The Chemical Structure of CBD oil

The latest big player on the wellness stage is CBD. Whether it is products infused with the oil, topical applications, or CBD oil capsules, the options for delivery of the oil are ubiquitous. The main ingredient, derived from the hemp plant, has a unique chemical signature that has the potential to interact with multiple body systems.

 Cannabinoid Family

Cannabinoids as a group are a very diverse chemical family. Different cannabinoids have widely varied effects. Some have soothing and relaxing properties and others may be classified as illegal drugs.

CBD is one derivative of the cannabis plant and is one of the many varieties of cannabinoids. It is the second most abundant derivative from the cannabis plant. CBD is often conflated with THC, the chemical in the cannabis plant that produces a “high.” CBD, like several other cannabinoids, does not have any psychoactive effect.


CBD is classified as a phytocannabinoid, which means it is a naturally occurring substance derived from cannabis. It is a cyclohexene, which means it is a colorless liquid which is insoluble in water. Its molecular formula is C21H30O2 and has a molecular weight of 314.4 g/mol.

 Pharmacological Applications

CBD has been shown to have analgesic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, neuroprotective, and anti-psychotic activity. The exact mechanisms of these effects are not fully understood. It interacts with the numerous CBD-1 and CBD-2 receptors in the body. In addition, it may activate other kinds of receptors, including opioid receptors. Through this activity, it may increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the body.

In 2018, the FDA approved the use of Epidiolex, a CBD-derived oral solution, for the treatment of certain rare forms of epilepsy. In Canada, a similar drug called Sativex has been approved for the treatment of spasticity related to multiple sclerosis.

 Absorption and Elimination

When administered via a cheek swab, CBD peak absorption in the body occurred within 2-4 hours. the levels by this type of dosage were lower than when the compound was inhaled. Elimination of the compound occurs within 24-36 hours of initial dosage. In the body, the compound is metabolized by the liver. Even after the therapeutic dose of CBD has left the body, trace amounts remain in fatty tissues and may be released at intervals.

CBD can interact with multiple body systems, as described above. Although the official uses are limited, anecdotal evidence points to a wide range of applications for CBD oil capsules.

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