Cannabidiol can be taken into the body in multiple ways, including by inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapor, as an aerosol spray into the cheek, and by mouth. It may be supplied as CBD oil containing only CBD as the active ingredient (no included tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] or terpenes), a full-plant CBD-dominant hemp extract oil, capsules, dried cannabis, or as a prescription liquid solution. CBD does not have the same psychoactivity as THC, and may change the effects of THC on the body if both are present. As of 2018, the mechanism of action for its biological effects has not been determined.
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Cannabidiol is a chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana. Over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant. While delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major active ingredient, cannabidiol makes up about 40% of cannabis extracts and has been studied for many different uses. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), because cannabidiol has been studied as a new drug, products containing cannabidiol are not defined as dietary supplements. But there are still products labeled as dietary supplements on the market that contain cannabidiol. The amount of cannabidiol contained in these products is not always reported accurately on the product label.
In addition, some cannabinoids interact synergistically, producing unique effects that are not found when using them individually. For example, CBD inhibits THC’s psychotropic effects when the two are taken together. However, CBD does this (and produces many other effects) without directly interacting with the cannabinoid receptors. At first, scientists thought there was a third type of CB receptor just for Cannabidiol, but the answer was far more interesting and revealing.
To make this more concrete, let’s use an example here. This is a high-CBD hemp oil product made from industrial hemp. It has a concentration of CBD between 18% and 24%. This means that it has 18%–24% parts CBD dissolved in the actual oil, which is composed by other substances. So 18%–24% is pure CBD, and the rest are hemp oil extracts and other fatty acid substances.