CBD was first discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams, a prominent organic chemist at the University of Illinois. Shortly thereafter, other scientists began testing isolated cannabinoids on lab animals; notably, Walter S. Loewe ran trials on mice and rabbits with the cannabinoids THC, CBD and CBN. He found that CBD produced no observable effects in the animals’ behavior while THC caused, what he called, a “central excitant action” in rabbits. Despite science’s movement forward, scientists were completely unaware of the cannabinoids’ chemical structure, so no one could tell which specific compound resulted in which effect.
These mounting developments in the elicited a problem amongst cannabis cultivators across the US: decades of selectively breeding cannabis to achieve the maximum amount of THC for a strong high reduced the overall preponderance of CBD in cultivars across the country to trace lows. Essentially, CBD had been selectively bred out of existence across the country.
Some studies have investigated the role of CBD in preventing cancer cell growth, but research is still in its early stages. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) says that CBD may help alleviate cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects. However, the NCI doesn’t fully endorse any form of cannabis as a cancer treatment. The action of CBD that’s promising for cancer treatment is its ability to moderate inflammation and change how cell reproduce. CBD has the effect of reducing the ability of some types of tumor cells to reproduce.
Until 2017, products containing cannabidiol marketed for medical purposes were classed as medicines by the UK regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and could not be marketed without regulatory approval for the medical claims.[88][89] CBD oil with THC content not exceeding 0.2% was legalized throughout the UK in 2017.[citation needed] Natural cannabis oil, however, remains illegal to possess, buy, and sell.[90]
In general, indica varieties of THC appear to work best as a sleep aid for most people. However, a significant number of people find THC, even indica strains, will make the mind more active. For these people, CBD oil can benefit them and tends to work well, providing the relaxation and calm for the mental as well as the physical body. For these people, CBD taken at nighttime as part of a bedtime regime produces a restful sleep, not the alertness produced in the daytime. This bidirectional effect of CBD is the result of balancing the endocannabinoid system.
The few CBD studies out there give us limited information, and hardly any about recreational CBD use. One study gave people different amounts of ingested CBD (100, 300, and 900 mg), as well as, for comparison, a placebo and Klonopin; those people then had to give a public speech, an action associated with high levels of anxiety in the broad populace. Neither 100 mg nor 900 mg, nor the placebo, had any effect. The 300 mg dose, though, did have a measurable calming effect on heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety. (The Klonopin also worked.)
Compared to THC, CBD has very different properties. It weakly binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and body, gently stimulating and blocking them at the same time. This not only mildly activates the receptors, but is also thought to trigger the body to create more CB1 and CB2 receptors, a process known as upregulation. It also results in increased natural levels of anandamide.
Answering the question “what is CBD oil” would be incomplete without mentioning the many CBD oil benefits. In addition to positively affecting the endocannabinoid system, CBD has been the focus of more than 23,000 published studies about cannabinoids in relation to various medical indications including anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, cancer and chronic pain to name few. You can even find CBD for pets that is specially formulated to safely allow your pets to experience the natural benefits of CBD. For a more comprehensive look at these and other studies, visit our medical research and education page. 

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Kimberly is the reference editor for Live Science and Space.com. She has a bachelor's degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her favorite stories include animals and obscurities. A Texas native, Kim now lives in a California redwood forest. You can follow her on Twitter @kimdhickok.
Some manufacturers ship CBD products nationally, an illegal action which the FDA has not enforced in 2018, with CBD remaining the subject of an FDA investigational new drug evaluation, and is not considered legal as a dietary supplement or food ingredient as of December 2018.[69][70] CBD is openly sold in head shops and health food stores in some states where such sales have not been explicitly legalized.[71][72]
Some manufacturers ship CBD products nationally, an illegal action which the FDA has not enforced in 2018, with CBD remaining the subject of an FDA investigational new drug evaluation, and is not considered legal as a dietary supplement or food ingredient as of December 2018.[69][70] CBD is openly sold in head shops and health food stores in some states where such sales have not been explicitly legalized.[71][72]
[387] S. Maione, F. Piscitelli, L. Gatta, D. Vita, L. De Petrocellis, E. Palazzo, V. de Novellis, and V. Di Marzo, “Non-psychoactive Cannabinoids Modulate the Descending Pathway of Antinociception in Anaesthetized Rats through Several Mechanisms of Action,” British Journal of Phramacology 162, no. 3 (2011): 584. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01063.x.
Medterra is the only CBD brand I order from. I was a little skeptical about CBD at first but tried it on the advice of my doctor. I suffer from chronic pain and the only thing that helps the pain is this oil. It really helps with my back pain and I use the tincture and the new Cooling Cream. And the best part is that there are no side effects I dont feel drowsy or unfocused and it doesnt interact with other medications. And Medterra is a fantastic company. One time the shipping of my oil was delayed for some reason and they sent it using express shipping without an added cost Their service is great.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of over 60+ naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds found in Cannabis, an annual herbaceous flowering plant. CBD oil is derived from an organic substance formed in the plant’s secretions. Both marijuana and hemp are forms of cannabis. However, cannabis does not mean marijuana. Cannabis is the genus name and general umbrella term, under which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall. Until recently, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, was the most well-known and studied cannabinoid due to its abundance in marijuana. However, as the second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana and the top non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp, CBD has been gaining momentum in the scientific community and media.
But, uh, what is it that CBD is supposed to do? I visited a cannabis dispensary in Boulder to find out what the hype was all about. After passing an ID check, I was introduced to a “budtender” who pointed me to an impressive array of CBD products — tinctures, skin patches, drink powders, candies, salves, massage oil, lotions, “sexy time personal intimacy oil” and even vaginal suppositories to treat menstrual cramps.
The manufacturer will probably give you a recommended dosage, but bear in mind that this isn’t set in stone. What you need to find is your own minimum effective dose. “Minimum effective dose” is a medical term which refers to the amount of a substance you need for the results you want, and above which, the substance doesn’t increase in effectiveness. 
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