In nature, Cannabis ruderalis typically has the lowest levels of THC, Cannabis sativa has a higher level of THC than it has CBD, and Cannabis indica has a higher level of CBD than it has THC. However, since man has been cultivating cannabis (and especially Cannabis sativa) for thousands of years, the effects of artificial selections have led to several different types of cannabis even within the same species, depending on the purpose the cannabis was cultivated for.
In addition, some cannabinoids interact synergistically, producing unique effects that are not found when using them individually. For example, CBD inhibits THC’s psychotropic effects when the two are taken together. However, CBD does this (and produces many other effects) without directly interacting with the cannabinoid receptors. At first, scientists thought there was a third type of CB receptor just for Cannabidiol, but the answer was far more interesting and revealing.
In September 2018, following its approval by the FDA for rare types of childhood epilepsy, Epidiolex was rescheduled (by the Drug Enforcement Administration) as a Schedule V drug to allow for its prescription use. This allows GW Pharmaceuticals to sell Epidiolex, but it does not apply broadly and all other CBD-containing products remain Schedule I drugs. Epidiolex still requires rescheduling in some states before it can be prescribed in those states.
Cannabidiol can be taken into the body in multiple ways, including by inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapor, as an aerosol spray into the cheek, and by mouth. It may be supplied as CBD oil containing only CBD as the active ingredient (no included tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] or terpenes), a full-plant CBD-dominant hemp extract oil, capsules, dried cannabis, or as a prescription liquid solution. CBD does not have the same psychoactivity as THC, and may change the effects of THC on the body if both are present. As of 2018, the mechanism of action for its biological effects has not been determined.
As we have also seen above, CBD is considered to have wider applications than THC. Since CBD has been much less studied than THC, scientists assume that there are many new applications of CBD that haven’t yet been discovered. On the other hand, THC’s applications are more or less completely explored by now due to all the research on medical marijuana over the past decade.
Perhaps the most enjoyable way to take CBD is through CBD edibles. CBD edibles are food products that have been infused with hemp-derived CBD. Generally, CBD edibles contain a lower serving, usually 5 to 10 mg of CBD each, allowing you to easily increase or decrease your intake based on your individual wellness needs. CBD edibles come in the form of delicious CBD gummies and bite-sized CBD energy chews.
As of April 2019, CBD extracted from marijuana remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance, and is not approved as a prescription drug, dietary supplement, or allowed for interstate commerce in the United States. CBD derived from hemp (with 0.3% THC or lower) was delisted as a federally scheduled substance by the 2018 Farm Bill. FDA regulations still apply: hemp CBD is legal to sell as a cosmetics ingredient, but despite a common misconception, because it is an active ingredient in an FDA-approved drug, cannot be sold under federal law as an ingredient in food, dietary supplements, or animal food. It is a common misconception that the legal ability to sell hemp (which may contain CBD) makes CBD legal.