Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis. It was discovered in 1940 and initially thought to not be pharmaceutically active. It is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in hemp plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant's extract.
Cannabidiol can be taken into the body in multiple different ways, including by inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapor, as an aerosol spray into the cheek, and by mouth. It may be supplied as an oil containing only CBD as the active ingredient (no added THC or terpenes), a full-plant CBD-dominant hemp extract oil, capsules, dried cannabis, or as a prescription liquid solution.
Side effects of CBD include sleepiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, malaise, weakness, sleeping problems, and others. It does not have intoxicating effects like those caused by THC, and may have an opposing effect on disordered thinking and anxiety produced by THC.
CBD has been found to interact with a variety of different biological targets, including cannabinoid receptors and other neurotransmitter receptors. The mechanism of action of CBD in terms of its psychoactive and therapeutic effects is not fully clear.
Multiple Sclerosis Pain
Nabiximols (brand name Sativex) is an aerosolized mist for oral administration containing a near 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC. The drug was approved by Canadian authorities in 2005 to alleviate pain associated with multiple sclerosis. It is also prescribed in Sweden
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Medical reviews published in 2017 and 2018 incorporating numerous clinical trials concluded that cannabidiol is an effective treatment for certain types of childhood epilepsy.<