For every new store that picks up CBD, or every article that comes out praising its benefits, there’s someone out there, whether it’s a medical professional or just some Joe Schmo with too much time on Twitter, claiming that CBD is a hoax. And while it could tempting to dismiss CBD given that there still isn’t a ton of research showing its effectiveness, it can also be a dangerous stance for those who might benefit from the oil. With all the hype, it can be hard to distinguish between fact or fib, myths or the truth.
We love CBD, but we know it doesn’t cure cancer and its claims like these that can be harmful and block out what it actually can do.
So, is CBD a hoax? It depends on what claims you’re looking at. If you see a claim that says CBD can cure your cancer or your Parkinson’s or grant you immortality, you should be skeptical. But if you dismiss claims that CBD can help treat cancer or can ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s, or help you feel your best in order to live a better life, you might be missing out.
To get a better idea of what CBD can (and can’t) do, let’s dig a little deeper into the history, the science and the claims behind what CBD can do.
CBD first came on the scene when parents of children suffering from epileptic seizures, who were fed up with conventional medicine, began treating those children with CBD. In a New York Times article entitled, “Can CBD Really Do All That?” Moises Velasquez-Manoff describes the meeting of two parents, one with a Ph.D in neuroscience, and their desperation to stop seizures in their children. A study performed in Brazil treated eight epileptic patients with CBD and eight with a placebo. In the group with the CBD, half of the patients experienced complete relief from their seizures and another three found significant relief. Armed with this knowledge and her neuroscience background, one mother went on a mission to find (back then CBD was incredibly hard to come by) the right compound to treat her son.
While Manoff’s article goes into much more detail, the journey of these parents, and the relief their children found, helped contribute to the explosion of CBD we’re seeing today. One parent described life as “the twilight zone” after seeing the relief CBD offered their son. But, here’s the thing, while CBD immediately helped one child, others didn’t see the same results. And it’s this information that we must consider when looking at the claims surrounding CBD.
CBD and THC both work with the Endocannabinoid System. The receptors in this system help keep our bodies balanced. It helps our body return to our baseline health after being disturbed or injured. When we’re injured, cannabinoids increase to resolve any inflammation or other damage received. Given what we put into our bodies today (versus thousands of years ago), our bodies are often in a constant state of “protection” and inflammation, and excessive inflammation is the cause of many illnesses and symptoms. This system contains CB1 and CB2 receptors and these receptors react to CBD and THC.
These receptors act like a lock to a cell. With the right key, it opens up to receive different compounds or electrolytes, or the materials it needs to make a new cell. CB1 is found in the brain and reacts with THC, this is what can make you feel high. The CB2 Receptor is found throughout the rest of the body. It works primarily as an immune regulator but also impacts other parts of the body like the pancreas and the GI system. In many ways, CBD is considered “safer” because it works with the rest of the body without tweaking the parts of the brain that cause a “high.” Certain cannabinoids also display antibacterial, antifungal, and insecticidal properties.
Given its newness and the success that has been seen in certain areas like epilepsy, it’s no surprise that many people want to say that CBD is a miracle, cure-all drug. Still, others say it’s just a clever marketing ploy, snake oil if you will. The right attitude and approach to CBD falls somewhere in the middle.
Here are a few claims you might see out there about CBD.
“CBD Didn’t Work For Me, So It Doesn’t Work At All”
While it’s tempting to dismiss CBD when your best friend says they tried it but CBD just didn’t work for them…think about all the things this is true for. Their favorite pair of jeans probably don’t fit you the way they fit them…they might need 3 cups of coffee to get going in the morning while you only need one…they might avoid ice cream because of a dairy allergy while milk doesn’t seem to bother you at all. We’re all different.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for most problems or even medications so why would we think it’s going to be any different with CBD?
Don’t dismiss something that could help you just because someone says it didn’t help them.
“CBD Companies are Fishy”
It’s true, some are. But some aren’t. The challenge is that CBD is not regulated by FDA. While this is a perk in a lot of ways, it also means that there are a lot of shady companies out there selling products that claim to be CBD oil but really don’t contain any CBD at all. It’s the unregulated oils that are the scam.
Before you buy, check the bottle. Try to get broad-spectrum CBD and look for CBD in the active ingredient list. If the ingredients aren’t on the bottle, ask for them. If they won’t provide them, turn around.
Tip: You should also look for a Certificate of Authenticity (more on this later!).
“CBD Fixes Everything”
It’s a running joke on the internet that if something is wrong, you can just rub CBD on it. While this is funny as long as it’s seen as joke, taking these claims seriously can damage CBD’s reputation when they don’t prove to be true.
If you look to CBD to cure all your ails, it’s going to look like a hoax. When you shout “CBD is a hoax,” to the world, others who could benefit from CBD might overlook it.
Be reasonable when it comes to what you expect from CBD, just like you would with any other supplement.
CBD is not a hoax. CBD is not a marketing ploy. But CBD is not the solution to all your problems. If you’re thinking about trying CBD, be smart about where and what you buy. Do your research. Look at it as a solution to one problem (Migraines? Anxiety? Insomnia?), not every problem.
Track your progress and try it consistently over a long period of time, not just a few weeks.