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cannabidiol definition

CBD is closely related to another important medicinally active phytocannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), the compound that causes the high that cannabis is famous for. These are the two components of cannabis that have been most studied by scientists.

Many people are seeking alternatives to pharmaceuticals with harsh side effects – medicine more in synch with natural processes. By tapping into how we function biologically on a deep level, CBD can provide relief for chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression and many other conditions.

How Does CBD Work?

Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in nearly all pathological conditions. Thus, it stands to reason that “modulating endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans,” as Pal Pacher and George Kunos, scientists with the U.S. National Institutes of Health ( NIH ), suggested in a 2014 publication.

For those who can’t obtain pharmaceutical CBD , there are numerous internet storefronts, community markets, coffee shops, health clubs, chiropractic offices, upscale boutiques and gas stations that retail various hemp-derived CBD oil products, including pure CBD isolates comparable in chemical make-up to Epidiolex.

But it wasn’t until June 25, 2018, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) recognized cannabidiol as a medicine by approving Epidiolex, an almost pure pharmaceutical CBD formulation, as a treatment for two severe pediatric seizure disorders, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

The scientists behind this study noticed that researchers had been utilizing pure, single-molecule CBD, which resulted in a bell-shaped dose-response curve. This curve indicates that CBD’s efficacy plummets at very high and very low doses.

Consumers report using CBD for a huge variety of health and wellness reasons, but significantly more research is needed to determine the symptoms and ailments it can most successfully treat. Currently, there are over 60 clinical trials are examining the effectiveness of CBD for a variety of conditions.

The phytocannabinoid cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating molecule that results from the heating, or decarboxylation , of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). Most cannabis cultivars have lower concentrations of CBD than THC. However, following an explosive discovery in 2009 , droves of CBD-rich cultivars began cropping up across the US.

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(Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps) Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

CBD directly interacts with several proteins in the body and central nervous system, a few of which are components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) . CBD has an affinity for both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Our bodies have several other receptor proteins that participate in the endocannabinoid system, such as GPR3, GPR6, TRPV1, and TRPV2, for example. CBD binds to all of these, and its possible anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects may occur through these pathways.

Isolate : CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form: a fine white powder. This crystalline form of CBD is versatile and allows users to measure precise doses.

If you’re using CBD, it’s a good idea to do some research to inform your dosage . Young children can tolerate daily doses of up to 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight . For a 175-pound (79.4-kilogram) adult, that’s more than 1,500 milligrams. The most common side effect of large doses of CBD is sleepiness.

It really depends on what your goal is and why you're taking CBD in the first place.

There are two main types of pain, Dr. Danesh says: musculoskeletal and nerve. "There could be benefit for both conditions," he says.

What does the label look like?

Still, one of the biggest misconceptions about CBD is that it's a wonder drug. "A lot of times people think CBD is a cure-all, and it's not," Dr. Chin says. "You should also have a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and good nutrition—CBD is not going to fix everything."

The biggest differences between tinctures, edibles, and vape pens are speed of delivery and how long the effects last. Vape relief is faster but wears off faster too—usually in about two hours, says Dr. Chin. "Say you wake up in the morning and pulled your back out, you might want to take CBD through a vape pen, which delivers in 10 minutes."

Nope. The cannabis plant is made up of two main players: CBD and THC. "CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so what that means is you won't have any effects like euphoria," says Junella Chin, DO, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert for cannabisMD. "You won't feel sedated or altered in any way."