirmed information from the hype, fake news and full–fledged lies. The sensationalist media are the ones to blame here, but the over-zealous cannabis aficionados do not make things easier. As a result, even those more or less familiar with the subject will spread myths and half-truths every now and then. “Medical marijuana”, “cure for cancer”, “psychoactive oils”—half-baked catchphrases fly across the mediasphere like bullets, while innocent CBD hemp oil gets ricochet shot. Therefore, to sort things out at least a bit, we decided to dispel some of the most common myths about CBD hemp oils as much as try to explain where their popularity stems from.
One more thing. Before we start reviewing the most common myths, note that only the UK market is discussed here. While some points apply to hemp products around the world, others will only relate to the situation in the United Kingdom; as the legal status of hemp and cannabis products differs from country to country, so does their admissible composition.
1.CBD hemp oils are psychoactive
As the main ingredient in the oils, the CBD itself does not produce a psychotoxic effect (similarly to the rest of the cannabinoids found in CBD hemp oils such as CBDa and CBC). It may be interesting that the CBD does actually act in interesting synergy with the psychoactive compounds (this happens, of course, in the case of Cannabis, where the psychoactive compounds can actually be found), but its role is… to tame the psychotropic activity of THC and its counterparts!
Now, where did this myth come from? Apart from the most obvious source—the identification of all cannabis and hemp products with marijuana—there are at least two oily products that could have caused the confusion. The first is the controversial, rich-in-THC RSO oil (Rick Simpson Oil), which, besides a number of possible, as yet not properly researched health benefits, has a strong psychoactive effect. The second product that might be confused with CBD hemp oils by ill-informed consumers is hash oil, the condensed form of an already condensed form of marijuana; a very potent black market product. Needless to say, both of the abovementioned oils not only differ greatly from CBD hemp oil, but they are also illegal in most countries.
2. CBD hemp oil is made from Cannabis Indica plants
This myth is quite easy to deal with. It only takes following the origin of the product available on our market to dispel it. As mentioned before, for the cannabis product to be available in the United Kingdom, it must come from certified Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa. plants, while Cannabis sativa L. subsp. indica, which is beloved by potheads, is a different subspecies of Cannabis (though some typologies list Cannabis Indica as a separate genus parallel to Sativa, apparently, so the typology is not so strict here).
Where does this misunderstanding stem from (pun intended)? The first thing is that the “cannabis indica” phrase has been so well domesticated by the popular culture (arguably also because being “Indian” adds an orientalising, “mystical” touch to the world’s most popular illegal drug’s image), that it has practically become synonymous with “hemp” as such. But the second cause of this popular confusion is that there is actually also a grain of truth to this myth: Cannabis Indica plants do, in fact, contain CBD, so in countries where it is legal to trade in their products, there might be CBD oils produced from the Indicas. However, they will often, along with the CBD, contain significant amounts of psychoactive ingredients.
3. CBD oil cures…
Compared to the other myths and half-truths we are dispelling here, this one is exceptionally perilous and potentially dangerous. Let’s start with the fact that although CBD itself is being better researched every week, and the results are promising, it is not a medicine on its own.
So let’s make it clear: the CBD hemp oils available without prescription are not medical products. These products are regulated as dietary supplements and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Any quasi-medical statements along the lines of “CBD hemp oil heals this or that”, are not only cynically foraging on the hopes of consumers, but they are also simply illegal! This issue is so sad—as a result of irresponsible marketing (also whisper campaigns), often based on horrendous statements like “CBD oil cures cancer”, the whole market, including honest manufacturers, could suffer, or even get a full ban.
Where does this myth come from? Cannabis, in all forms, has been used in folk medicine for millennia, with a number of their beneficiary properties being proven. But there is still a long way to go for hemp as such, and for hemp-derived products to be recognised as medicines—in fact, there are no grounds for most of them to apply for such status.
4. CBD hemp oil is actually medical marijuana
This misunderstanding has already been discussed by us on various occasions, but since it is a topic which is both controversial and delicate, it is always worth repeating some basic distinctions. The CBD hemp oils available as food supplements have nothing to do with medical marijuana. Firstly, they are made from a different plant species than “medical marijuana”. Second, only a very specific form of cannabis (unpollinated female inflorescences) can be called “marijuana”. Last, but not least, even marijuana itself and “medical marijuana” are two very different things, the latter being, of course, subject to dozens of strict regulations. We can see, then, that CBD hemp oils are three major degrees of separation away from “medical marijuana”: different species, different preparation, different product class.
Where does this myth come from? In countries where the medical marijuana market is well regulated, there are, actually, medical-grade CBD tinctures and oils available—such preparations are made from plants used to obtain medical marijuana, and meet the purity requirements for pharmacological products. This is a very specific case that has nothing to do with the CBD hemp oils available as food supplements in Europe. By the way, there is one thing to keep in mind here: especially on American sites, it is easy to come across articles claiming that CBD from hemp is somehow worse than the “medical” one. This obvious simplification stems from the fact that many producers of hemp oils care little for the proper composition of their product: for preserving the natural cannabinoid profile, including naturally occurring terpenes, flavonoids, etc… However, this problem can be remedied by simply choosing good quality hemp oils, as the CBD itself will always remain the same substance.
5. CBD products are illegal
Finally, a myth which is, fortunately, becoming less and less widespread among conscious consumers, yet still persisting in the media, and among the public allergic to any mention of cannabis. As we stated at the beginning, hemp cultivation is legal in most European countries, although under strict stipulations. Thus, CBD hemp oils are legal provided that: they are made from plants of the Cannabis Sativa L species, which contain less than 0.2% of THC and are grown in the EU from specially selected and certified seeds. These regulations are strict but fair and there are more than a few producers providing CBD hemp oil from legitimate sources. The rule of a thumb for the consumer is fairly simple here: choose a professional product from a certified supplier with a proven quality system, and you have nothing to fear.
As the popularity of hemp products, and CBD hemp oils in particular, grows, so does the public awareness, and the most preposterous common beliefs gradually fade away. At the same time, however, new half-truths and urban legends emerge, often distributed by irresponsible (or cynical) producers and overhyped enthusiasts. Equating marijuana with hemp and the presumption of psychoactive activity of the latter, once quite common, has given way to misunderstandings of a much more subtle, yet perfidious nature: quacks and frauds of all sorts are trying to cash in on consumers’ naivety and good will, advertising CBD hemp oils as a universal panacea, and making irresponsible quasi-medical statements. We, therefore, call for sensibility when dealing with any particularly optimistic reports on CBD—in any case, a healthy dose of scepticism and a habit of corroborating information on one’s own is a crucial skill, especially now in the fake-news era. Cannabis is a wonderful plant with dozens of useful applications; it does not need artificially inflated sensations and online myths to deserve the attention of consumers.