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Debunking Common Myths About CBD Oil: Separating Fact From Fiction

Written By Ellese Symons Jun 29th 2023
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 In poll results published back in 2019, nearly 40% of respondents believed CBD and marijuana were one and the same (Lake, 2019). Although CBD usage had nearly doubled in an impressively short amount of time, our industry still had plenty of barriers to overcome (Brennen, 2019). Although experts predict that 35% of US adults will be CBD users by 2024 (Julia, 2023), a considerable number of people who could benefit from the cannabinoid's health and wellness potential are still holding on to common myths that have been circulating for nearly a decade. 

We get it. Long-standing misconceptions and misinterpretations repeated often enough are eventually accepted as common knowledge. Whether your current beliefs about CBD's legality, safety, or possible impact on your body have you leaning in favor of adding the cannabinoid to your daily routine or against it, it's important to separate fact from fiction before finalizing your decision. 

Myth #1: CBD Oil Causes Intoxication  

CBD (cannabidiol) itself is non-intoxicating, whether sourced from hemp or marijuana (Brierly et al., 2016). The type of intoxication marijuana is known for is caused by its THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) (Iversen, 2003). Marijuana plants typically produce ample amounts of THC and varying amounts of CBD. Hemp plants produce a lot of CBD and only a small amount of THC.  

Myth #2: CBD Oil Is Addictive  

Hemp-derived CBD oil is not addictive. The World Health Organization found "no case reports of abuse or dependence" (WHO, 2020). THC's impact on CB1 receptors alters the natural flow of information and floods the brain with dopamine (Currin, 2020). People who use marijuana regularly can experience irritability, nausea, anxiety, weight loss, and poor sleep when they stop, withdrawal symptoms that can linger for weeks (Budney et al., 2004). 

Myth #3: All CBD Oils Are the Same  

Assuming all CBD oils are the same can lead to major disappointment. The best CBD oils are extracted from non-GMO, naturally farmed hemp. To ensure purity, potency, and product quality, reputable manufacturers rely on rigorous testing and provide access to batch test results by posting a Certificate of Analysis. There are also differences to consider in terms of product potency and the type of hemp extract used. There are three main types, full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. 

Myth #4: CBD Oil Works Instantly  

When you swallow CBD oil, it can take up to two hours (or more) for the cannabinoid to clear your digestive system. Holding a serving beneath your tongue is the best option for fast results, but you may not get the effect you're hoping for right away. It can take time for the system that responds to cannabinoids (endocannabinoid system) to adapt to CBD use. Age, weight, body composition, metabolic function, and reason for use can impact how long you may have to wait. Everyone is different. 

Myth #5: CBD Oil Is a Placebo 

A placebo is a substance (or procedure) with no known therapeutic potential. Researchers use them to ensure unbiased test results. Although people report positive or negative symptoms attributed to a "placebo effect," their experiences have more to do with expectations than a physiological response (Howick, 2019). Decades of research show that the cannabinoids in hemp oil interact with multiple molecular targets, including the receptors of the largest regulatory system in the body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Researchers believe CBD's interaction with ECS receptors promotes homeostasis (Sallaberry & Astern, 2018). 

Myth #6: CBD Oil Is a Marketing Scam  

There are numerous reports of bad actors profiting from consumer interest in hemp-derived CBD oil. There are also plenty of reputable CBD brands selling high-quality products. The best way to ensure you don't fall victim to product mislabeling and deceptive marketing is to be selective about where you shop, and which brands you trust. First, learn how to spot the most common deceptions. Then, don't buy any CBD oil product unless you can verify the total amount of CBD in the bottle, a number specified in milligrams (mg), by viewing its certificate of analysis. It's the best way to avoid getting scammed.   

Myth #7: CBD Oil Is a Gateway to Marijuana Use 

Gateway drugs are habit-forming substances believed to lead to the use of more addictive substances over time. Theory supporters believe nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana boost dopamine levels in a way that increases the likelihood of experimenting with opioids and other "hard" drugs as natural dopamine production decreases (Jaffe, 2018). Since hemp-derived CBD is not intoxicating or habit-forming, it doesn't fit that commonly accepted definition. For most hemp oil users, CBD products are more appealing than marijuana because they can deliver the health and wellness potential of cannabis without causing intoxication.   

Myth #8: CBD Oil Is Unsafe for Pets  

Unlike many other plant extracts, hemp-derived CBD oil is safe for companion animals (Miranda-Cortes et al., 2023). With that said, it's important to consider how the product is made. Although many brands claim their CBD oil tinctures are pet-friendly, many make those assertions for products made with carrier oils that are difficult for non-humans to digest. To minimize the risk of unnecessary discomfort, look for pet-specific products made with a blend of cannabinoid-rich hemp extract and hemp seed oil.   

Myth #9: CBD Is a Cure for Common Mood Disorders  

CBD is NOT a cure for any known health concerns, including conditions affecting moods and emotional regulation. Although most of our survey respondents report that CBD has a positive impact on mild or temporary anxiety, that's something that nearly everyone experiences from time to time. CBD should never be used in place of professional guidance or proper treatment. For any questions or concerns about your physical, mental, or emotional well-being, consult your healthcare provider. 

Should CBDistillery® CBD Oil Be Part of Your Health and Wellness Routine?  

CBD is the most abundant of more than 113 cannabinoids in hemp. Once crops are harvested and dried, the cannabinoid-rich oil is extracted from the plant's flowers. That extract is used as an ingredient in products that make it easy to add CBD's health and wellness potential to your daily routine. At CBDistillery®, you'll find an impressive selection of CBD oil tinctures, softgels, capsules, gummies, drink mixes, and CBD pet products. 

Based on the results of our 2019 customer survey, most of our 1,900 respondents report positive results using CBDistillery® products for relaxation, better sleep, mild or temporary anxiety, and pain, stiffness, and inflammation after physical activity. Now that you've had a chance to delve into some of the most common myths and misconceptions about CBD oil, maybe it's time to consider how you could benefit from adding a hemp-derived product to your daily routine. Of our many survey respondents, most report achieving their best results within 7-14 days of consistent use.    

If you're leaning towards trying CBD but not quite sure where to start, we invite you to take our 3-minute CBD Product Quiz or schedule a personal consultation. Our products are third-party tested, manufactured in an A-rated NSF cGMP-registered facility, and backed by a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. You'll find a Certificate of Analysis on our product pages and a scannable QR code to direct you to our batch test results on every label. 


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Brennen M. (2019) 14% of Americans Say They Use CBD. Gallup. 

Brierly D, Samuels J, et al. (2016) Neuromotor Tolerability and Behavioural Characterisation of Cannabidiolic Acid, a Phytocannabinoid with Therapeutic Potential for Anticipatory Nausea. 

Budney A, Hughes J, et al. (2004) Review of the Validity and Significance of Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome. 161(11) Am J Psychiatry 1967-77. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.161.11.1967 

Currin, G. (2020) How Does Cannabis Get You High? Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/how-cannabis-high-works.html 

Howick J. (2019) Placebos: What They're Made of Matters. The Conversation. 

Iversen L. (2009) Cannabis and the Brain. 126(6) Brain: A Journal of Neurology 1252-70. https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awg143 

Jaffe A. (2018) Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug? Psychology Today. 

Julia N. (2023) CBD Statistics: Usage Data & Demographics (2023 Update). CFAH 

Lake L. (2019) New Research on CBD Highlights Immense Consumer Confusion and Erroneous Assumptions. Consumer Brands Association. 

Miller P. (2020) 15 Countries Where CBD is Legal. Earth & World. 

Miranda-Cortes A, Mota-Rojas D, et al. (2023) The Role of Cannabinoids in Pain Modulation in Companion Animals. 9 Front Vet Sci. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2022.1050884 

Sallaberry C, Astern L. (2018) The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator. 34(6) JYI 48-55. https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator 

World Health Organization. (2020) Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report. PDF https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/controlled-substances/whocbdreportmay2018-2.pdf?sfvrsn=f78db177_2