There are over 60 compounds found in cannabis belonging to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of those compounds, CBD and THC (Tetrahydracannabinol) are typically present in the highest concentrations.
CBD is non-psychoactive. It does not have the same mood-altering effects to the extent of THC and is safe at high doses.
The CBD compound seems to offer a natural barrier against the “high” associated with strains containing higher doses of THC.
The oil from a CBD plant is extracted and taken either orally through drops, vaporized to smoke, or cooked into edibles.
Breeding techniques have allowed growers to cultivate plants with little to no THC and have become more popular in recent years due to the medical applications of the compound.
The Stanley brothers in Colorado grow the high-CBD, low-THC strain called Charlotte’s Web. It is named after Charlotte Figi who was born with Dravet Syndrome and took her first dose at the age of 5. The success with combatting her frequent seizures has led to a revolutionary change in medical marijuana laws across the country.
Charlotte’s Web was originally called "Hippie’s Disappointment" due to its extremely low concentration of THC.
Medical properties of CBD have been known to reduce nausea and vomiting, suppress seizures, combat psychosis, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative disorders, kill tumor and cancer cells, and aid in anti-anxiety and depression.
Pharmacies in the United Kingdom make CBD available as an oral mucosal spray available for relief from conditions associated with multiple sclerosis.
Most testing with CBD was performed on animals; however, UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals is funding clinical trials on a pharmaceutical version of CBD as treatment for schizophrenia and certain types of epilepsy.
GW Pharmaceuticals also produces a drug called Epidiolex. The drug contains 98% CBD, no THC, and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for trials on children with certain forms of epilepsy.
It is legal for individuals and companies to freely sell CBD derived from processed hemp imported from outside of the United States.
Many families desperately travel thousands of miles in order to gain legal access to CBD for their children who suffer from various conditions the compound is known to successfully treat. One family moved 4,000 miles from Dunnanway, Ireland to Aurora, Colorado, to access the drug for their 2-year-old suffering from Dravet Syndrome. The young boy went from having frequent seizures to one every several months. The family will be forced to move back home, where it is considered illegal, next year after their visas expire.
The molecular structure of CBD has contributed to the development of a synthesized positive allosteric modulator to treat pain and neurological disorders at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. It has been tested on mice at Virginia Commonwealth University and found to have no psychoactive effects and reduced neuropathic and inflammatory pain.