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The age of the internet has brought with it super-fast exchanges of information across the globe, facilitating amazing advances in technology and research, and making knowledge more accessible than ever before. However, as with most technological advances, the internet is not without its flaws and also has a shadier side. Alongside more serious issues such as cybercrime and questions surrounding data security and privacy, the internet has also come to be used as a means to spread misinformation. All you have to do to see this is in action is to type in something along the lines of ‘Coronavirus conspiracy theories’ into a quick google search and you’ll be bombarded with unscientific claims about 5G and Bill Gates. Although some misinformation out there is pretty harmless (there’s a common urban myth that the brand name Adidas stands for All Day I Dream About Sports, whereas it’s actually named after its founder Adi Dassler), there are also examples where divisive and damaging ideas are being spread. And, of course, people are people, and sometimes someone just gets something wrong.
So, there’s at least a few misconceptions floating around about most things, and in the age of the internet, they’re quickly perpetuated. It’s no surprise then, that both CBD and vaping are no exception when it comes to false information, and that they too, are often not completely accurately represented. Given that CBD, vaping and indeed vaping CBD have all risen in popularity over the last few years, the internet has jumped on the craze, and, amongst the whirlwind of information, some factually inaccurate myths have trickled through. To help you sort the myths from facts, here are some common sentiments around that are, in fact, not true.
Myth #1 “CBD is just a trend, it doesn’t reallydo anything”
Yes, CBD is trendy, but it also has many beneficial properties. It’s true that CBD has been in a rather unique position as the CBD industry is growing and products are being sold and distributed at the same time as research into its benefits is still very much ongoing, and its many properties are just starting to be robustly determined. However, it’s most definitely not a passing trend. There is, in fact, already a large and growing body of research that points to a long list of different benefits that are associated with CBD, and this is only likely to grow and develop as time goes on.
Leading the way in CBD research for clinical applications is the disease area of epilepsy. With the first studies looking into the use of CBD in epileptic patients being published in the 1980s, the field has come far with the development and approval of the CBD-based medicine, Epidyolex, for the treatment of severe cases of childhood epilepsy both in the US and in Europe.
But CBD research is now expanding far beyond just epilepsy, and the evidence that is accumulating is showing that it has the potential to treat and alleviate symptoms of a whole range of different diseases. For example, CBD has been shown to have anti-psychotic effects in trials involving patients suffering from psychosis, such as schizophrenia. Findings to date showed that CBD seemed to be particularly effective in patients who were still in the early, less severe, stages of such debilitating disorders.
Addiction is another area where CBD is receiving attention, with studies focusing on the treatment and management of opioid addiction ending with positive results. One such study investigated the impact of CBD on feelings of craving and anxiety when induced with cues, in individuals with heroin-use disorder. The results of this investigation were positive, and, amongst other studies, lay the groundwork for more in-depth research that will hopefully, as with epilepsy, pave the way for future CBD-based therapies.
Next up, is pain. Ouch! Pain is the most commonly cited reasonfor the use of medicinal cannabis in the US. Whilst a lot of research into the analgesic (pain-relieving) properties of cannabinoids has focused on the combination of CBD and THC, the use of CBD alone for pain management is increasingly being investigated. Results from research into the analgesic effects of cannabinoids are promising so far, particularly in the treatment of chronic pain conditions which are often difficult to manage and where existing therapies have long lists of adverse side effects. Opioids in particular, currently present a significant problem, as although effective in alleviating acute pain, they are associated with many detrimental effects and are associated with the development of tolerance (where you have to take increasing doses in order to achieve the same desired effect), dependence and addiction. Medicinal cannabis, as well as CBD, are increasingly investigated as alternatives to drugs like opioids that are currently in widespread use for treating chronic pain conditions. As mentioned previously, initial research findings have identified CBD as having the potential to treat addiction to opioids as well.
CBD has also been shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of different anxiety disorders and is thought to have calming and anti-anxiety effects. There’s also a lot of literature emerging that presents evidence for this, from animal research that measures the impact of CBD on anxiety in rodents, to more advanced preclinical studies on groups of individuals with anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder, for example. Linked to anxiety, CBD has also been presented as a potential treatment for insomnia and sleep disorders, and it has been suggested that CBD could support normal sleep-wake cycles. This has been illustrated, for example, by a study that found CBD could improve not only the length but also the quality of sleep in a rat animal model study. Given that sleep and anxiety are often linked, and anxiety has often been found to cause poor sleep and vice versa, it makes sense that CBD would have the potential to alleviate symptoms of both sleep and anxiety, and could, therefore, be very effective for people that commonly suffer from both these symptoms.
So, clearly, CBD does have an effect on our body. Not only are studies being carried out where the impacts of CBD are measured by visible outward effects on our behaviours and body, but great efforts and energy are also being put into characterising the interactions of CBD with receptors and systems in our body that underlie its therapeutic effects. Understanding the underlying mechanisms that are driving CBD’s effects is crucial for discovering its effective use and for building public awareness and trust surrounding CBD and its benefits. Without going too deep into biochemistry, findings to date have shown that CBD interacts with receptors that are involved in a variety of cellular processes involved in anxiety, immune system regulation, serotonin production, pain signalling, and much more. A greater understanding of these interactions will impact the CBD industry, supplementing existing evidence to provide a well-rounded body of research that demonstrates not only the efficacy but also the safety of CBD products.
What has tainted the reputation of the CBD industry somewhat is its association with a wellness movement that is often driven more by trends and hype rather than hard evidence. The lack of regulation that is also prevalent in the CBD industry in many countries has also not helped this issue, with many dubious producers present in the market that muddy the waters and make it difficult for consumers to distinguish between facts and misleading or inaccurate claims. Beyond this, the lack of applied regulation has resulted in false advertising on a lot of CBD products. The Centre of Medicinal Cannabis in the UK carried out testing of CBD products currently on the market and was astonished to find that only 38% of the products they tested had a CBD content that was within 10% of what they advertised. Even more shockingly, one product they tested had absolutely no CBD in it whatsoever. All of these findings mean that it’s not surprising that many people view CBD as part of a hyped-up wellness movement, and not something to be taken seriously. If a lot of the products out there don’t even contain any CBD - no wonder there is scepticism among consumers.
Hopefully, our whistle-stop tour of some of the research out there demonstrates that there is a growing body of evidence for CBD’s many benefits and that although the industry is still learning, there are trustworthy companies out there that carry out third-party testing and are committed to providing their consumers with the highest quality products. CBD is here to stay and it really might be able to help you improve your health and wellbeing!
Myth #2 “Is that even legal?”
We know that this is confusing. In most of our minds, one of the big associations we have with cannabis is that it’s illegal. So now we’re being introduced to CBD, a component of cannabis or hemp, so it's not completely illogical to think that this too, would be against the law.
We’re here to blow that myth right out of the water, as CBD and CBD products are legal in the UK. What is prohibited, is the THC content of any CBD products, which has to be lower than 0.2% in order for products to be legally sold and distributed. In case you’re wondering why, THC is the intoxicating constituent of the cannabis plant, the one that is associated with the “high” sensation that is experienced by recreational cannabis users. If you do come across a product with a THC content of more than 1mg, it isn’t legal and we highly advise you to steer clear.
Myth #3 “But vaping CBD will get you high”
Once again, we understand why there’s confusion around this. CBD is associated with the cannabis plant (obviously, as it’s also found in it!), but CBD is not at all intoxicating. We’ve just mentioned it, but to hit it home, THC is the intoxicating component of the cannabis plant. The other cannabinoids present do not have intoxicating qualities, and so, at low levels or in the absence of THC completely, CBD products are not at all associated with getting “high”. It’s so important to make this distinction. Although CBD and CBD products have now been around for a while and are gaining popularity and widespread attention, these incredibly detrimental stereotypes and stigmas are still very much around.
It’s also really important to remember that CBD has been shown to be safe as it is generally well-tolerated and is not linked to the development of addictions or habits. Although the name cannabidiol can be daunting and sound clinical and talking about research and studies can make it seem like we’re dealing with a hard-core pharmaceutical drug, remember that CBD is, in fact, a natural plant extract that has been consumed by humans for centuries, with evidence for hemp cultivation dating back to ancient Mesopotamia around 8,000 BC. At Amphora, our vape oils are made with high-quality CBD distillate that is extracted from organic hemp. In addition to this, our products include terpenes, which are types of organic compounds that are naturally found in a huge variety of plants, including hemp and cannabis. Terpenes are thought to act synergically with CBD and the other cannabinoids that are also in the hemp and cannabis plant. This essentially means that terpenes and the cannabinoids work together to act most effectively in providing all the beneficial effects that are associated with medicinal cannabis and CBD. This synergy of the other natural constituents of the hemp plant to enhance the effects of more commonly known components, like CBD, is often referred to as the ‘entourage effect’. Research into the entourage effect, as well as the effects that other ingredients, like terpenes, might have in and of themselves, is also currently growing. For example, terpenes alone have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. It will be fascinating to see exactly how terpenes act to enhance the effects of CBD, but also what effects they have in isolation and how this links into the ability of CBD and hemp-derived products to improve our health and wellbeing.
Oh, and one other thing. The thought may have crossed your mind that vaping CBD, because the CBD is being heated to a very high temperature, and then inhaling it in the form of a vapour, might be associated with different risks. This is not unreasonable for you to think - there is, after all, a chemical reaction taking place. However, it is not thought that heating CBD and converting it into a vapourised form has any impact on its safety profile. It is believed that CBD is more bioavailable when vaped, which essentially means that it is more effectively absorbed by the body, but, importantly, this does not mean that it will have any intoxicating effects. The fact that CBD is more bioavailable in this form is due to the method of consumption and administration being more direct, not because it has increasing effects or because its properties are changing.
Myth #4 “Isn’t vaping just as bad as smoking?”
Yes, vaping and smoking appear similar, but they’re also very, very different. Cigarettes are composed of around 600 different ingredients, including tobacco and nicotine. We all know how a cigarette works, you light it and you smoke it. When burned, the 600 ingredients in a cigarette react to produce over 7000 different chemicals. No, you didn’t read wrong, no that last 0 isn’t a typo. 7000. And amongst those 7000, at least 69 are known to be carcinogenic. Smoking and its toxic ingredients are therefore known to cause respiratory illnesses and cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and strokes. Beyond those, it’s also been linked to an increased risk of disorders associated with immune system dysfunction, as well as eye diseases and tuberculosis.
Vaping, on the other hand, does not contain the myriad of toxic and carcinogenic substances that are present in a cigarette. The ingredients of different vape juices, or e-juices, vary greatly depending on the brand, flavour and so forth. A lot of juices do still contain nicotine, the addictive substance present in cigarettes. This is largely because vaping is consistently proposed as a smoking-cessation tool, something that allows smokers to quit smoking using a device that isn’t associated with such severe diseases, and doesn’t contain such a long list of known toxic chemicals. At the same time, it still allows users to maintain many of their ‘smoking’ habits. Something as simple as the fact that the physical action of vaping, and taking the time for yourself or away from other activities to vape, is maintained, and is key in making it such a viable alternative to smoking.
However, vaping is now coming in all shapes and sizes, and the industry is growing far, far beyond just producing products that are geared towards helping people quit smoking. Whilst the majority of vapers are still individuals who used to smoke (54.1% in Great Britain), vaping and e-cigarettes have taken on a life of their own, and new flavours and varieties are constantly emerging. One of these new vaping trends is, of course, CBD. The CBD industry is also currently seeing huge growth as part of a larger wellness and health movement that is rapidly growing and so it is no surprise that CBD vape products have been developed. In this way, vaping and e-cigarettes are moving away from traditional and historical associations with smoking, and can instead open up to a whole new area of wellness and wellbeing. By including compounds like CBD, vaping can even be harnessed to deliver therapeutic benefits. With the positive shift we are seeing, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for both the CBD and vaping industries. Through the development of CBD vape products, we will hopefully see a greater focus on the benefits that vaping can provide, specifically for our health and wellbeing, and not just because it’s a less damaging alternative to smoking. Currently, only 6.1% of vape users in Great Britain have never smoked, but perhaps the future will see a greater shift to people trying vaping, without ever having smoked, as part of a new, modern, wellness routine.
In short, vaping is widely accepted as a healthier alternative to smoking. Some of you might have heard of e-cigarettes or vaping products use-associated lung injury (or EVALI for short), which was widely reported towards the end of 2019. Although worrying, detailed investigations into the individual cases have now been able to identify that instead of e-cigarettes and vapes themselves being the cause of the reported illness, that it was the nature of the substances being vaped that presented the root of the problem. The CDC has found that the biggest factor in causing EVALI was the use of THC-containing vape and e-cigarette products that were obtained from untested and unreputable sources. They also found that vitamin E acetate, another ingredient in some vape juices, was linked to the incidence of EVALI. So, steer clear of any products that contain THC or vitamin E acetate, as initial investigations propose that vaping such products could be quite harmful to health. Here at Amphora, our products are completely THC and vitamin E acetate free, so that you can vape with peace of mind knowing that our products adhere to guidelines and are safe to use.
Myth #5 “All CBD products are untrustworthy”
As a rule of thumb, sweeping generalisations, like the statement above that “all CBD products are untrustworthy”, are not likely to be accurate. No, not all CBD products are untrustworthy, there are many reputable brands out there that act with integrity and produce high-quality, reliable CBD products.
It is the case, however, that the CBD industry has its share of ‘bad eggs’, which means you have to make sure that you are getting a good product. We’ve gone through some of the reasons why there are unreliable products and companies out there and shown just how misleading some of these claims can be (someone’s selling a CBD product without anyCBD? Really?), and why it is absolutely essential that you buy from reliable sources that carry out third-party lab tests. In essence, third-party testing is, as the name suggests, testing carried out by a third party, so someone completely separate to the company or producer of the CBD product itself. In this way, consumers have access to an unbiased chemical analysis of the product that they are buying, which is fundamental. This is especially true as CBD is a product that is often used for its therapeutic benefits, so ensuring the best quality product possible is hugely important given that individuals are looking to improve their health and perhaps even manage existing conditions, such as chronic pain, by using CBD.
So, if you’re looking for a CBD product, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for a Certificate of Analysis (COA). This will contain important information both on the CBD content, as well as on the presence of terpenes or other cannabinoids if it’s a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum product. In addition to showing you what is in the product, COAs also confirm what isn’t, by testing for an assortment of different toxins, pesticides and the like to ensure that there aren’t any dangerous or harmful chemicals present. All of our Amphora products are third-party lab tested, so, again, you can rest assured that our products are high quality and are free of ingredients or contaminants that could be harmful to your health.
You have to strike a balance here. An “all CBD products are untrustworthy” attitude is not a good one to have, as there are reputable brands out there and CBD from a reputable brand can be a great product that can help improve your overall wellbeing. On the other hand, not doing your research can mean buying a product that’s not up to scratch. Be critical of the brands you pick and make sure that they are taking the necessary steps to demonstrate the quality of their products, but don’t rule out CBD altogether, as it could be something that you’ll learn to love!
Interested in starting your wellness journey with CBD and vaping? Then you’ve come to the right place. Amphora products are all third-party lab tested, providing you reliable information on their CBD content and purity. Our vape products contain 20% natural CBD distillate that is extracted from 100% organically grown hemp, and our products are free from Vitamin E Acetate, PG (propylene glycol), VG (vegetable glycerine), MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil, pesticides, nicotine and THC. Our collection contains four bespoke CBD vape blends, that will help you find peace, mend sore muscles, inspire you to be creative or even help you sleep. Whatever your needs are, Amphora has you covered.
So we’ve learnt a lot and we’ve busted some myths. As the industry grows and as the research continues, we’re only going to become more knowledgeable on what CBD can do for us and how best to consume it. In the meantime, CBD’s potential to be used in a range of different ways that link to our wellbeing, from pain to anxiety, sleep to inflammation, is promising. With vaping CBD newly emerging as an effective and efficient way to take your CBD, why not give it a try and see what CBD could do for you.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.
Contributors | Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.