Every day, in every way, cannabis legalization in Canada is getting closer. But despite all the hype, noise, and publicity, there seems to be recurring cannabis myths flying around that just won't quit. Until cannabis is legal, our Canadian content partner Grow by Daily Hive, tackles common myths by cutting through the stigma and sensationalism to bring you the facts about cannabis.
Myth: CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis.
Fact: While cannabidiol (CBD) is non-intoxicating, it can produce psychoactive effects.
CBD is a compound found in cannabis, and even in other plants such as hemp and hops, that has been garnering much attention for its medical and therapeutic benefits. While it is often referred to as non-psychoactive because it does not produce the same intoxicating effects as THC, CBD does, in fact, interact with the brain with psychotropic implications. Put simply, psychoactive refers to an effect on one's mental processes, such as cognition or mood.
Intoxication is characterized by alterations to consciousness, perception, judgment, behavior, and psychophysiological responses, among other conditions.
“When we think about intoxicating effects, typically we see a disruption of motor skills, thinking, impairment, and general alertness,” said Alexzander Samuelsson, lead chemist at Nextleaf Solutions of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada.
“CBD was actively bred out of many of the cultivars (strains) in the black market,” Samuelsson told Daily Hive.
This is primarily due to the fact that CBD doesn't produce the kind of high you get from consuming THC, and because CBD can actually modulate the effects of THC.
“When you mix THC with CBD there is a vast difference in effects and a decrease in impairment,” Samuelsson said.
Although the research into this phenomenon is ongoing, it has been hypothesized that CBD interacts with CB1 receptors in the brain to decrease the uptake of THC, which ultimately lowers levels of intoxication. Among its therapeutic effects, CBD is being looked at as an effective anti-anxiety drug for humans and other animals.
Several studies note the anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and anti-intoxicating effects of CBD on mood disorders and related symptoms. Subjects have also stated feeling an overall pleasurable sensation.
By definition, CBD's effect on the brain and mood means that it is indeed psychoactive.
Why does this matter?
The cannabis prohibition era is steeped in false news and misinformation. As legalization moves ahead, it is imperative to be careful with the language used and claims made about the cannabis plant. Regardless of whether the information put forward is positive, accuracy is key for people to make informed decisions and form opinions based on facts and evidence. Calling CBD non-psychoactive is not only incorrect, but it can also potentially be harmful to someone who does not understand the possible psychological effects it can have.
About Grow by Daily Hive: Grow is the cannabis-centric division of Daily Hive, Canada's leading online publication for hyperlocal news. (twitter: @dailyhivegrow)