Cannabidiol (CBD), an introduction
Cannabinoids are natural compounds found in cannabis plants. Over the past century, researchers have identified and isolated more than one hundred distinct cannabinoids. One of the most notable ones is called cannabidiol (CBD).
After its discovery in 1940, scientists were eventually able to determine the structure and stereochemistry of CBD in 1963. Most contemporary studies into CBD focus on its possible medicinal applications and therapeutic use. Clinical research on CBD includes studies related to anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain. There is, however, not yet enough evidence to conclude that cannabidiol is effective for these conditions. In addition to these studies, the number of research projects and scientific publications on CBD and other cannabinoids in pets is also growing.
In the meantime, people around the world are discovering the benefits of CBD first-hand. The New York Times quoted James MacKillop, co-director of McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in Hamilton, Ontario as saying "It's promising in a lot of different therapeutic avenues because it's relatively safe". With the World Anti-Doping Agency removing CBD from its banned substances list, cannabidiol is now also used by professional and amateur athletes across disciplines and countries.
CBD oil is usually taken under the tongue because cannabidiol is easily absorbed into the bloodstream via the sublingual membrane. CBD oil is made to best facilitate this process. Holding CBD oil drops under your tongue for at least 60 seconds before swallowing allows it to bypass digestion and become rapidly absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis and is responsible for the "high" feeling when consumed. CBD, however, does not have any of these psychoactive properties (although it may change the effects of THC on the body if both are present).
Since not everyone likes the taste of classic CBD oil, more delectable alternatives were introduced. These include flavored sprays, lozenges, chewable tablets, chewing gum, and additional edibles such as drinks, gummies, and chocolate.
In December 2020, the European Commission concluded that CBD should not be considered as drug and can be qualified as food.
(Picture: Israeli biochemist Raphael Mechoulam, who first succeeded in determining CBD.)