What is CBD?
Cannabis is extremely differentfrom any other species in the plant kingdom. The many hundreds of different compounds specific to cannabis contain healing properties for a multitude of health benefits. Of these vast numbers of compounds, Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally, albeit in varying amounts, in nearly all varieties of cannabis plants. CBD lies in stark contrast to the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocanabinol, or THC, in that it does not produce a mind-altering effect and can actually counteract THC psychoactivity.
While cannabis, and thus CBD, is a schedule 1 substance under the federal Controlled Substance Act, the FDA recently approved a cannabis-based CBD extract in the new drug Epidiolex, and is classified as a schedule V substance (1). This low classification of a CBD-containing drug could mean the beginning of the full-scale legalization of cannabidiol.
Medical patients who tout the use of CBD often attest to the compounds medical benefits in treating conditions such as inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, and spasms.
High CBD-Containing Varieties of Hemp
Hemp cultivars that contain high amounts of CBD, and are bred for low amounts of THC, are often described as “medical hemp” to differentiate it from “industrial hemp”;plants that contain extremely low levels of cannabinoids and bred for use as fiber and textiles.
High-resin cannabis plants offer the full gamut of psychoactive, as well as non-psychoactive, compounds, whereas medicinal hemp varieties can contain only non-psychoactive cannabinoids that help alleviate many physical ailments. While the high resin-containing plants are still federally illegal, low resin plants, like medicinal hemp, are on the verge of federal legalization.
- S. Food and Drug Administration; press release,FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived From Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy;June 25, 2018