July 8, 2014

What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD molecule

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non psychoactive component of hemp and cannabis that works as an anti-inflammatory,  painkiller,  muscle relaxer,  anti-cancer,  and relaxing agent,  without causing the “high” typical of smoked cannabis.

It is naturally produced in both hemp and cannabis, but there is typically only a trace amount present. In states where medical cannabis is legal, growers have bred strains that contain a significant amount of CBD along with THC so that patients can take advantage of therapeutic effects.

It is only very recently hemp has also been bred to contain a high amount of CBD, but without the psychoactive compound THC. Unlike cannabis, hemp is legal throughout the United States as long as the flowers are not used and there is no THC present. This allows patients in non-medical cannabis states to legally obtain and benefit from CBD by using food grade high CBD hemp extract.

Most hemp extracts available for sale only contain trace amounts of CBD. Unless stated otherwise, it should be assumed that these products do not contain a therapeutic amount of CBD.

More Information From Clinical Studies

Over the past years, several lines of evidence support an antitumourigenic effect of cannabinoids including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), synthetic agonists, endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid transport or degradation inhibitors. Indeed, cannabinoids possess anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects and they are known to interfere with tumour neovascularization, cancer cell migration, adhesion, invasion and metastasization.

However, the clinical use of Δ9-THC and additional cannabinoid agonists is often limited by their unwanted psychoactive side effects, and for this reason interest in non-psychoactive cannabinoid compounds with structural affinity for Δ9-THC, such as cannabidiol (CBD), has substantially increased in recent years. 

Collectively, the non-psychoactive plant-derived cannabinoid CBD exhibits pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative actions in different types of tumours and may also exert anti-migratory, anti-invasive, anti-metastatic and perhaps anti-angiogenic properties. On the basis of these results, evidence is emerging to suggest that CBD is a potent inhibitor of both cancer growth and spread.

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