Is CBD a Placebo?

CBD 101
Is CBD a Placebo?
Read Time: 4 minutes 

Since Lazarus Naturals was founded in 2014, hundreds of companies have emerged with bold statements about the effectiveness of CBD against pain, anxiety, and otherwise. With so much misinformation out there, many are left asking themselves if they're being scammed or falling victim to a placebo effect. We're here to cut the smoke and mirrors on some of these blanket statements, as well as discuss whether the placebo effect has any role in enjoying CBD. 

Does the placebo effect impact how CBD affects us? 

Pain is a complicated experience. Perception largely influences how pain is experienced, and it varies from person to person. In a recent study, scientists wanted to determine how much pain relief comes from CBD and the extent to which a placebo plays a role in pain relief.¹ Four small groups were either given CBD or a placebo and subjected to a mild discomforting shock to see if CBD reduced their level of discomfort.

The results discovered that CBD did seem to reduce pain in those that took it. However, some who were given the placebo also felt reduced pain. Even when participants were notified about the placebo effect, they still experienced it. With that said, the placebo effect may play a role in the effectiveness of CBD for some. Psychologically speaking, there is power in our beliefs that can alter our perception of certain stimuli.

That said, sometimes we may also be placebo affected into the idea we are experiencing more relief than we are. Still, evidence suggests that there are still direct physiological effects on the body from CBD.² Many studies have demonstrated that CBD could be effective in relieving chronic pain, as well as potentially offering antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. CBD may reduce pain—while the placebo effect may amplify its effects in some people. 

At the end of the day, the placebo effect is strong. Drinking decaffeinated coffee and believing it's regular coffee could still make you feel energized—and the same can be said for expecting relief from pain when taking CBD. The difference is this placebo effect is backed up by tangible physiological effects induced by CBD that can help reduce pain.

How to avoid CBD scams 

Even if you can experience a placebo effect when taking CBD, CBD itself is no snake-oil scam. There’s scientific evidence that suggests it offers beneficial physiological effects that could help improve your quality of life and make coping with daily pain and anxiety easier. However, there are a lot of CBD scams out there on the web. If you're looking to explore CBD for yourself, you should take care to arm yourself with the correct information before making purchases. 

Buying an inferior product is like throwing money out the window. Not only are they wasteful, but you're also likely to miss out on all of the potential benefits of a more effective, high-quality CBD product. Fraudulent CBD is also rarely lab-tested, so it could also contain more THC than legally allowed—potentially causing you to fail drug tests at work. They could contain residual solvents and other potentially dangerous ingredients that can make you sick, as well. 

A few common scams to look out for are products with misleading statements, such as "proven to reduce pain" or "pain-free guarantee." You should also avoid purchasing from companies that claim CBD can get you off of prescription medications, which could prove extremely dangerous to your health. Talk about counterintuitive.

Another frequent CBD scam involves free trials or being sold at bargain-bin prices. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Cheap CBD that uses vague terms like "high potency" or "strongest formula" without proper lab-tested milligram serving sizes is almost always made by people who cut corners or sell inferior products.

Always do your research and choose CBD from reliable brands with positive reviews from actual customers. Always check to see if the company has readily-available test results—ideally from a third-party—and be sure to check the source, ingredients, and quality assurance of any product before purchasing. Avoid products sold with blanket statements at suspiciously low prices and you'll be okay. 

If you're looking for a good place to begin, start here at Lazarus Naturals. All of our products are third-party lab tested—with all of our ingredients and sourcing information available to view right on our website. We believe that CBD is a vital part of everyday wellness, and we aim to provide safe, effective, and affordable products that work.