Cannabidiol (CBD)

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The popularity of medical marijuana (also known as medical cannabis) continues to grow in the US. In 2018, over 3.5 million patients were registered to use medical cannabis; an increase from 2.6 million in March, 2016. As of January 2019, 33 states and Washington D.C., have laws legalizing medical marijuana. Ten states, Washington D.C., and Canada have legalized recreational marijuana. In addition, a growing number of states have laws specifically addressing the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for medical, as well as nonmedical, purposes.

The use of Cannabis sativa by the Chinese – for its strength as a fiber (in paper, bowstrings, rope, or clothing) and its medicinal properties – has been documented as far back as 4000 years ago. Hemp and marijuana are both plants in the Cannabis sativa family; however, they differ in structure and active ingredients. The most prevalent active ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), known for its psychoactive effects. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most prevalent active ingredient in marijuana (among many other pharmacologically active cannabinoids) and is the most prevalent active ingredient in hemp. Both THC and CBD have pharmacological effects. However, unlike THC, CBD does not have euphoric or intoxicating effects. A growing body of research suggests that CBD may be beneficial for a range of medical conditions including, but not limited to, anxiety, movement disorders, pain, sleep disorders, and seizure disorders. The FDA has approved CBD (Epidiolex®) for the treatment of 2 rare childhood-onset epilepsy syndromes. The evidence for CBD use in other conditions is sparse; it is derived mainly from animal, in vitro, and small human trials. However, because of its apparent lack of side effects in low to moderate doses, there is a great interest in CBD as a natural supplement…

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