Cannabis Sativa Linn, also known as hemp, or vijaya in Ayurveda, has been a part of the Indian Ayurvedic system of traditional medicine for centuries. Cannabidiol or CBD, paired with Tetrahydrocannabino (THC), both compounds found in hemp, is an effective pain medicine and has been a vital agent in treating epileptic seizures and migraines, among other ailments.
However, CBD, a compound in the Cannabis sativa plant, has a social stigma attached to it, which stems from misguided perceptions and a lack of proper knowledge. Along with its medicinal qualities, hemp seeds have several nourishing properties, making them a very dense source of nutrients. There are many references to it being referred to as “the food of the gods”. It has been called 'Indrasana', the food of Indra, and 'Shivabooti', Shiva’s herb.
There are several fallacious claims attached to the use of industrial hemp and cannabis, and this has in turn largely left the industry with a monumental potential completely untapped. It should be noted that no law in India prohibits full spectrum cannabis leaf oil, which includes CBD as a compound. Licensed sale of cannabinoids, including CBD oil and tincture, is permitted in India once approved by CDSCO under the NDPS Act and the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The aim of this article is therefore to debunk myths attached to CBD.
Myth: CBD is a sedative
CBD is not a sedative. Most CBD from cannabis contains myrcene, which is considered to be sedative. Though CBD allows individuals to get a good night’s sleep, there is not a lot of evidence that suggests CBD makes you feel groggy or puts individuals in deep slumber.
Myth: CBD gets you “high”
CBD and THC are two different compounds of the Cannabis sativa plant. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol causes the psychoactive feeling of being high, a state of euphoria. The consumption of CBD alone cannot cause this particular high or provide the euphoria that THC does. Most people assume that CBD gets you inebriated or intoxicated because it is extracted from the same plant that THC is. This is not true.
Myth: CBD is addictive
Most people refuse to use CBD products because they believe in the preconceived notion that if you use them once, you cannot stop and you have to depend on them for a sustained period. According to research done by WHO, there were no signs of abuse or dependency caused in humans when it came to pure CBD.
Myth: CBD is not safe
In 2017, a detailed report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that naturally occurring CBD is safe and well-tolerated in humans (in relevant doses as per age/weight/sex) while not being associated with any public health effects. CBD products may be used as treatment option for common diseases like seizures, anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, acne, and even heart disease. It can also provide pain and symptom relief to cancer patients.
Myth: Cannabis leaf extract containing CBD is not legal
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act), which prohibits the use of recreational cannabis, does not apply to the leaves and seeds of the cannabis plants. This means cannabinoids (including but not restricted to CBD) extracted from the leaves of cannabis plants are completely legal and can be consumed under medical supervision.
In conclusion, we need to educate ourselves a lot more about CBD before forming any prejudiced ideals because most ‘facts’ that we read are myths as proven by the above findings.
Avnish Pandya is a co-founder of the Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO). This is not a paid promotion.