CBD as Medicine

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Cannabidiol (CBD) as medicine

CBD is next to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, „Dronabinol“) the best known active component of the hemp plant. As CBD is not legally restricted like cannabis and THS, more and more practical uses are found by patients and pharma concerns.

CBD in Cannabis for consumation

CBD has only a weak psycho-activ effect, it doesn’t cause a „high“ like THC. It acts against the THC-effect. That in Europe mainly consummated marijuana is rich on THC bus has almost no CBD left, while the traditional haschisch a much higher CBD content has. So very different is its inebriating effect, as well as its anti-psychotic effect and the blocking of THC is reducing cannabis induced psychosis and schizophrenia. CBD rich brands are less risky.

CBD in the USA

The use of CBD in different forms of epilepsy of children has motivated parents to legalize CBD in some states. So added to 23 states to admit CBD as medicine there are11 more now.


Many findings of the medical properties of CBD are not assured. Besides empirical research there are almost no substantiated studies, only cell research, animal experiments and single case studies.

CBD is anti-spasmodic, this effect is used in the cannabis medication called Sativex. Sativex contains CBD and THC and is indicated and used for spastics in MS.CBD could help with dystonia as presented as symptom by Parkinson’s. Concrete it is used by epilepsy and can help with epileptic episodes as symptom of diseases like Angelman-Syndrom.

The mentioned anti-psychotic effect is researched right now in drugs studies with schizophrenic patients. The anti-inflammatory effect of CBD can help with morbus crohn, arthritis, asthma and lots more auto immune diseases. CBD acts anti axiety like Diazepam, helps with sickness and has neuroprotective and antibacterial properties. It blocks the prion protein like in BSE.

Supposedly CBD reduces the risk of diabetes. CBD probably causes the proved preventive effect of cannabis with diabetes. Though a different cannabinoid (THCV) is researched for this. Further indications see studies to CBD below.

Contra indications

CBD is compared to THC relatively low on side effects as it doesn’t enibriate. Through the study of CBD for the drug Epidiolex we know about the side effects of CBD. Half of the subjects of this study complain of numbness and tiredness. More side effects

are less appetite and weight change in both direction as well as diarrhea. Long term effects with children are not known yet. As CBD has to be used in very high dosage it blocks the enzymes CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 and might increase the concentration and effect of some drugs.

form of application

CBD can be prescribed by a physician and obtained in a pharmacy. No narcotic prescription is necessary, as CBD does not adhere the narcotic law. As a drug on prescription it is not refunded by the health fund automatically and should be prescribed by private prescription, sometimes after careful consideration it will be refunded.

What is more, on the German marked are hemp oils containing CBD with a THC amount of under 0,2 %. They can be sold legally as food or cosmetic. These products can’t be sold or marketed as medicine even if they have a medical application. Hemp oil containing CBD are not to be mistaken for cannabisoil containing lots of THC.

The company Bedrocan sells two kinds of medical cannabis flowers containing CBD. Bediol contains 6 % THC and 8 % CBD and Bedrolite 9 % CBD and < 1% THC. Cannabis flowers can be obtained with special approval in a pharmacy for self therapy. The brand Bedrolite is sold since 2014 and is used already in Germany

Bedrocan supplies the canadian market with these brands. The US is growing brands containing CBD for medical purpose as well.


In the US the drug Epidiolex from the company GW Pharmaceuticals, known for its  product Sativex, is approved by the food and drug administration (FDA) since November 2013 as „Orphan Drug”. At present it includes “Dravet-Syndrom” and “Lennox-Gastaut-Syndrom”, two rare and difficult to treat forms of epilepsy of children. The producing company is hoping to expand to more forms of epilepsy of grown-ups as well as children. 1,2 million children in the US and in Europe suffer from epilepsy. Almost a quarter million diagnosed as therapy-resistant! Certain anticonvulsants show a harmful influence on young brains. Because of these and more side effects of the usual drugs CBD could be the alternative or an additional option with all forms of epilepsy.

Epdiolex (also known as „GWP42003“) is a severely cleased plant extract, containing CBD but no THC. It is dispensed orally. For the indications Dravet-Syndrom and Lennox-Gastaut-Syndrom as well as tuberous sclerosis phase 3 studies are in progress.

An orphan-drug status exists in Europe as well. Treatment of rare deceases have an easier deal with regulating bodies. The admission of the US FDA does not automatically lead to an admission as orphan drug within the EU.

It is possible that Epidiolex could be imported from the US, based on § 73 (3) pharma law.

Ongoing Studies on  CBD and CBDV FROM GW Pharmaceuticals

To CBD phase 2 studies are in progress for schizophrenia. The research of intravenous dispensation of CBD by Neonataler Enzephalopatia (orphan-state) is still in preclinical state. For Colitis ulcerosa (chronical inflamed bowel desease) it is in phase 2. Additional CBD is by itself or together with THC researched for gliom (brain tumour, orphan state), breast cancer and lung cancer.

Additional CBD similar cannabionides are studied for more applications. Cannabidivarin (CBDV, GWP42006) is in phase-2 study for epilepsy.


CBD is not flagged up in international contracts and in many national drug laws like THC. This makes it easier for medics, researcher, patients and pharma concerns to use it.


CBD belongs to the phyto-cannabinoides and is only contained in hemp. Hemp (Cannabis) belongs to the cannaceae family. There are 11 branches of this family like hops (Humulus) and many types of hackberry trees. Cannabis sativa and cannabis indica belong to the species hemp. Cannabis ruderalis is not a seperate species as far as we know. The research of the different types of hemp is not concluded yet. There are many different types of both species as well as hybrids of both. The CBD content does not depend on the type of hemp.

In the plant CBD developes the same way as THC, only the last phase of the synthesis is different. The proportion of THC and CBD is anti proportional. By raising the THC content some popular THC types contain almost no CBD. CBD is contained in the types poor on THC. So can be produced inexpensive like in „Fedora 17“ with 1 % CBD.


In contrast to THC, not much about the effect of CBD is known. CBD binds weakly to CB1 and CB2 receptors it only blocks agonists. So it only shows an effect when active components are already effecting the receptors. CBD counter effects THC. It causes less high and less increase in heart frequency or increase in appetite. Medical effects of THC can be reduced. On CB2 receptor as invasive agonists, it causes the opposite effect.

The vanilloid receptor type 1 (VR1) is stimulated by CBD. This receptor influences pain perception. Hot taste is also influenced by VR1, called capsaicin receptor. CBD increases the concentration of endocannabioide (body’s own) anandamide by blocking its assimilation, with THC it prolongs the effect by blocking the reduction through Cytochrom P450-3A (CYP3A) and 2C.

The effect of CBD on 5-HT1A-receptor causes anti anxiety, neuroprotective and anti-depressive effects. Here is blocks agonists, dependent on their concentration. Even more it effects the on the G-protein linked receptor GPR55 antagonistic and

effects indirect the μ and δ-Opioid receptors.

Like THC CBD has some synthetic cannabinoids with a similar structure and effect. O-1602 can be added to abnormal cannabidiolides not binding on CB1 or CB2 receptor but effects like CBD on GPR55. 7 CBD-isomere exist, but only Δ2-CBD is natural, with Δ1-CBD it is not known yet.

Quelle: Apotheke Andritz