Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is concentrated in the oily resin that is concentrated on the cannabis flower clusters, commonly called buds, that are covered in tiny, mushroom-shaped trichomes. There are also trichomes in smaller amounts on the leaves and on the stalk, but they have very low oil or CBD content. There is no CBD in the roots or seeds of cannabis.
Trichomes by definition are a small hair or other outgrowth from the epidermis of a plant, typically unicellular and glandular. They are specialized glandular structures that contain the oily compounds, including CBD and terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for the taste and smell of cannabis. These trichomes protect the plant from heat and ultraviolet radiation and also has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and insecticidal properties. Its stickiness also traps bugs, providing another layer of protection. Trichomes are fragile and break off of the cannabis flower.
Therefore, CBD is extracted from the resinous trichomes of the cannabis plant. The many different strains of cannabis plants have different levels of CBD in them. Industrial hemp has a low resin content and is legally defines as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. It has fewer trichomes than the high resin cannabis plants, and thus has less oil.
There is evidence to support that CBD works best in combination with THC and the full spectrum of cannabis components, but our focus for this site is only on CBD due to the legalities of using marijuana/TCH in most states and known adverse effects of long term use, especially in children with developing brains.
Most health professionals know little about CBD and they lack the expertise needed to adequately counsel patients regarding use, dosing, methods of administration, or risk factors. Those selling CBD often lack this same knowledge. Our hope is to educate both sellers and consumers to help them recommend and use the products safely.
Absorption from the gastrointestinal tract is erratic and leads to variable pharmacokinetics. Bioavailability from oral deliver has been estimate at 6% due to significant first-pass metabolism in the liver and low absorption rate in the GI tract. Oral-mucosal/sublingual delivery has a slightly better bioavailability. Because it is highly lipophilic, meaning it is attracted to fat, eating with a fatty meal can increase absorption.