Is CBD Just a Placebo?
Is CBD Just a Placebo

The topic of CBD efficacy can often stir a rousing debate. I am sure I am not the only one who has received a verbal ear beating about CBD being a placebo by non-believing friends. I have also frequently seen many change their mind after trying reputable products. 

With a vast array of products on the market and a lack of regulation, these aren’t always easy to find. As a result, many are finding themselves in possession of ineffective CBD. When they discover this, they often believe it to be representative of the entire industry.

While there are times that CBD may be ineffective for a specific need, it’s more often a poor product. This has been my experience at least. 

Cannabis as a whole has often existed in two extreme schools of thought. The first is cannabis as absolutely limitless in potential, able to cure anything. The second is the perception of a “snake oil salesman,” having no potential at all. 

I have two personal friends who didn’t believe CBD was effective after having tried it many times. Both of them changed their tune after trying CBD that I personally sourced from trusted vendors.

Another friend once told me they believed in CBD but “not that it cures everything.” I responded that this was absolutely true and that “almost nothing cures everything.” This insane standard gets placed on natural remedies but never on ones made in a lab. Nobody expects Tylenol to be a cure for everything.

The issue with both of these schools of thought really comes down to a lack of scientific study and years of misinformation. 

So what does the science say?

Interestingly enough, the endocannabinoid system actually assists in the placebo effect, It is important to remember that the placebo effect doesn’t mean that there is no effect at all. It’s much more interesting than that since placebo effects are a real reaction to a fake medication. 

Research is showing that the CB1 receptor is partially responsible for this phenomenon. The fact that we are able to benefit from the belief that something might help is incredibly interesting.

But is CBD a placebo itself? 

With a varying level of quality among cannabis companies, some CBD products could contain such a low amount of CBD that it truly could come down to the placebo effect. That isn’t because the cannabinoid is ineffective, however. 

Studies have frequently measured CBD against a known placebo. Namely, this research was for a potential treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, anxiety, and pain, to name a few. In each of those studies, CBD came out on top with a statistically significant improvement. 

One way to ensure you are getting quality CBD products is by buying them from a reputable source. Buy from businesses that truly believe in the power of the plant and know it has the ability to help others. 

Most importantly, buy from businesses that believe in their duty to ensure a quality product through reporting. CBD products without a QR code to safe reporting are not trustworthy as quality products.

Is CBD Psychoactive?

The answer, technically speaking, is “yes,” but it may not be how you think. The term “psychoactive” actually refers to anything with the ability to affect your mind and/or mood.  A lot of people associate psychoactivity only with things like THC or alcohol, but anything that alters the way you feel or think is psychoactive 

Based on this definition, everything from coffee to heroin fits in the classification of “psychoactive.” When people ask if CBD is psychoactive, they’re often really asking how the product will make them feel. The real question often is: “is CBD intoxicating.” The answer on that front is “no!” 

CBD does not impair or intoxicate but it is absolutely psychoactive.

CBD’s psychoactivity is evident through the fact that it is a strong anxiolytic, anti-depressant, and anti-inflammatory (among others.) These properties are what provide value to the plant but the word “psychoactive” can scare some off. This is due to its long association with the intoxicating effects of THC. That and the lengthy amount of time that it has been broadly misused.

Though “psychoactive” is often shorthand for “intoxicating,” there is nothing wrong with psychoactivity. Nearly everything we consume has an effect on us in one way or another. While CBD does calm the mind, its effects and benefits are far-reaching for our mind, body, and spirit.

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