Cannabidiol (CBD) is a popular product used for many reasons, but where did it originate from and who was the first to discover it?
CBD, the naturally occurring compound derived from the hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa), was first discovered in 1940 in the US. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s compounds.
A Derivative Of The Hemp Plant
CBD, derived directly from the hemp plant, is produced using the leaves and sometimes the stalk. Prescribed only by specialist doctors, CBD can be given to patients suffering from conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and adults experiencing the vomiting and nausea symptoms caused by chemotherapy. CBD products can also be purchased over the counter for milder conditions, such as Vitabiotics CBD.
Because everybody has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) inside of them, pure CBD can exist alongside the cannabinoids that we naturally produce, meaning CBD itself is not an alien compound to us. This enables more and more research to be done about CBD and is the reason we can take the chemical substance safely.
Medical Forms Of CBD
Epidyolex, for example, is a highly purified liquid that contains CBD. It can be prescribed by specialist doctors for patients suffering with rare and severe types of epilepsy. These forms of the condition can include Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. Because Epidyolex doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical in cannabis that makes you high, the medicine itself cannot make adults or children high when taking it.
Nabiximols (Sativex) is also a cannabis-based medicine that is licenced in the UK for people with MS-related muscle spasticity. MS (multiple sclerosis) is a condition that causes tightening, pain and the feeling of weakness within the muscles, and such symptoms can sometimes be alleviated by the use of Nabiximols – administered by spraying into the mouth. Thousands of people in the UK suffer from MS, and therefore there are a staggering number of people having to endure the long-term effects of the condition in their day-to-day lives.
There is also the drug Nabilone, developed to act in a similar way to THC (the chemical in cannabis that makes you high). It is prescribed by specialist healthcare professionals for chemotherapy patients. The effects of chemotherapy can often leave patients feeling sick, nauseous or vomiting, and therefore Nabilone can help to relieve these symptoms. The drug is often referred to as the ‘man made form of cannabis’ and is generally only given to patients when other treatments have either not helped or are unsuitable for them due to various health reasons.
There’s still plenty of research being carried out into the beneficial effects of CBD, but studies have shown that it can help people experiencing anxiety, inflammation and side effects from medical treatments such as chemotherapy.