Top ways CBD is misunderstood

With CBD a popular health trend right now, there are numerous articles and posts on social media touting (or doubting) hemp-derived cannabidiol. Here is a roundup of the most common ways CBD is misunderstood.

The connection between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana

It's unfortunate that lawmakers in certain local jurisdictions across the U.S. choose to lump hemp and marijuana together as "illicit drugs." Both hemp and marijuana are members of the cannabis family, but each plant has unique distinctions. Marijuana tends to be high in THC and low in CBD, while hemp is low in THC (legal limit of 0.03 percent) and high in CBD.

Both marijuana and hemp-derived CBD can be used recreationally and medicinally, though because CBD from hemp doesn't offer a euphoric high like marijuana, it is used mainly by people who are addressing a variety of health conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Hemp is also used for a variety of industrial purposes.

So while there is a connection between hemp and marijuana, the plants serve different purposes.

CBD's legal status

Hemp-derived CBD's legal status has long been misunderstood, both by lawmakers and law enforcement. And while the passage of the Farm Bill at the end of 2018, which legalized hemp at the federal level, was cause for celebration, continued raids and arrests of CBD shop owners in 2019 makes it clear that there is still a great deal of confusion.

The FDA, which now has oversight over CBD, isn't helping clear up the confusion anytime soon. While it acknowledges the Farm Bill's impact on hemp, it claims that CBD cannot be added to food products without being in violation of FDA rules. The organization plans on holding public hearings to figure out the best way to move forward.

Keep in mind that just because hemp is now legal on a federal level, the Farm Bill still allows states and local governments to regulate hemp and CBD. To avoid legal troubles, research the laws in your area.

CBD will get you high

Marijuana and CBD offer distinctly different experiences for the user. Marijuana is known for its trademark euphoric high, while CBD offers more subtle effects that allow one to continue on with their daily activities, such as caregiving, without impairment.

That's why CBD is typically used for wellness purposes, because it offers a natural way to treat anxiety, depression and pain without the debilitating side effects of opioids or the high of marijuana.

CBD is not psychoactive

I've been guilty of saying hemp-derived CBD isn't psychoactive like marijuana. Technically, anything mood-altering that can successfully treat conditions like anxiety or depression is having an active effect on your psychological well-being. A more correct description would be to say that CBD doesn't offer the euphoric high that marijuana offers users. CBD can offer a calming, soothing, relaxing effect, but doesn't tend to provide a "head in the clouds" sensation that marijuana is known for.

This is more of a semantics battle, but it is important that first-time users know that they may feel some similar effects to marijuana, without getting "stoned" or "high."

CBD is a miracle drug

CBD is not a cure-all, and one should be highly skeptical of any company touting its CBD product's ability to cure cancer or reverse Alzheimer's. The way I describe CBD is that it can provide potentially effective support to your already-established health regimen. If you take CBD alone but don't do anything else to treat your particular condition, you'll probably be disappointed in the results.