Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is shortened to, is currently considered the most promising area of research into Medical Cannabis. It has various properties that make it useful for a number of situations.
CBD does not directly interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the Endocannabinoid system, it is still being researched, but is thought to modify the behaviour of other cannabinoids, and potentially interact with another Cannabinoid receptor that is yet to be uncovered.
Of prime importance to the value of Medical Cannabis, is that CBD negates some of the negative effects of THC, specifically negating the memory impairment associated with high THC Cannabis, and also having the opposite effect of THC on mental disorders. It is widely known that high THC Cannabis can bring about earlier onset of schizophrenia type disorders, and also exaggerate the symptoms, however moderate amounts of CBD ameliorate this negative effect. In fact high CBD extracts are a promising new area of treatment for mental disorders such as schizophrenia, and is an area of intense research currently.
The most widely publicised use for CBD medicines has been with intractable epilepsy, which was made famous by the success of a young girl from the USA – Charlotte Figi. Charlotte (diagnosed with Dravet syndrome) eliminated seizures completely using a form of Medical Cannabis that was initially called “Hippies disappointment,” and has since been renamed “Charlotte’s Web” in her honor. The efficacy of CBD is still being researched currently, as some patients have eliminated seizures, while others have had no benefit what so ever.
Another use for CBD is in Crohn’s disease (aka Inflammatory Bowel Disease), where CBD significantly reduces the inflammation to the gut that causes much discomfort to patients. This condition is notoriously hard to treat, and studies are underway, however this is not nearly as well known to the general public, as it does not attract nearly as much media attention as the elimination of seizures in paediatric epilepsy.