Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound that is found in Cannabis or hemp plant. It is one of the many cannabinoids that exist including the ones produced by the human body. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is a major cannabinoid present in Cannabis, CBD does not induce a euphoric effect on the human brain.
CBD is not naturally present in the plant. It is formed by the decarboxylation or heating of cannabidiolic acid. The amount or percentage of CBD in the plant differs from the strain or cultivar. Some strains contain more CBD while others hold more THC.
The use of CBD has increased due to its multitude of health benefits. Studies show that the compound helps with depression, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, inflammation and is also said to relieve pain. In 2018, the FDA approved the use of CBD (marketed as Epidiolex) to treat two conditions that cause epileptic seizures. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS) were disorders present in children where they experience recurrent seizures.
The use of CBD to help with conditions like these lies in the body’s Endocannabinoid System. The human body itself produces endocannabinoids which interact with the cannabiniod receptors. When CBD comes in contact with these receptors, it activates a mechanism that relieves pain, anxiety, inflammation, etc.