Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidoil or cannabidol are common misspellings of cannabidiol.

We have written this article for the layperson. For people interested in finding out more, and for those looking for the best option for themselves or others. For this purpose, we have kept medical and scientific jargon to a minimum. However, we have included explanations for the terms that we have used.

What is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol is one of over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant that belongs to a class of substances called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that has been found to exhibit many medicinal benefits for many conditions.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that modulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. There are two types of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids which originate inside the body, and exogenous cannabinoids which arise outside of the body. 2-AG and anandamide are the two most significant endocannabinoids, and exogenous cannabinoids include the THC and CBD found in cannabis.

There are over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant that belongs to the class of substances called cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids in cannabis are Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol typically accounts for over 40% of the total cannabinoid content in the cannabis plant. CBD is well known for its many medicinal benefits. THC is well known because it typically causes a sensation of intoxication in users.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a cannabinoid that has been found to exhibit many medicinal benefits for many varying conditions.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC,  typically has an intoxicating effect in users; however, it has also been found to exhibit medicinal benefits for specific conditions.

How Does Cannabidiol Work?

The Endocannabinoid System

The human body contains an Endocannabinoid system, which according to the Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia:

is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Cannabinoids manifest their effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, that responds to cannabinoid ‘agonists’, or chemical messengers. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the psychological and physiological effects of cannabinoids, of which endocannabinoids originate inside the body, exogenous cannabinoids arise outside of the body.

Cannabidiol and the Immune System

The immune system is comprised of structures and processes within the body that protect against diseases and destroy foreign and infectious microbes. In some instances, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, resulting in a condition known as autoimmunity. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown by researchers to be an immune system suppressor: one of the reasons why it’s useful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease, and why it has improved the quality of life of those suffering from such diseases.

The Profile of Immune Modulation by Cannabidiol (CBD) Involves Deregulation of Nuclear Factor of Activated T Cells (NFAT) View Research Paper

Taken together, these data suggest that CBD suppresses T cell function and that CB1 and/or CB2 play a critical role in the magnitude of the in vitro anti-sRBC IgM AFC response.

CBD possesses low affinity for both CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and therefore, does not produce the “high” associated with marijuana use. Despite this, CBD does exhibit immunosuppressive properties.

Cannabidiol and the Sleep Cycle

According to research, Cannabidiol improves insomnia and increases the amount of sleep because it reduces anxiety and chronic pain, as opposed to making one sleepy. Interestingly, Cannabidiol has also been shown to induce alertness when awake, and it has also been shown to improve REM Sleep Disorder.


CBD oil is typically made from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that has high levels of Cannabidiol (CBD) and trace levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is usually blended with a carrier oil such as Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil, olive oil or hemp seed oil. CBD offers a vast range of healing properties, and studies show that it has significant effects on various neurological and physiological disorders. Such disorders include anxiety, ADHD and ADD, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, bipolar, cancer, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, fibromyalgia and hypertension. These in addition to inflammation, insomnia, migraines and headaches, multiple sclerosis, nausea, OCD. Furthermore, many use CBD Oil to treat osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, PTSD, schizophrenia, seizures, spasticity, spinal injury and even stress.

For a more in-depth discussion on CBD Oil, check out our article CBD Oil: The Essential Guide.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis Oil, otherwise known as Medical Marijuana is made from marijuana, a variety of the cannabis plant that has moderate to high levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and moderate to high levels of Cannabidiol (CBD). It is usually blended with a carrier oil such as Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil, olive oil or hemp seed oil. It is known by various names such as medical cannabis, medical marijuana, marijuana oil, or THC oil. Because it has significant levels of THC, in sufficient amounts, it can cause a psychoactive effect. For the most part, however, because dosages are small and spread throughout the day, these effects can be minimised.

For a more in-depth discussion on Cannabis Oil, check out our article Cannabis Oil: The Essential Guide.

Cannabidiol Scheduling in South Africa

In August 2017, the Medicines Control Council (MCC) rescheduled Cannabidiol (CBD) from a schedule 7 to a schedule 4 substance. The rescheduling required South Africans to obtain a doctor’s prescription in order to buy CBD in-store or online. In a landmark judgement on 18 September 2018, the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest court effectively decriminalised the cultivation, storage and use of cannabis in the privacy of one’s home, ruling that the prohibition of private cultivation, possession and consumption of the plant at home was unconstitutional.

On 23 May 2019, however, after a legal petition by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), the Department of Health’s Dr Aaron Motsoaledi published an update effectively excluding certain preparations of CBD from the schedule 4 classification. In particular, such preparations should contain a maximum daily dose of 20 mg cannabidiol (CBD). Interestingly, the exemption is effective for a period not exceeding twelve (12) months from the date of signature of the notice. So, unless renewed, the exemption will expire on 23 May 2020.

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