Helpful Insights forPatients and Caregivers

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What is cannabidiol (CBD)?1,2

Cannabis (or marijuana) has been a controlled substance in the United States since 1970. CBD is one of the main chemicals in cannabis. CBD does not cause the same effect of “getting high” as marijuana because it does not contain the psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD can be bought in the form of an oil, capsules, shampoo, skin cream, and other formulations.


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  2. Cannabidiol (CBD) Pre-Review Report. World Health Organization. Published November 6, 2017. Accessed September 20, 2019.
  3. FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Published June 5, 2018. Updated June 25, 2018. Accessed September 20, 2019.
  4. Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. DOI: 10.1089/can.2016.0034. PubMed PMID: 28861514; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5569602.
  5. Devinsky O, Cross JH, Laux L, Marsh E, Miller I, Nabbout R, et al. Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(21):2011-2020. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1611618. PubMed PMID: 28538134.
  6. Thiele EA, Marsh ED, French JA, Mazurkiewicz-Beldzinska M, Benbadis SR, Joshi C, et al. Cannabidiol in patients with seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (GWPCARE4): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial. Lancet. 2018;391(10125):1085-1096. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30136-3. PubMed PMID: 29395273.
  7. Warning letters and test results of cannabidiol-related products. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Updated July 24, 2019. Accessed September 20, 2019.
  8. Hilderbrand RL. Hemp & Cannabidiol: What is a Medicine?. Mo Med. 2018;115(4):306-309. PubMed PMID: 30228748.