CBD: Fact VS. Fiction

CBD: Fact VS. Fiction

CBD or cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid that has recently gained popularity.  Now, everywhere you turn, CBD is in everything.  In Woodbury, you can find CBD everywhere.  With all the hype come claims of curing this and that disease.  So…does the research back up the claims?

What is CBD?

CBD is one of over 100 known cannabinoids with most of the current research focusing on THC and CBD.  CBD does not have any psychoactive properties. Simply put there is no potential to get “high”.  In fact, the endocannabinoid system was recently discovered as a signaling system, which is laced throughout the entire nervous system.  Feelings, such as a runners high or post-acupuncture/manipulation, all result from an upregulation of the endocannabinoid system.

The History of CBD

CBD has been used for over 8000 years!  Notable people that have used it include Cleopatra, George Washington, Queen Elizabeth, and Thomas Jefferson.  In fact, CBD was prescribed widely until 1937 when the Marijuana Tax Act was signed into law.  At this time morphine-based opioids were being developed for the treatment of pain and with pressure from the drug lobbyists, hemp-based products fell out of favor.  From that point on, hemp-based products were vilified…until recently. With the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp products were taken off the “naughty list”, and again allowed to be sold, distributed and consumed.

Where should you get your CBD information and CBD products?

The best source of CBD information is from trained health care professionals, not YouTube, or your favorite Instagram influencer! Currently, only 13% of professional schools have any education regarding CBD, THC and the endocannabinoid system.  The internet, google, and social media are full of misinformation regarding CBD!

Did you know that a recent study showed that as much as 70% of the products containing CBD do not include what their labels claim?  Buying products online increases the likelihood that your product will not contain the correct amount of CBD, if any, that is on the label.  There are also increasing reports of unscrupulous companies labeling products that do not contain CBD at all! In fact, when analyzed, these products contain other cannabinoids that are known for getting you high and potentially causing other health conditions.

There have been resent reports of vaping THC and CBD products causing respiratory diseases.  Many of these cases are from those vaping THC and nicotine products.  Only 7% of respiratory diseases caused by vaping contain CBD.  To be clear, I do not condone vaping at all, but it appears that most respiratory diseases are from vaping are due to those that contain THC and nicotine products.

With that being said, CBD products need be purchased from qualified health care practitioners that have thoroughly researched the products that they distribute.  Quality testing throughout the manufacturing process is of extreme importance! Many of the reputable companies will have their product independently tested and have that information readily available.  The products we carry at MN Spine and Sport have a QC code on the back of the bottle.  All you have to do is scan the code and the independent tests will be made available for your viewing.  Can you believe that many companies do not test quality at all!  In addition to quality, price gouging is rampant!  I have personally seen street vendors sell small bottles for over $300, and they had a long line of potential buyers ready and willing to make that purchase based on convenience and an assumption of trust.

Product Labels: The Bane of My Existence!

Product labelling can be very deceiving as well.  Labels such as Hemp Seed Oil, Hemp Extract, Cannabis, CBD and THC can be very confusing to the consumer.  Did you know that CBD and THC come from different plants?  CBD comes from Cannabis Sativa L., which is low in THC and high in CBD.  This species is known as hemp.  Cannabis Indica is the THC containing plant.  It contains about 30% THC and very little CBD.

Hemp seed oil is a product that is currently being sold and marketed as containing CBD.  While hemp seed oil contains omega-3 and 6 fatty acids as well as many vitamins and minerals, there is no CBD or THC found in the oil.  Many manufactures use the “Hemp” term to lure customers into purchasing their products.  BUYER BEWARE!

Hemp extract is another labelling term that you may see. Hemp Extract comes from the flower and where the CBD is extracted from.  Products that contain hemp extract contain CBD and are legal.  Some products may contain both hemp extract and hemp seed oil.  Be sure to check the amount of CBD to ensure that there are adequate amounts of CBD.

Another confusing term is full spectrum vs. isolate. Full spectrum CBD products contain all cannabinoids include CBD.  Full spectrum CBD has been researched to have better results due to its higher potency.  This is in part due to the other cannabinoids acting synergistically as it is found in nature. CBD isolate only contains CBD.  This contains no cofactors or other nutrients that help with CBD metabolism.

What Conditions Can CBD Help with?

Let me be clear, CBD is not a magic pill, silver bullet, or potion that will cure your aliments.  It can be a great adjunct to traditional care.  CBD proponents claim to cure everything from hemorrhoids to cancer, and everything in between.  The research only includes specific conditions, including pain relief, specifically neuropathic pain (like neuropathy or pain stemming from nerves) and joint pain.  CBD is anti-inflammatory and has many uses in musculoskeletal medicine.  Due to the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, many conditions, like IBS, MS, HIV, and stokes may be of benefit.  Again, I am not saying that CBD will cure these conditions.  What I am saying, based on the research, is that CBD may have a positive effect of these conditions.  Other conditions that CBD may help with include, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and drug withdrawal. However, most common conditions that CBD may help with include pain, sleep and mood.

Can you Fail a Drug Test?

Possibly!  Because Cannabis Sativa plant does contain a minimal amount of THC, a urine-based drug test may pick it up.  My recommendation is to request a hair sample because this is more accurate and has less false positives.  In addition, ask for a note from your treating health care provider note from your treating health care provider discussing that you take CBD for a particular condition.

Can you take CBD with other Medications?

Yes, you can!  At the present time there are no known interactions with medications.  However, there are some reports that CBD may act similar grapefruit when taking certain medications.  It is best to tell your prescribing provider because your medication dose may be adjusted.


Dr. Scott Schreiber is dually licensed as a chiropractic physician and nutritionist.  He is the owner of MN Spine and Sport in Woodbury, MN.  He is double board certified in clinical nutrition and rehabilitation as well as a certified nutrition specialist.