Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid extract taken from the Cannabis sativa (marijuana) plant. It’s one of over 100 such cannabinoids identified in cannabis plants and accounts for nearly 40% of the plants’ total extract.
Isolation of this compound was first described, in detail, as early as 1964 (R). Discovery of the innate human endocannabinoid system in the late 1980s led to a spark of scientific study—producing some cannabinomimetic compounds such as Anandamide (R).
Cannabidiol can be consumed in a variety of ways including smoking, vaporizing, sublingual absorption via spray, or orally via prepared tincture. Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound, though it’s found naturally alongside compounds such as THC that does elicit a psychoactive response when administered.
Cannabidiol is commonly used as an extract, referred to as CBD Oil, to isolate it from other cannabinoids. Cannabidiol extracts are available with only trace amounts of THC that can be safely administered without producing any psychoactive effect.
Cannabidiol has been used naturally, as CBD Oil, as a means of treating epilepsy, particularly drug-resistant epilepsy. Initial reports of success with CBD Oil treatments were met with skepticism but in 2018 the FDA approved the first-ever cannabidiol-derived treatment for epilepsy (R). Epidiolex gained approval for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.