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Health 510 views Aug 21, 2019
Recent Evolution Of The CBD Industry

History has illustrated that the ancient people have been using cannabis to treat a host of ailments from as far back as 2900 B.C. One of the main components of cannabis is CBD. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a ‘cannabinoid’ which is the term for one of the 108 chemical components of cannabis. CBD can be derived from either industrial hemp or marijuana, both of which are varieties of the cannabis plant.


In 1940, an American organic chemist named Roger Adams was able to isolate the CBD compound but he failed to describe what it was. Not until 1960 was an Israeli organic chemist named Raphael Mechoulam able to successfully separate and define the chemical structure of CBD. It was then determined that CBD has none of the psychoactive components of cannabis.


This started the battle to legalize CBD. By the 1950s, CBD was illegal in all 50 states because it was derived from the cannabis plant which was outlawed. When CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, it is diluted with either coconut oil or hemp seed oil to create CBD oil.


Recently, a barrage of CBD products has been introduced into the market and enjoyed extensive media and internet coverage. These include creams, capsules, tinctures, patches, CBD oil, food supplements and drink. CBD products are now being sold in pharmaceuticals, grocery stores, gyms, and medical dispensaries around the country. Before, they can only be obtained through online suppliers who were definitely not licensed to distribute them. 


That is until the US Congress approved the 2018 Farm Bill in December which included provisions for the legalization of industrial hemp. The removal of hemp from the controlled substances list meant that CBD extracted from industrial hemp also became legal. The Farm Bill is passed every 5 years and proposed legislation cover national policies for agriculture, nutrition, forestry and conservation.


Under federal law, CBD can now be legally dispensed. However, it is still subject to FDA regulations when its sale is accompanied by therapeutic claims. It is also subject under the rules of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. CBD from the marijuana plant remains restricted by the DEA because of its alleged potential for abuse. This makes access to the compound difficult for scientists who want to study more of CBD’s effects.


So what makes CBD so popular and controversial? CBD has beneficial effects such as calmness, relief and relaxation similar to other cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, unlike THC which is the main psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD does not have the mind-altering effects normally associated with cannabis use. This characteristic makes CBD a more desirable option for people who want to reap the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids without experiencing the accompanying ‘high’.


CBD’s effectiveness for a variety of ailments has long been widely-touted. Some of the popular uses for CBD that are supported by promising research findings include reduction of depression and anxiety, relief from chronic pain, management of insomnia, and treatment of acne and other skin problems.


However, CBD’s strongest scientifically-backed evidence by far is its positive effects in the treatment of childhood epilepsy. In particular, those that cannot be controlled by anti-seizure medications such as the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. The internet has numerous videos of the amazing therapeutic benefits of CBD on pediatric patients. In fact, clinical trials revealed that CBD was able to successfully minimize the monthly frequency of seizures in children by as much as 44% and, in some cases, completely stop them.


As expected, certain side effects like diarrhea, poor appetite, drowsiness, and vomiting occurred among the subjects. However, they were all manageable and the data gathered was so strong that, on June 2018, the results gave rise to the release of Epidiolex, the first ever FDA-approved medicine for the treatment of these conditions. Epidiolex is an oral solution that contains purified CBD.


After decades of a legal battle for the approval of CBD, it has now been legalized in all 50 US states. Every day, more and more breakthroughs are being discovered and studies are underway to determine CBD’s beneficial effects. These include the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and behavioral disorders like schizophrenia.


In addition, projections for the CBD market in the US are expected to reach $20 billion by the year 2020. At present, CBD and its products are still prohibited in many countries around the world, but with the influx of new discoveries about its therapeutic benefits, this practice may just be reversed.