What is Cannabidiol: Origins, Effects, History and more

You have likely heard the term CBD but perhaps you never knew what it was. So, CBD – what does it stand for? Products which contain cannabidiol (aka CBD, aka a non-psychotropic substance contained in hemp) have recently gained immense popularity in the US, turning into a billion-dollar industry.

In this article, we will tell you everything one needs to know about cannabidiol – its effects, structure and history, and, most importantly, medical usage of CBD. Let’s get started!

Let’s Define CBD

The CBD acronym stands for cannabidiol. Despite this menacing name, which some might think is alluding to drugs, CBD simply means a natural extract of ordinary cannabis. By the way, here is a fun fact: human bodies actually have natural cannabinoids! The type of CBD that is produced is called endocannabinoids.

Despite this common belief, there is practically no intoxicating effect of CBD, in other words, it won’t make you “high”. The use of CBD is safe, but some in this field are recommending advanced tests of this drug on humans before making a final conclusion. One research study conduction on animals showed that the simultaneous use of CBD, together with THC, enhances the THC’s effects.

Recently, CBD has gained so much popularity in the United States that it is difficult to imagine a place where it is not sold, or diseases that are not treated by it. People say, they use CBD in terms of relieving muscle pain, arthritis and anxiety.

CBD also helps with such diseases as post-traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy. Cannabidiol can even be added to pet food. There is, for example, CBD oil for dogs – bacon-flavored, of course. But before discussing the effects of this extract, let’s take a closer look at its origins.

A Closer Look at the CBD Molecule

Cannabidiol is a non-narcotic chemical compound whose content in cannabis can reach 40%. As for the chemical structure of CBD, it is just one compound from the family of approximately 113 bi-and tricyclic compounds of cannabinoid existing in cannabis. If we take a look at the formula of CBD, it is C21H30O2. Thus, this substance contains 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 atoms of carbon and 2 oxygen atoms. Its molecular weight is 314,464 g/mol.

Like most cannabinoids, CBD does not dissolve well in water, but dissolves well in alcohol and lipids. When we talk about cannabis, we should mention that CBD is present within cannabis, in acidic forms, that change chemically when heated. This is important because most people believe that the best way to consume CBD is through smoking hemp.

The Discovery of CBD

Even though one might think that the medical purpose of CBD is quite a recent discovery, it is actually a medicine that has been around for a very long time. People throughout history have used CBD and cannabis-derived medicine to reduce their pain and help in the treatment of some diseases. But it was not accepted by the majority of the medical community until 1839.

The history of CBD as a medical substance starts with William B. O’Shaughnessy. He studied the effects of this plant and published a book which shed a light on the impact of cannabis on people and its future in medicine.

Maybe O’Shaughnessy did not realize what impact his discovery had on the science of cannabis. However, his work opened the door with regard to the medicinal use of cannabinoids. Almost a century later, Roger Adams, an American chemist, created the first cannabinoid isolate – Cannabidiol. He is the one who discovered CBD.

what is cannabidiol

What started the global use of CBD in medicine? In 1998, British scientist Geoffrey Guy founded GW Pharmaceuticals and developed Sativex, a reliever of pain and cramps, associated with multiple sclerosis, that contains THC and CBD.

It was not until 2010, that the UK allowed the sale of this drug. It became the first drug containing marijuana that was allowed in the country. In 2011, it was approved in Spain, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, then — in other European countries and Canada.

Classifications of CBD and Legal Aspects

Now, let’s take a look at CBD classification from the legal aspect. According to The Hemp Farming Act (part of the 2018 Farm Bill), the DEA no longer has the right to restrict the production of cannabis in the USA, as it is classified as an agricultural commodity. Thus, Americans can use products that contain cannabinoids or that are in any way derived from hemp safely.

What Products Can Be Made with Cannabidiol?

In the manufacture of any CBD-containing product companies usually use pure CBD extracts or its isolate. There are several types of CBD-products that can be found on a market:

  • Beauty Products. The number of products containing cannabidiol in the beauty industry is growing. Masks, hemp infused creams, serums and cleansing gels with CBD have advantages over traditional products and help consumers reduce swelling, pain and to relax their skin.
  • Capsules with oil. These capsules are the most convenient way to consume cannabidiol extract. The user can determine the amount of the CBD substance that will enter the bloodstream by taking CBD in the capsule form. They are discreet, easy-to-use, have no marijuana flavor and provide consumers with a long-lasting effect.
  • Concentrates. This type of product is a highly effective hemp plant extract that contains high levels of cannabidiol.
  • Drinks. In its natural form, cannabidiol is very hydrophobic – in other words, it does not mix with water. However, recent developments have created a new type of CBD that is regularly added to energy drinks and powdered mixes.
  • Edibles. CBD edible products are ideal for those who are bored of taking CBD in capsules or drops. The food product is enriched with the CBD isolate and voila – you have cannabidiol-containing candies, marmalades and pastries. The main advantage of this form of consumption… it’s easy to use and masks unpleasant tastes.
  • CBD Pet Products. Yes, that’s right, cannabidiol can be taken even by cats and dogs! Today, on the market you can find a wide range of CBD-enriched products that were created especially for domestic animals. For example, you can treat your pet to a special cookie or snack for animals, or you can spray a little bit of CBD-containing substance on its skin.
  • Tinctures. Oil-based tinctures that contain CBD were created to take it sublingually – in other words, for dripping them under the tongue. The advantage of this form is its easy and fast digestibility.
  • Balms. Can be used for relieving muscle soreness, special skin conditions and as a simple massage balm.
  • Vape Products. Vaping cannabidiol-containing liquids is all the same vaporization and vapor inhalation. The most common vaping product containing cannabidiol is vape juice, which can be used in any vaping device, such as mod or pen.

Who Buys CBD Related Products?

Who exactly buys products with cannabidiol? According to a survey of 5,000 consumers of CBD, which was conducted by Brightfield Group last summer, the first group to start buying CBD products after its legalization in different states, were the millennials.

They are followed by buyers in the age of a little over 30, among forty-year-olds demand gradually reduces, but increases again in the age group of 50 to 60 years. The latter category is primarily interested in tinctures, creams and capsules that are used for diseases associated with aging, such as arthritis or chronic pain.

How Does CBD Work?

Current research shows that, unlike the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD only helps you to produce your own endocannabinoids. The principles of how CBD’s work are like this: basically, it inhibits the production of a certain enzyme which controls and eliminates the excess of endocannabinoids. This allows more of them to circulate in our body, affecting your physical condition. Other studies have shown that CBD may have an effect on other naturally-produced chemicals in humans’ bodies, like serotonin, adenosine or vanilloid.

But where does CBD come from? Where can natural CBD sources be found in nature and what can be done with its extract? Cannabidiol can be found in the trichomes on the marijuana bush’s flowers. CBD extracts are usually used in oil or capsule form.

Does CBD Actually Work?

In Australia, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, cannabidiol is referenced by the medical field because it has an anti-inflammatory effect and also helps with epilepsy, anxiety and post-traumatic disorders.

By the way, there is a popular misperception that CBD is very useful when struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. But so far, no in-depth research has ever been done on the therapeutic effect of CBD, on a significant number of people.

To understand whether or not cannabidiol works, let’s have a look at this story:

There was a little girl named Charlotte Figi. This poor soul had an extremely uncommon illness – Dravet Syndrome. In a nutshell, it is chronic epilepsy. It resulted in a terrible situation: the four year old girl could not walk, eat or communicate with her parents, she had as much as 300 epileptic seizures in one week! Needless to say, her parents were trying everything they could to save their daughter, however, they could find no solution.

what is cannabidiol

Desperate, they came up with the idea to use CBD. Soon after little Charlotte consumed the cannabidiol oil, her seizures stopped. And over the course of several hours, she didn’t have a single seizure!

CBD gave this young girl a chance to live her life like an ordinary kid. Now, she has not had more than three seizures, in a month! Quite a significant decrease in numbers, isn’t it?


On December 14, 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended removing CBD from the international lists of controlled substances. Nowadays, the image of a marijuana leaf on the package, has ceased to be an indication of its marginality. It is now a sign of its relevance.

CBD has become the most popular in the United States.

It’s a contemporary bitcoin, only in the field of chemistry. A former director of Coca-Cola, Chris Burggraeve, calls cannabidiol “new avocado toast”, hinting at the indifference of millennials to the substance.

The company is going to start producing CBD-containing soda. “The market is growing rapidly,” explains Coca-Cola representative Kent Landers. Bloomberg writes that the company negotiates with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis Inc. Soon, CBD will be added to coffee, wine and beer – the market has no limits.

Today, it is even possible to buy CBD-marmalades with a variety of different flavors from mango to chili. Moreover, there are places in New York where you can order CBD-toast! Cannabidiol is used in cosmetics as well, for eye creams, bath bombs and even lubricants.

In the medical sphere, there is presently a lot of attention on CBD. For example, the largest beer company in the world, Anheuser-Busch InBev (you may know their brand Budweiser), and one of the largest manufacturers of medical marijuana, Tilray, clinched a deal worth $100 million.

They decided to combine their resources in order to create a soft drink which will be based on THC and CBD. The companies are confident that the future for marijuana-based drinks is very bright.


The prospects for the use of cannabidiol in medicine are undeniable, despite the lack of enough conclusive scientific evidence. Thus, it has already been proven that CBD can have soothing, anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic effects, as well as bring positive results in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Medical use of cannabis is now being actively studied by scientists. Although it is too early to draw any definitive conclusions, the use of CBD in medicine is an extremely promising field of research.

As for the use of CBD in healthy beverages or energy drinks, both of which are being aggressively advertised these days, the true health benefits have not yet been scientifically confirmed. In fact, just like many other popular trends in the field of nutrition.

This does not mean that these statements are false, just that they have not yet been confirmed or refuted at this time. The first thing that needs to be resolved in order to move forward with the mass production of cannabidiol-containing products is for all of the legal issues surrounding its use to be settled.

If you’re searching for a reliable store for buying CBD-containing products, take a look at Green Papas. We are ready to help you to reach and maintain a healthy balance in your life. Contact us and enter the world of high-quality CBD-containing products!