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    5 CBD Myths – Busted! By Bonnie Hagen

    By Bonnie Hagen, Founder of Bright Energy Wellness


    There used to be a discount clothier in the Northeast who advertised that “an educated consumer is our best customer.” It was a bold and confident brand statement because it’s basically a message about customer empowerment. It invited customers to ask questions and peek under the hood. As the Founder of Bright Energy, I  operate with the same transparency. I hope our customers will learn the fine points of CBD cultivation and processing, as they might with fine wines. That way, they’ll appreciate the extraordinary efforts Bright Energy has made to create the safest, most effective CBD products on the market. And they’ll be more alert to the lamentable shortcuts many of our competitors take. 


    As we educate the public about CBD, there are often challenges due to widely held but erroneous views of CBD. What follows are 5 such widely held views that are incorrect. We’d like to set the record straight!


    1 – CBD gets you high


    Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most famous cannabinoids derived from the hemp and marijuana plants. While THC is well known for its psychoactive properties, CBD is instead well known for its potent, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. CBD does not get people high. When CBD is partnered with THC, that combination becomes the foundation for medical marijuana, and some formulations can get people high. As long as your CBD bottle says “<.3 % THC” then you should not get high from the contents of it.


    2 – All CBD is the same


    It is correct to say that one molecule of CBD is the same as any other molecule of CBD. However, like anything else, CBD products have different levels of quality depending on how the plant was cultivated, processed, and formulated into a useable product. 


    Let’s start with how the plant was cultivated – prior to processing and formulation. CBD can come from either the marijuana or the hemp plant. No matter the source, CBD is CBD. However, if the plant was cultivated using chemical herbicides and pesticides, you can be sure that the roots of the plants absorbed these chemicals and made their way into the end product. Additionally, if there were other contaminants in the soil, such as mold, mildew, or heavy metals, you can be sure that those contaminants made their way into the end product as well. Unfortunately, those taking CBD to feel better might actually begin to feel worse because of the contaminants introduced to the plant while it was growing. To maintain optimal health, it is important to source your CBD from a reliable company that can demonstrate that there are no contaminants in the soil from which the CBD was harvested. 


    Secondly, the method of processing CBD has an impact on the quality. CBD has to be extracted from the plant in order to create the formulated end product. The method of extraction matters, along with the target of extraction.


    Method: Some processors use chemical solvents to extract the CBD from the plant. High-quality processes (such as CO2 and ethanol extraction processes) do not leave behind solvents that are dangerous if ingested. Beware of processors who use solvents such as benzene and hexane. There is always some residual left behind, and it is not healthy to ingest. Once again, those taking CBD to feel better might actually begin to feel worse because of ingesting these dangerous compounds.


    Target: How the CBD is targeted for extraction matters. Both the marijuana and hemp plants have hundreds of compounds, mainly cannabinoids, and terpenes. The two most famous cannabinoids are CBD and THC. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that determine the smell and taste of plants.  If the CBD is targeted for extraction by itself, without any other cannabinoids or terpenes, it is called CBD Isolate because it is isolated from the rest of the plant. If the CBD is targeted for extraction along with all the other cannabinoids and terpenes, it is called full-spectrum CBD because the CBD is included along with the full-spectrum of other compounds in the plant. If the CBD is targeted for extraction along with all the other cannabinoids and terpenes with the exception of THC (the cannabinoid that causes the notorious “high”), it is called broad-spectrum CBD because most of the cannabinoid spectrum is extracted, but not all of it. So, which is more preferable: CBD Isolate, Full-Spectrum CBD, or Broad-Spectrum CBD?

    Full-spectrum CBD is the highest quality CBD in the marketplace. The benefit of having all the cannabinoids and terpenes along with CBD is that they make the CBD more effective than just having the CBD by itself. This is called the Entourage Effect. Using a full-spectrum CBD oil means you will see results quicker and more extensively than either “broad-spectrum CBD” or “CBD isolate.”

    Without even a small amount of THC in the broad-spectrum product, the Entourage Effect cannot occur. While a broad-spectrum product is not as effective as a full-spectrum product, it may be useful to those who regularly get tested for THC, such as pilots and teachers. You will need more of the broad-spectrum product to get the same effect as a full-spectrum product, so do not let the lower price of a broad-spectrum product make you think you are getting a better deal.

    CBD isolate is sometimes referred to as “pure” CBD, which it is, but this product is not as effective as either the broad-spectrum or the full-spectrum product. CBD isolate is usually the cheapest of the three formulations, but, once again, don’t let the price fool you. You will need a lot more of it in order to gain the same benefit as either the broad-spectrum or the full-spectrum. 

    Now, let’s look at formulation. Besides the plant extract (whether it is CBD Isolate, Full-Spectrum CBD, or Broad-Spectrum CBD), what else is in the formula? If it is an ingestible, does it have artificial ingredients or fillers? Does it have sweeteners? Is it vegan, kosher, or non-GMO? If it is a topical, does it have parabens, formaldehyde, known carcinogens, or endocrine disruptors? Even the highest-quality CBD can be used in a less than desirable formulation. So, buy your CBD products like you would buy your food or personal care products. Look for ingredients you trust.


    It would be a mistake to conflate junk CBD and quality CBD, lest you write the compound off as a whole because of some shady producers. Don’t just buy the CBD with the prettiest packaging or the cheapest price. Take the time to research the source and know the product, so that you can maximize your benefit.


    3 – CBD doesn’t work for me


    There are many studies and anecdotal evidence of CBD’s healing properties. If you feel like CBD is not working, you may want to consider three things before you decide CBD is not for you: 1) the frequency with which you use CBD; 2) the dosage amount you are using; and 3) your product quality. 


    It is impossible to know if CBD works for you if you aren’t taking it consistently. The first step is to ensure that you are taking it every day. You may not notice any immediate effect because CBD has a cumulative effect. It might take a few weeks before you notice anything, so do not give up too quickly. Many people decide after two weeks that CBD doesn’t work for them. It is important to go for at least a month, and it is also important to evaluate the dosage and product quality as well.


    Dosing is more of an art than a science when it comes to CBD. Unlike antibiotics, or other traditional drugs, where the dosing is based on the patient’s condition and weight, CBD dosing is more of a trial-and-error exercise. The general rule of thumb is “start low and go slow.” Look at the label on your product and understand how many mg of CBD are in each serving. Start with a quarter of that and take the same amount every day. If you feel the need, after about a week, increase to 50% of the full serving size. Wait another week and if you feel the need to increase the dose, go to 75% of the full serving size. After about a week, go to the full 100% of the serving size if you feel you need to. If, after a week of taking the full 100% of the serving size you still do not feel any effect, do not give up! Perhaps you need a higher strength of CBD. After all, even Tylenol comes in regular and extra strength! 


    At the same time that you are being consistent with its administration and paying attention to dosing, it is important that you understand the quality of the product you are taking. Read the label and notice if the CBD is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate (see above for details). If the CBD is anything less than full-spectrum, you are not getting the full benefit of the Entourage Effect, and therefore you might need a higher dose. Additionally, if your CBD product has additives, fillers, residual solvents, or was not grown organically, these items can be canceling out the good effects of the CBD. 


    The hemp plant has been shown to have amazing healing properties. If you are not feeling healed by a hemp extract with CBD, don’t think that CBD doesn’t work for you. Through meticulous evaluation and implementation of your CBD regimen, you’ll be able to uncover what is preventing you from experiencing the benefits of this healing plant. And then you’ll be able to modify your regimen and see what the enthusiasm is about!


    4 –CBD is legal in all 50 states


    This is not the case!  


    First, the Farm Bill of 2018 stated that products derived from hemp grown on United States farms that operate with permission under Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (“Farm Bill”) are legal in all 50 states. So, if your best friend is growing hemp in his backyard and extracting CBD from it, it is not legal. Also, any CBD imported from another country is illegal to buy, sell, and use in the United States as well – even if it is legal in the country of origin!  


    Second, the Farm Bill distinguished hemp from marijuana, meaning CBD products are not considered drugs (unless they contain over 0.3% THC), and can therefore be used and distributed legally. So, if you have a CBD product with more than 0.3% THC, it is not legal according to federal laws.


    Third, despite the Farm Bill, the FDA has yet to produce any regulations relating to CBD. Since the FDA has failed to create rules regarding the production and sale of CBD, it cannot enforce safe practices on the industry. Therefore, many states have stepped up to the plate to regulate CBD within their own states. The result is a hodgepodge of wildly complex CBD laws throughout the U.S., with nearly zero states having exactly the same laws on CBD. To ensure that you are using CBD in a way that is in compliance with the law, take some time to research your state’s regulations on CBD.


    5 – CBD hasn’t been scientifically proven to help any health conditions


    The statement that CBD hasn’t been proven to help any conditions is simply not accurate. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication for seizure disorders. This is a monumental development. 


    While there are countless anecdotes about how CBD has helped certain health conditions, there are also many credible, randomized, double-blind scientific studies that have been done showing that CBD helps with health conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, inflammation, PTSD, colon cancer, migraines, glioblastoma and more. All one has to do is visit PubMedTrusted Source, the National Institutes of Health’s research archive, and similar resources.


    So, here you have it . . . .5 myths about CBD busted open! Hopefully, with this information, you are now empowered to make an informed purchasing decision and will start experiencing the healing benefits of CBD!