Cannabidiol has low affinity for the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors,[26][27] although it can act as an antagonist of CB1/CB2 agonists despite this low affinity.[27] Cannabidiol may be an antagonist of GPR55, a G protein-coupled receptor and putative cannabinoid receptor that is expressed in the caudate nucleus and putamen in the brain.[28] It also may act as an inverse agonist of GPR3, GPR6, and GPR12.[29] CBD has been shown to act as a serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist.[30] It is an allosteric modulator of the μ- and δ-opioid receptors as well.[31] The pharmacological effects of CBD may involve PPARγ agonism and intracellular calcium release.[7]
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In the United States, the cannabidiol drug Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018 for treatment of two epilepsy disorders.[12] The side effects of long-term use of the drug include somnolence, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, malaise, weakness, and sleeping problems.[2] As of mid-2019 in the United States, CBD is a Schedule I controlled substance that is illegal for use in human foods, dietary supplements, other consumer products, or pet foods.[13][14]

Selective breeding of cannabis plants has expanded and diversified as commercial and therapeutic markets develop.[13] Some growers in the US succeeded in lowering the proportion of CBD-to-THC to accommodate customers who preferred varietals that were more mind-altering due to the higher THC and lower CBD content.[52] In the US, hemp is classified by the federal government as cannabis containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. This classification was established in the 2018 Farm Bill and was refined to include hemp-sourced extracts, cannabinoids, and derivatives in the definition of hemp.[53]


Until relatively recently (1980s), scientists believed that CBD was a natural precursor to the formation of THC, and since THC was a strictly controlled substance back then (it still is), it only followed that CBD should be equally strictly regulated. However, CBD is actually unrelated to the chemical chain that results in THC. They share some characteristics but are created via different paths. Again, unlike THC, CBD is considered a legal cannabinoid and is safe to consume in any amount and concentration.
If you’re new to cannabidiol, you’ll want to start here. Cannabis is known to imbue a wide range of physiological effects. These effects come from a group of complex compounds known as cannabinoids. Scientists have identified over 100 different cannabinoids, but the two most well-known and well-researched are THC and CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, has become increasingly popular as an ingredient in natural food supplements, offering a variety of potential effects that can benefit the body and mind. Take a look at this information to learn more about CBD.

In nature, Cannabis ruderalis typically has the lowest levels of THC, Cannabis sativa has a higher level of THC than it has CBD, and Cannabis indica has a higher level of CBD than it has THC. However, since man has been cultivating cannabis (and especially Cannabis sativa) for thousands of years, the effects of artificial selections have led to several different types of cannabis even within the same species, depending on the purpose the cannabis was cultivated for.


CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
The 2014 Farm Bill[86] legalized the sale of "non-viable hemp material" grown within states participating in the Hemp Pilot Program.[53] This legislation defined hemp as cannabis containing less than 0.3% of THC delta-9, grown within the regulatory framework of the Hemp Pilot Program.[87] The 2018 United States farm bill allowed for interstate commerce of hemp derived products, though these products still fall under the purview of the FDA.[88][89]
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.
Since industrial hemp is naturally rich in CBD and has been bred to have only trace amounts of THC, many people today are turning to industrial hemp products as an alternative to medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is not legal in all states in the US and many countries worldwide, while products made from industrial hemp can be a safe and legal alternative. You can get many of the same beneficial effects of medical marijuana from industrial hemp products without getting “high.”

State and local governments may also regulate CBD. For example, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources issued a rule in June 2019 aligning state CBD regulations with FDA regulations. This means that although recreational marijuana is legal in the state, CDB cannot legally be sold in food or as a dietary supplement under state law.[90]
Various strains of "medical marijuana" are found to have a significant variation in the ratios of CBD-to-THC, and are known to contain other non-psychotropic cannabinoids.[55] Any psychoactive marijuana, regardless of its CBD content, is derived from the flower (or bud) of the genus Cannabis. As defined by U.S. federal law, non-psychoactive hemp (also commonly-termed industrial hemp), regardless of its CBD content, is any part of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, containing a ∆-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry-weight basis.[56] Certain standards are required for legal growing, cultivating, and producing the hemp plant. The Colorado Industrial Hemp Program registers growers of industrial hemp and samples crops to verify that the dry-weight THC concentration does not exceed 0.3%.[56]
As we have also seen above, CBD is considered to have wider applications than THC. Since CBD has been much less studied than THC, scientists assume that there are many new applications of CBD that haven’t yet been discovered. On the other hand, THC’s applications are more or less completely explored by now due to all the research on medical marijuana over the past decade.
CBD is otherwise most often used for its potential to provide calm and relaxation. On a chemical level, CBD is known to possess powerful antioxidant properties, which may contribute to reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Ongoing research and study are required to fully understand the potential of the cannabinoids therapeutic effects, but CBD may also help to:

From 2015 to July 2019, the FDA issued 48 warning letters to 23 American manufacturers of CBD products for false advertising and illegal interstate marketing of CBD as an unapproved drug to treat diseases, such as cancer, osteoarthritis, symptoms of opioid withdrawal, Alzheimer's disease, and pet disorders.[91][92] The FDA said that the letters were issued to enforce action against companies that were deceiving consumers by marketing illegal products for which there was insufficient evidence of safety and efficacy to treat diseases.[91] In July 2019, the FDA stated: "Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims — such as claims that CBD products can treat serious diseases and conditions — can put patients and consumers at risk by leading them to put off important medical care. Additionally, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, effectiveness and quality of unapproved products containing CBD."[91]
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