CBD Oil Benefits: Myths and Reality

There’s a question that begs to be asked about CBD oil – is it the snake oil of our time, the proposed cure-all, no-side-effects, elixir of life that was there waiting for us to discover it so we can live forever disease free, but in reality nothing more than a marketing fad? While, admittedly, no one will try to push CBD as a panacea, it can be said that the positive effects of oils derived from marijuana which contain little to no THC and a lot of CBD are being blown to mythical proportions. And CBD is not to blame for it – it’s just how people operate when they discover the next best thing. Just think about all the facial creams which are rich in antioxidants that don’t get absorbed through the skin and provide no actual benefits, it’s the exact same principle. So, it might be useful to separate the myth from reality of CBD oil use, or to be more specific, of CBD itself.

What We Know About CBD

There’s solid knowledge out there on the effects of CBD. For example, we know that CBD acts as an anticonvulsant, which means it stops or reduces seizures. We also knows it has anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties, meaning that it reduces anxiety and can also be used to manage psychosis. Then there’s the anti-inflammatory and pain reducing use. And it might have properties that make it effective in cancer treatment.

How Do We Know These Things

Now that we’ve established that CBD has certain medical properties – and it really has – you might wonder how we know all of these things. Some tests and studies must have been involved, right, because that’s how medical properties are determined. Well, the answer is both yes and no. Some of the evidence is purely anecdotal, which means it wasn’t observed in a medical study but from people’s experiences. While that doesn’t make it wrong by default, it should entice further examinations to get to the truth. And further examinations have been conducted. However, most of the scientific studies with CBD haven’t got to the point when they are done on humans, so what we know about CBD scientifically is mostly the information that’s got from animal testing. Although that’s how drugs usually get tested, we can’t know anything for certain, in the scientific context of the word, until CBD has been tested on humans for all its possible uses.

What We Fail To Acknowledge

So, where’s are the myths in there? Well, as far as we know, CBD works best when it synergizes with THC, which is how people get most of the medical benefits from marijuana, and CBD oils are usually very light on THC. The myth is in the efforts to present CBD as a single miracle chemical compound, instead as a player in a team of chemicals that are found in marijuana. We know, as much as we know anything about medical marijuana, that the main cancer fighting chemical in cannabis is THC. However, THC has its side effects, the same side effects that make potheads love it so much. There’s the high, sure, but the high itself isn’t a medical benefit, neither are the paranoia and short term memory impairment that are also caused by THC. But you know what balances out these effects of THC? CBD does. It reins in the undesired effects of THC, and plus it has some anti-cancer effects of its own. See how it works? The two play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses to work best, so separating them, as it’s done in CBD oils, doesn’t help develop the full potentials of either. There’s also the common myth that CBD is not psychoactive, and yes, compared to THC, CBD is as psychoactive as a molecule of water. But, if you compare that same molecule of water to CBD, you’ll see that CBD is indeed psychoactive, just as any substance which has calming, anti-anxiety properties is. It’s not drastic and dramatic as THC, but don’t let the subtlety fool you – CBD does affect psyche.

So To Wrap It Up

The whole point of discovering medical uses for marijuana is to provide alternative treatments to people who have certain medical conditions, while trying to reduce the negative effects of the treatment itself. It’s the same thing which happens with all medical aids and drugs, and it’s perfectly okay until things start to get blown out of proportion. So yes, CBD can be beneficial, but it doesn’t mean that every single molecule of THC in cannabis needs to be destroyed by processing or selective breeding. As most cannabis users know, balance is always the key to a great experience, whether you’re getting high or using cannabis to treat chronic pain. And CBD oils are everything but balanced.

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Never thought I'll become an enthusiastic smoker and an active promoter of the legalization "movement". I write for Private Seeds, sometimes on BuzzFeed and never for New York Times. I like traveling and I especially like to be where cannabis is legal. Soccer and especially Netherlands national team is my passion.