Understanding CBD: The Facts

CBD has become rather popular in the realm of wellness products over the last couple of years. There are still many questions and skepticism surrounding it. According to a 2019 Gallup poll, 35% of Americans were not familiar with CBD at all, while 14% use CBD oil products regularly. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most commonly misunderstood facts about Cannabidiol to help you better understand this natural compound as an option to help promote wellness.


1. CBD Is a Legal Substance

All the controversial aspects surrounding CBD stem from the fact that CBD comes from cannabis, the plant family that encompasses marijuana and hemp. Hemp-derived CBD was legalized at the federal level in the 2018 Farm Bill, also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The Bill legalized the growth and manufacturing of hemp that contains extremely low levels of THC. This bill allowed states to regulate CBD at their discretion. CBD is now legal in all 50 States with varying degrees of restrictions. Some states have legalized THC-free CBD oil only, while other states have adopted the federal regulations on hemp-CBD, which allow plants and products with less than 0.3% THC. With varying state laws surrounding CBD oil, there is some confusion and misunderstanding about the legality of CBD in the United States.

2. CBD Does Not Get You High

A common misconception about CBD, and one of the biggest misunderstandings is the notion that it will get you high. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid found in cannabis plants that causes the “high” or intoxicating effect. THC is not legal at the federal level, although some states have chosen to legalize it for medicinal use and recreation. Cannabis plants that are typically used for making CBD products contain only trace amounts of THC.

Legal hemp-derived CBD cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC. With only trace amounts of THC in CBD oil, the CBD counteracts the intoxicating effects of THC. CBD will not create a high effect on the user. There are some CBD oils that contain zero traces of THC (Broad Spectrum) for those who live in states where THC is illegal altogether or for those who may be concerned about taking CBD that contains THC.

3. CBD Is Not Addictive

Based on recent studies and addiction resources, CBD is not habit forming and is non-addictive. One study that compared the addictive properties of alcohol and opioid drugs to CBD oil found that CBD does not release chemicals in the brain that cause physical dependence, as addictive substances do. Withdrawal symptoms within the body occur when use of an addictive substance is stopped. Since CBD is non-addictive, it does not cause withdrawal symptoms, and the body will not need to use increased quantities over time.

CBD is generally safe to take, but there are some things you should know about taking CBD. Some people could experience minor side effects, drowsiness, dry mouth, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure. If you have any undesired side effects, simply stop using CBD, and the side effects will subside. It is rare but possible for someone to be allergic to CBD oil. CBD can also interact and/or interfere with other medications. If you are taking any prescription drug, it is recommended that you consult your healthcare provider prior to taking CBD. For the most part, CBD will not cause a dependency nor does it typically have a serious negative impact.

4. CBD Works Through Our Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is the system which CBD interacts with. The human body naturally produces chemicals called endocannabinoids that are very similar to the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, such as CBD, CBG, CBN, and THC. Endocannabinoids regulate many of our basic functions by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors that are sprinkled throughout the body, in the brain, organs, immune system, tissues, and glands. The endocannabinoid system regulates mood, memory, appetite, relaxation, discomfort, sleep, and immune function. When our bodies are not producing enough endocannabinoids, these functions can be negatively affected. CBD acts in the same way as an endocannabinoid when it enters our body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. This helps to return the body’s functions to a balanced state. CBD can help give your system an extra boost even if your body does produce the correct amount of endocannabinoids. The levels of endocannabinoids influence the cannabinoid receptors' ability to work as efficiently as possible.

5. CBD Is Safe For Pets

CBD is pet friendly and can help with a variety of ailments for pets. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system within their body that can benefit from CBD oil. It affects them in the same manner it affects us. CBD can help pets by alleviating discomfort, improving relaxation, and have a calming effect on the animal. CBD is also naturally occurring in our pet's bodies. There are a few minor side effects that can occur, including drowsiness, itching, vomiting, and diarrhea. If these side effects do occur, they should stop once the CBD has left the animal’s system. Like with humans, adverse effects from CBD are very rare. For the most part, CBD for pets can be a safe and effective supplement for your dog, cat, or even horse’s diet for better health and wellness.

6. There is a difference between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil

The difference in CBD oil and hemp oil is hard isolate because different people and companies use the terms differently and have meanings that vary. CBD oil refers to oil extracted from the hemp plant that contains high levels of CBD. CBD oil may or may not contain other cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant as well. Some would call this full-spectrum CBD oil, but some refer to hemp seed oil when they say hemp oil. For specifics on CBD and hemp oil terminology, take a look at our blog post on Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil.

7. All CBD Oils Are Not The Same

If you are new to purchasing CBD oil, you may not be familiar with the different kinds of CBD and what’s important to look for when searching for a reputable CBD product. Full-spectrum CBD means it contains the full array of compounds found in the plant it was extracted from, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Full-spectrum CBD oil has mostly CBD but also contains other chemicals found in the plant which can provide a wide range of benefits. Isolate CBD is pure CBD with all other compounds from the cannabis plant removed. It is CBD that has been “Isolated”. Only the crystalline or powdered form of CBD is left. There are different uses and benefits for each type of CBD oil.

Not all CBD companies adhere to FDA regulations, labeling requirements, and testing standards. This is a very important fact to consider. Since CBD oils are not all manufactured the same way, it is important to look for a few things to determine if the CBD is real and safe to use. You always want to make sure the CBD oil is tested to determine that the purity and potency is accurate and legal. For instance, CBD American Shaman tests all of our products internally and then sends each batch out for third-party testing as well. We publish all of our CBD lab reports for the public to see. We also make sure the hemp that is used to manufacture the CBD is grown organically in the United States to avoid harmful chemicals. We make sure the ingredients that are listed on the CBD product are recognizable to you. These practices are completed to avoid using CBD with unknown, unregulated, and potentially dangerous ingredients. To learn more about other steps you can take to ensure you are using safe and legitimate CBD, read our Real CBD Oil vs Fake CBD Oil article.

8. CBD Works Best With Other Cannabinoids

CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. When CBD is extracted and left in full-spectrum form with other cannabinoids and terpenes, the CBD oil tends to be more effective in the human body. Studies have shown that the full-spectrum CBD had faster and better results than the CBD isolate, which didn’t contain other cannabinoids. Other cannabinoids help speed up the metabolism breakdown and help process the CBD more quickly within the body for faster absorption.

9. You Can legally Fly With CBD

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), passengers are allowed to travel with hemp-derived CBD that contains no more than 0.3 percent THC and does not exceed the 3.4-ounce liquid limit. TSA agents are required to report any state or local violations that they may suspect. This especially pertains to states that still deem CBD with THC illegal. If you are planning to fly with CBD, make sure that it is legal in the states that you are traveling to.

10. Technically CBD Is Psychoactive

CBD is often described as “non-psychoactive,” this is a misconception. Psychoactive is defined as affecting the mind or brain. Since CBD affects the mind as it can affect mood, cognitive function, and memory; CBD is actually psychoactive. It does not create a “high” in the user like THC. A better way to compare the effects of CBD in relation to THC would be to say it is non-intoxicating. Intoxication means physical and mental functions are diminished due to a substance. CBD oil does not diminish mental or physical abilities, it simply affects the mind by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the brain to improve mood and promote relaxation.

The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While research has shown that CBD has the potential to help provide beneficial outcomes for several complaints, it is advisable to talk to a physician or other qualified healthcare provider when you have questions regarding any medical condition and when starting, augmenting or discontinuing any existing health routine.