What is Cannabidiol Oil (CBD Oil) (Part 2)

Hemp has been used for thousands of years in production of food, textiles, paper and other similar products. 'Hemp' refers to the industrial cannabis stalks and seeds used to produce such products. Marijuana cannabis refers to the flowers and buds used for medicinal and recreational purposes. The first significant difference between hemp and marijuana cannabis, is that the hemp plant is tall and narrow with no buds, whereas the marijuana cannabis plant is short, wide and is grown for its flowering buds. The resin glands on the marijuana cannabis buds and flowers are where the components containing THC are found. Hemp lacks the components to produce and store THC as it is not grown to cultivate buds. Although, Hemp and Marijuana cannabis originate from the cannabis sativa plant, products produced with these two plants affect the human body differently.

Industrial hemp contains up to 1.5% of THC, and marijuana cannabis can contain equal to and over 10% THC. Hemp can be specifically bred to contain high quantities of CBD. Marijuana cannabis is also an excellent source of CBD. However, when deciding between CBD oil from marijuana cannabis or a hemp source, the preferable and more logical option is to choose the hemp source due to the low amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD. THC is not legal and although both CBD and THC provide health benefits, the psychoactive effects of THC is a major drawback.

In 1998 GW Pharmaceuticals co-founder Geoffrey Guy convinced the British government, by using CBD rich marijuana plants GW Pharmaceuticals could produce a cannabis based medicine with little to no psychoactive effect (low THC). The British government licensed GW Pharmaceuticals to grow cannabis for use in clinical trials. GW Pharmaceuticals obtained CBD rich cannabis seeds from buying the genetic library of a Dutch based company HortaPharm, and the clinical trials began.

CBD rich cannabis plants have a history of being used to treat health problems. In the 19th century Queen Victoria used CBD rich cannabis for the treatment of menstrual cramps. Research studies on animals over the years have suggested CBD lessens anxiety and reduces seizures. However, CBD rich cannabis has not been readily available due to generations of breeding marijuana for maximum THC value to create the euphoria ‘effect’. Only in recent years have CBD rich strains of 20 to 1 CBD: THC been developed and produced.

In 2006 GW Pharmaceuticals launched the drug Sativex in Canada, a blend of 1:1 of CBD and THC administered as a sub-lingual spray. Sativex is now available in 11 countries as a treatment for spasticity related to multiple sclerosis. GW Pharmaceuticals are also supplying the FDA with Epidiolex, for there current ongoing study of cannabidiol. Epidiolex is a purified cannabis extract that contains 98% CBD with no trace of THC. The study is investigating the effects of Epidiolex on children who have treatment resistant epilepsy.



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