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  • J.S. O'Donoghue



Cannabidiol is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. It is a major phytocannabinoid which allegedly accounts for up to 40% of the whole plant's chemical make up, and which is found mostly in the roots and leaves of the plant. It is present in very small quantities in the trichomes from which the natural medicinal extracts are made. This is because “a little goes a long way".

Nature has perfectly designed this plant for human consumption. It is only human interference and politics which has caused any confusion. There are at least five registered types of synthetic Cannabidiol.

In this article I have compiled some facts regarding CBD from actual experts, and from my experience, which may assist the layperson in making informed decisions regarding cannabidiol (CBD). My commentary is in italics:

DR. LESTER GRINSPOON, Associate Professor (Emeritus) Harvard Medical School from his article entitled “WITHER CANNBINOPATHIC MEDICINE”:

“There are presently some states which are in the process of enacting medical marijuana legislation which would restrict the legal availability of cannabis to the single cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) a policy which makes little sense. CBD is one of the more than 60 (111 now known) cannabinoids in the plant but it is, in itself, not nearly as useful as a medicine.

The most useful medical strains are those which contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD in the presence of terpinoids. Patients who wish to have some degree of psychoactive effect (often for its antidepressant capacity or because they find the "high" pleasant) will choose a high THC/low CBD strain. Similarly, those who wish to avoid the psychoactive effects while maximizing the therapeutic capacity will seek strains wherein that ratio is reversed. These two cannabinoids along with the terpinoids behave in what I refer to as the ensemble phenomenon to provide the best therapeutic effect.

“It is now clear that we know as much or more about cannabis than we know about many if not most prescription pharmaceuticals. And we most certainly now know enough about its limited toxicity and remarkable medical potential to readmit it as a significant contribution to the pharmacopeia of allopathic (or modern Western) medicine. Shortly after O Shaughnessy introduced cannabis as a new medicine, Western medicine signaled its acceptance when it was entered into the various Western pharmacopoeia in the mid-19th century.

It was expected, certainly by the 1990s, that it would be readmitted as a legitimate medicine given the growth of a mountain of largely anecdotal evidence which establishes both its efficacy and safety, and its potential (once free of the prohibition tariff) to be much less expensive than the pharmaceutical industry products it will replace. The two major agencies of this resistance to its readmission are the US government and the medical /pharmaceutical establishment.”


Yes, CBD oil extracted from the leaves (or the precursor CBDA in the raw juiced leaves and flowers) will be nutritionally valuable, but it is NOT the bone fide Cannabis oil extract which has been creating the remarkable positive results we have all heard about.

True Cannabis extracts are full flower, full spectrum extracts of varying concentration which provide access to all the cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids present in the trichomes in their natural ratios.

The oils obtained from Cannabis seeds have much more significant nutritional value:


Hemp (Cannabis) seed oil comprises 35% of the total seed weight. This oil has the lowest amount of saturated fatty acids at 8%, and the highest amount of the polyunsaturated essential fatty acids at 80%, total oil volume.

Flax seed oil comes in second at 72% combined total essential fatty acids.

Linoleic acid (LA) and linolenic acid (LNA) cannot be made by the human body and must be obtained through the diet, so they are called essential fatty acids (EFA). VLA and LNA are the most important fatty acids in human nutrition and health. They are involved in producing life energy from food and the movement of that energy throughout the body. EFAs govern growth, vitality and state of mind.”

“LA, LNA and the highly unsaturated fatty acids the body makes from them, are necessary in the most active energy and electron exchanging and oxygen requiring tissues; especially the brain, retina, inner ear, adrenal and testicular tissues. They carry the high energy required by the most active tissues, and ensure very high oxygen availability to them. Life force travels through the body via the essential fatty acids and their derivatives.”

Flax seeds provide precisely the same effect as the CBD from Cannabis - reference the Dr. Johanna Budwig natural cancer protocol. Freshly crushed and consumed immediately, the cannabimimetic molecules flax seeds contain act in the same way that CBD from hemp or Cannabis does. The oil degrades very quickly so raw seeds are best, and they are legal, freely available and extremely cheap, especially compared to the price of “hemp oil” or “CBD only” extracts.

Ref also research by Dr. Otto Warburg on the inability of cancer to survive in an alkaline oxygenated environment, for which he won a Nobel prize in the thirties. It makes perfect sense to include Cannabis seeds in any treatment regimen. Combine this with the amazing properties of Moringa Olifera and create a simple but wholesome supplement for the body.



“The FDA has tested dozens of so-called CBD “hemp oil” products and found that in many cases these products contained little or no CBD. CBD-infused nutraceuticals have not been approved by the FDA as food supplements; nor are these products legal in all 50 U.S. states.”

Recently the scheduled status of all CBD (not just that found in Cannabis) was internationally reduced to Schedule 4 (in SA) which requires a doctors prescription and only applies to processed products, so you can’t get a prescription for CBD in the herbal form of Cannabis. So, the legal status of CBD remains the same - as illegal as all other parts or components of the plant as long as it is named in the Schedules of the Medicines Act, the Drugs Act, and the UNSCND.

NOTE: THC is renamed dronabinol in the law and as such is made available solely to pharmaceutical companies for use.

Does Cannabidiol (CBD) work via the endo-cannabinoid system cell receptors (CB 1 and CB 2 receptors) in the nervous and immune systems like THC does?


Raphael Mechoulam: I saw nothing 'idiosyncratic' working on a topic which was basically a chemical one (at least at the beginning) but obviously had a social and medical significance. The only problem was that I had to fight academic bureaucrats at the Weizmann Institute until I moved to the more open Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The work on the plant has now led to the identification of a major physiological system (the endocannabinoid system), which seems to be involved in many human diseases.

The plant THC mimics compounds found in the brain, named endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG), which we discovered in 1992 and 1995. These two endogenous brain cannabinoids are of immense importance in the working of our body. Related compounds we found more recently in the brain and in bones have to do with brain protection and even osteoporosis.”

The endocannabinoid system consists of cell receptors on the surface of cells all over the body which regulate the chemical functioning of the cell and as such comprise the intelligence of cell – See Dr. Bruce Lipton, a pioneer in the field of epigenetics.

Two main types of cannabinoid receptors have been documented, CB1 and CB2 receptors.


CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system, particularly the brain, and in other organs and tissues such as the eyes, lungs, kidneys, liver and digestive tract. In fact, the brain's receptors for cannabinoids far outnumber its opiate receptors, perhaps by as much as ten to one.

The relative safety of cannabis is explained by the fact that cannabinoid receptors are virtually absent from those regions at the base of the brain that are responsible for such vital functions as breathing and heart control.

CB2 receptors are primarily located in tissues associated with immune function, such as the spleen, thymus, tonsils, bone marrow, and white blood cells.”


Cannabidiol has a very low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors but acts as an indirect antagonist of their agonists.[29][30] While one would assume that this would cause cannabidiol to reduce the effects of THC, it may potentiate THC's effects by increasing CB1 receptor density or through another CB1-related mechanism.[31] It may also extend the duration of the effects of THC via inhibition of the cytochrome P-450-3A and 2C enzymes.[32]

Cannabis produces CBD-carboxylic acid (CBDA) through the same metabolic pathway as THC, until the last step, where CBDA synthase performs catalysis instead of THCA synthase.[54]

There is some preclinical evidence to suggest that cannabidiol may reduce THC clearance, modestly increasing THC's plasma concentrations resulting in a greater amount of THC available to receptors, increasing the effect of THC in a dose-dependent manner.[41][42]

So, CBD is not in itself a ligand i.e. a molecule that binds to receptors. Whilst I have little faith in Wikki to provide clear information, the references provided are to actual research by Mechoulam (whose work the US worldwide Patent on cannabinoids is based) and others. Links can be accessed via the Wikki page on Cannabidiol.


“Which is better CBD or THC?

Cannabidiol and THC (The High Causer) (and this description of THC is a typical example of harnessing the the power of “cannibiphobia”) are the power couple of cannabis therapeutics; they work best together.

CBD and THC interact synergistically to potentiate each other’s curative qualities. CBD enhances THC’s painkilling and anticancer properties, while lessening THC’s psycho-activity. CBD can also mitigate adverse effects caused by too much THC, such as anxiety and rapid heartbeat (in very, very high THC strains or synthetic THC products).

When both compounds are present in sufficient amounts in the same cannabis strain or product, CBD will lower the ceiling on the THC high while prolonging its duration. (“Relaxing but not intoxicating” is how one patient described CBD-rich cannabis.) CBD broadens the range of conditions treatable with cannabis, such as liver, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, which may be less responsive to THC-dominant remedies. CBD and THC both stimulate neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells, in adult mammals.”

“If CBD is so good, won’t pure CBD be even better?

Single-molecule CBD will inevitably become a federally approved Big Pharma medicine. Products infused with a crystalline CBD isolate, derived and extensively refined from industrial hemp, are already being marketed by unregulated internet storefronts. But single-molecule CBD is less effective therapeutically than whole plant CBD-rich oil extract (and obviously even more so than full flower full extract).

Scientific studies have established that synthetic, single-molecule CBD has a very narrow therapeutic window and requires precise, high doses for efficacy, whereas lower dose, whole-plant, CBD-rich treatment regimens are already showing efficacy for many conditions among patients in medical marijuana states. (Still nowhere close to the remarkable effects of full flower, full extract or even raw, juiced leaves and flowers).

Whether synthesized in a Big Pharma lab or derived from industrial hemp, single-molecule CBD lacks critical secondary cannabinoids and other medicinal compounds found in high-resin cannabis strains. These compounds interact with CBD and THC to enhance their therapeutic benefits. Scientists call this the “entourage effect.” Numerous cannabis compounds have medicinal attributes, but the therapeutic impact of whole plant cannabis is greater than the sum of its parts.”

The same effect as described in high CBD/low THC products can be obtained by juicing the raw leaves and mature flowers – for free if you are willing to grow your own plants.

Compared to whole plant CBD-rich cannabis (and of course even more so with full flower extract), industrial hemp is typically low in cannabinoid content. A huge amount of hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD, thereby raising the risk of contaminants because hemp, a bio-accumulator, draws toxins from the soil. That’s a great feature for restoring a poisoned ecosystem, but it’s not recommended for extracting medicinal oil. Heavily refined CBD paste or terpene-free CBD powder is poor starter material for formulating CBD-rich oil products.

The FDA has tested dozens of so-called CBD “hemp oil” products and found that in many cases these products contained little or no CBD.”

“What is the optimal dosage of CBD?

An effective dosage can range from as little as a few milligrams of CBD-enriched (NOTE: NOT CBD only) cannabis oil to a gram or more. Begin with a small dose of high CBD/low THC oil, (or a full flower tincture) especially if you have little or no experience with cannabis. Take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose. Use the same dose and ratio for several days. Observe the effects and if necessary adjust the ratio or amount. Don’t overdo it.

Cannabis compounds have biphasic properties, which means that low and high doses of the same substance can produce opposite effects.

Small doses of cannabis tend to stimulate; large doses sedate. Too much THC, while not lethal, can amplify (existing) anxiety and mood disorders. CBD has no known adverse side effects, but an excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose. “Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabis therapy.”

A much more viable and medicinally beneficial way to “avoid the psycho-active effect” of cannabis medicine is to consume cold press, “unactivated” tinctures or even “activated” tinctures at reduced concentrations which can be safely made at home with a little knowledge and training, as long as you have access to medicinal grade, naturally grown cannabis flowers.

"Cold press” means the raw plant has not been heated to produce THC and CBD and the extracts contain a majority of their precursors, THCA and CBDA, in the cananbinoid content.

Since these tinctures are the precursor to the full extract oil, they also contain the full range of cannabinoids and terpinoids for your body to synthesize as required. In my experience they are extremely and immediate effective on pain and in many other applications, and have even affected my body’s ability to treat early skin cancer over a period of time and in conjunction with topical treatment and the MONTH protocols.

They do take time but are useful to people who cannot afford to be affected cognitively, such as while they are at work. Even the “activated” tinctures which do have some psychoactive effect work at such small doses that it is not significant and can even be beneficial in creating catharsis and treating the psychosomatic (i.e. the root cause in consciousness) causes of disease in my experience.

“Can CBD cure epilepsy?

Marijuana has a rich history as a medicine for quelling seizures and convulsions going back thousands of years. In the mid-19th century, the U.S. Pharmacopoeia listed cannabis tincture as a treatment for pediatric epilepsy, and subsequent scientific studies have documented the anticonvulsant effects of CBD, THC, and whole plant cannabis.

CBD-dominant/low-THC cannabis strains and oil extracts can facilitate dramatic improvement in some children with intractable seizure disorders. Between 10-15 percent of severe childhood epileptics who are given CBD oil products experience a near complete cessation of seizures; most improve (with a decrease but not total elimination of seizures); and some children have worse seizures when they take CBD.

Many parents of epileptic children have learned through trial and error that augmenting CBD-rich oil by adding some THC -- or better yet, THCA, the unheated, non-psychoactive form of THC that’s present in raw cannabis flowers and leaves -- helps with seizure control.

The take-home message: Low-THC cannabis oil products don’t work for everyone. Patients of all ages need access to a wide spectrum of whole plant cannabis remedies, not just high CBD oil.”

In our experience cold press full flower tinctures have been found to act in a much safer and more effective manner and have zero psychoactive effect. They also work with animals e.g. epileptic dogs, and have been found to stop seizures within a day or two, simply by putting a couple of drops a day in their drinking water or food.

Immediate and dramatic effects have been witnessed in feline aids as well – causing a remarkable recovery even on the brink of death. The same applies to treatment in horses from open wounds (tincture) to snake venom in the eye (balm) to treating colic or African Horse Sickness.

Results are remarkable with simply feeding the raw flowers in food. This is because all living beings have an endo-cannabiniod system whose natural chemicals are mimicked by those in Cannabis. This is what makes Cannabis the truest and most powerful of “companion plants”.

“Does CBD have any adverse side effects? What about drug interactions?

CBD is a very safe substance, but patients taking other medications should check with their doctor about drug interactions, which are more likely when consuming high doses of single-molecule CBD products. At sufficient dosages, CBD will temporarily deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, thereby altering how we metabolize a wide range of compounds, including THC. Cytochrome P450 enzymes metabolize more than 60 percent of Big Pharma meds.

CBD is a more potent inhibitor of cytochrome P450 than the grapefruit compound Bergapten, so ask your doctor if grapefruit interacts with your medication. If grapefruit does, then CBD probably does, too. Patients on a CBD-rich treatment regimen should monitor changes in blood levels of prescription medications and, if need be, adjust dosage.”

The consumption of raw, herbal Cannabis has no known contra-indication with medicines. I have even known someone on Warfarin who could smoke Cannabis with no side effects, only benefits. Warfarin and other blood thinners are contra-indictors for the use of concentrated Cannabis use internally, even tinctures, as Cannabis can effect a drop in blood pressure in large doses in healthy people, and small doses in people on Warfarin, and although this has never been reported to be fatal, it is unwise to be irresponsible with this medicine. Used topically i.e. applied to the skin, there have been no contra-indications with Warfarin or any other drug reported, with remarkable and very quick positive results for treatment of certain conditions.


“Two broad categories of CBD-rich cannabis strains have emerged since the serendipitous rediscovery of whole plant CBD by Northern California growers in late 2009. There are a handful of CBD-dominant strains with little THC (just the opposite of what’s readily available on the recreational market and the medical marijuana gray market). And there are also more balanced cannabis strains with roughly equal—or significant—amounts of both CBD and THC.” This article named Cannatonic, ACDC, and Charlotte’s Web as established CBD rich strains. We have found other hybrid strains to have a similar effect even though they do not necessarily have the same high ratio of CBD.


CannaSOS is a site I found which describes the genetically determined cannabinoid content of various established strains. It is best to check the cannabinoid profile of the strain you wish to use, bearing in mind it is almost impossible to determine that you actually have a genuine original genetic from a named strain, rather than a cross-pollinated hybrid.

Testing the actual plant you use for the medicinal qualities you desire is ultimately the only test as to what will actually work for your body. For example, I have found that low THC strains and/or THCA dominant medicines do not work as effectively for neuropathic pain as do fully decarboxylated (“activated”) products rich in THC, even at such low doses that completely avoid the psychoactive effect.

CBD rich balm boosted with root oil applied topically works tremendously on muscular pain but does not affect nerve pain at all so a combination is best. CBD rich oil can assist with counteracting the psychoactive effect of THC rich oil (such as that which treats cancer) even being absorbed topically through the skin as a bath oil, in my experience.


“The targeted effects of cannabinoids on GBM (an extremely aggressive form of brain cancer) were further demonstrated in 2005 by researchers who showed that the cannabinoid THC both selectively inhibited the proliferation of malignant cells and induced them to die off, while leaving healthy cells unaffected. 67 While CBD and THC have each been demonstrated to have tumor-fighting properties in isolation, research published in 2010 shows that they work better in combination, as CBD enhances the inhibitory effects of THC on GBM cell proliferation and survival.68”

68. Marcu J et al (2010). Cannabidiol enhances the inhibitory effects of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 9(1):180-9

“Indications of the remarkable potential of cannabinoids to fight cancer in humans have also been seen in three recent large-scale population studies. The studies were designed to find correlations between smoking cannabis and cancers of the lung, throat, head and neck. Instead, the researchers discovered that the cancer rates of cannabis smokers were at worst no greater than those who smoked nothing at all or even significantly better.78

One study found that 10-20 years of cannabis use reduced the incidence of head, neck and throat cancers by 62%.79 Researchers suggest that cannabinoids my produce a prophylactic (preventative) effect against cancer development, as seen in the anti-proliferation effect that has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo.”

78. Tashkin D. 2006. Paper presented at American Thoracic Society 102nd International Conference, San Diego, May 23, 2006.

79. Lang C et al. 2009. A population-based case-control study of marijuana use and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Prev Res, 2(8): 759-68.

The fact is that the cannabinoids in Cannabis induce a meditative state of being in human beings.

In this state the Vagus nerve can operate and induce the release of anandamide, the endogenous cannabinoid (produced by our bodies). Anandamide is the human body's equivalent of THC – the “bliss” chemical which takes us out of the adrenal state of stress and helps repair chemical damage from being in that adrenal state.

This so-called “bliss” state is simply our natural state of being – the feeling of aliveness which so many of us are disconnected from by our unhealthy lifestyles.

We all know the correlation between stress and disease, yet few of us operate in our natural state of alert, relaxed, awareness in which our bodies can repair and maintain itself through mechanisms like apoptosis – the natural cell death mechanism of mutated, damaged and even tumoural cells.


“Sativex is a marijuana-based pharmaceutical that is now approved in over 24 countries.

Sativex is a whole cannabis extract that comes as a peppermint-flavored mouth spray.

Since Sativex is made from cannabis, it also produces a high. While the ratio of THC to CBD may be less than that of more potent cannabis strains, Health Canada’s Fact Sheet warns that Sativex can still cause “symptoms of cannabinoid intoxication.”

Like cannabis, dizziness and fatigue are the most commonly reported side effects of taking Sativex. Sativex (like cannabis) has also been confirmed to have no permanent effect on cognitive function.

On the other hand, Sativex is administered as a mouth spray and has been found to cause oral discomfort in 20-25% of patients. Medical marijuana users do not typically experience this problem and often rely on vaporizers to avoid the negative effects of smoking.

In New Zealand, an average annual prescription of Sativex costs about $16,000 (US). Likewise, according to Professor Gavin Giovannoni of The London School of Medicine, Sativex has “not been proven to be cost-effective” in the UK, which has led a large number of MS patients to continue using illegal forms of cannabis.

While Sativex is currently approved solely for the treatment of MS-related muscle spasticity, the drug is also being trialed for a number of other conditions.”

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