Recently,there has been a lot talk of CBD and CBD products. Although it has been researched since before modern science, there is still a lot of misinformation in the mainstream regarding this interesting compound. CBD is an abbreviation for the substance Cannabidiol. In this article, we will take a look at Cannabidiol from a chemistry perspective. So let’s talk about it. What is cannabidiol?
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a naturally occurring (non-synthetic) chemical compound that exists in the plants in the Cannabis family. Notably, hemp and marijuana are the most well-known plants in the Cannabis family. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoid is a term used as the name of a category of these chemicals. In fact, there are over 80 naturally produced chemicals that are known as cannabinoids. Does this sound confusing? Just wait until we discuss some of the chemistry of CBD. First, we will look at the current research regarding cannabidiol. In addition, some of the potential benefits of CBD oil currently in research.
Current Research on Cannabidiol
It is important to realize that there are literally hundreds of research studies currently being conducted on cannabidiol throughout the world. For this reason, we will discuss what we can here. In brief, here are just a few of the research topics regarding the future use or benefits of CBD:
- Mild and Chronic Pain
- Stroke Rehab
- Mental Disorders
- Addiction Rehabilitation
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Various Types of Cancer
- Eating Disorders
“CBD is Natural… not synthetic”
As you can see, there’s a lot of interest with CBD right now. It’s important to remember, that CBD is not synthetically made. There is much controversy over the topic of CBD. But many think that it may be due to its effectiveness as a potential medication. Remember, most of the drugs made be “Big Pharma” are synthetically made. Most of the pain medications are addictive and can be lethal. Many seizure medications on the market are dangerous. The list goes on. CBD is natural and fairly inexpensive to produce. There might be a reason that “Big Pharma” and the FDA might want to keep this from becoming easily available to the public. Of course, this is just an opinion. But imagine what it could do to the stock price of the pharmaceutical companies.
In fact, the FDA has already approved an epilepsy drug that contains cannabidiol as the primary active ingredient. Yet, supposedly, small companies that legally sell CBD, aren’t supposed to say that it can help with epilepsy. In order to do that, a company has to give it a brand name and jump through the hoops of spending years and millions of dollars in FDA trials to seek FDA approval. Even though properly produced CBD is legal to sell and to buy in the United States, it cannot say or imply that it is a “Dietary Supplement” anywhere on the bottle. It also cannot imply that it specifically helps with treating any medical disorder.
Cannabidiol in Chemistry
Are you a chemistry person? Well, here is the chemistry answer to “What is Cannabidiol?”. CBD has seven known isomers. It goes by names such as Δ1(2)-trans-cannabidiol, cannabidiol (7CI), or (–)-cannabidiol. Cannabidiol was first isolated as a compound in 1940 by the chemist Roger Adams. In 1970, it was determined that cannabidiol and most other cannabinoids are non-psychoactive. Since then, it has been determined that even several isomers of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are non-psychoactive. For those of you that don’t know what THC is, it’s the compound in marijuana that makes you high.
There are many misconceptions about CBD. When discussed on the news, you always hear them call it “marijuana”. I recently saw a news story about how some parents gave their child with severe epilepsy CBD oil for seizures. Their child was having over 30 seizures in a day. The CBD oil given to the child contained no THC and was derived from hemp. It contained pure cannabidiol isolate. The News said they were “giving their child marijuana.” That’s clearly false.
“Why Are People So Confused About Cannabidiol?”
Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that is non-psychoactive. Cannabidiol is NOT marijuana. Marijuana does, however, contain cannabidiol, but so do several other plants. Why are people so confused? Is it because they are uneducated? Or is it because they have been educated on the topic incorrectly by someone else? What if the pharmaceutical companies want people to be confused? These are questions you should ask yourself as you further read about CBD.
“How is CBD Derived or Extracted from Hemp?”
Since we are discussing chemistry, let’s focus for a minute on the extraction methods of CBD. Briefly, there are two primary methods for CBD extraction from hemp. They are actually quite simple. CO2 Extraction is sometimes used for extracting small amounts of CBD from hemp. It involved temperature and pressure control. The process typically requires more expensive equipment to maintain high pressure and low temperature. The other method is ethanol extraction. This is an incredibly cheap, easy, and effective method for extracting high volumes of CBD from the hemp plant. Once extracted by the ethanol, chromatography is used to isolate the CBD from other plant materials and compounds. Technically, at this point you would have the CBD in it’s acid form. This form would then be heated to decarboxylate the compound. You then have isolated CBD oil that can be tested or mixed into products.
Summary: What is Cannabidiol?
So, again, what is cannabidiol? Cannabidiol is a non-synthetic chemical substance that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant. There is much controversy and confusion in the United States about this compound. Many people confused about it will disagree about its legality. However, the actual compound cannabidiol is completely legal to buy and sell in the United States if it actually is what it says it is, and no false claims are made about it. The DEA has already stated that hemp-derived cannabidiol is not a prohibited substance. Furthermore, the FDA has approved a CBD-containing drug to be used to treat epilepsy.
Many people use CBD every day. Even healthy people without any medical issues. You could take CBD as well. It may even help reduce stress before a test. I hope this article helps explain and clear up some of the misinformation regarding CBD. If you have more input on what Cannabidiol is, please comment below!