Cannabinoids Explained: CBD

CBD is the second most common cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant. Written by Anna Barberena.

CBD is the second most common cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol was first extracted from the cannabis plant back in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams. Then, in 1963 Dr. Raphael Mecholum isolated and identified the chemical structure of CBD. In 2018, the Farm Bill was passed which legalized the production of hemp in the U.S. Cannabis is defined as having more than 0.3% THC and hemp is defined as having less than 0.3% THC according to the Farm Bill.

CBD: A Non-intoxicating Cannabinoid

CBD does not produce a feeling of intoxication like its counterpart THC does. CBD does not actively bind to the CB1 or CB2 receptors but activates other pathways throughout the body to produce its effects (1). It is proving to be beneficial in treating a wide range of imbalances and medical issues. According to Dr. Ethan Russo, CBD has been shown to be effective in treating seizure disorders including epilepsy, inhibiting the growth and spread of cancer cells, improving insulin resistance, decreasing inflammation, decreasing anxiety and depression among many others. CBD concentrations in flowers are generally low because most breeders are focusing on THC, however that trend is beginning to change. You usually see concentrations range from 1% to 20%.

CBD: A Non-intoxicating Cannabinoid

Therapeutic Effects of CBD

According to Dr. Ethan Russo, the Therapeutic Effects of CBD include:

  • Anti-depressant
  • Reduces nausea (antiemetic)
  • Reduces seizures or convulsions (anticonvulsant)
  • Reduces the risk of artery blockage
  • Treats psoriasis
  • Antipsychotic (reduces psychotic disorders)
  • Antioxidant
  • Reduces anxiety (anxiolytic)
  • Bone stimulant
  • Widens blood vessels which reduces blood pressure (vasorelaxant)
  • Pain relief (analgesic)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helpful with the prevention and treatment of diabetes
Therapeutic Effects of CBD

Entourage Effect

  • When THC and CBD are consumed together, CBD reduces the intoxicating effect of THC while increasing THC’s therapeutic potential (2, 4)

Conditions CBD May Be Beneficial For:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Chronic pain
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Psychosis and schizophrenia
  • Glaucoma
  • Addictions
  • Brain injury
  • Enhancing performance and recovery after exercising
  • Sleep problems
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis

Potential Adverse Side Effects

  • Low doses can increase energy
  • High doses can be sedating
  • Prescription drug interactions

Citations 1. Sulak, Dustin. “The Pharmacology of Cannabis.” Medical Cannabis Core Curriculum, 2. Pertwee, Roger G. “Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 147 Suppl 1,Suppl 1 (2006): S163-71. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706406 3. Russo, Ethan, and Geoffrey W. Guy. “A Tale of Two Cannabinoids: The Therapeutic Rationale for Combining Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol.” Medical Hypotheses, vol. 66, no. 2, Feb. 2006, pp. 234–246.,

References: 1. Russo, Ethan B. “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 163,7 (2011): 1344-64. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x


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