Cannabidiol is a chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana. Over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant. While delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major active ingredient, cannabidiol makes up about 40% of cannabis extracts and has been studied for many different uses. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), because cannabidiol has been studied as a new drug, products containing cannabidiol are not defined as dietary supplements. But there are still products labeled as dietary supplements on the market that contain cannabidiol. The amount of cannabidiol contained in these products is not always reported accurately on the product label.
A CNN program that featured Charlotte's Web cannabis in 2013 brought increased attention to the use of CBD in the treatment of seizure disorders. Since then, 16 states have passed laws to allow the use of CBD products with a doctor's recommendation (instead of a prescription) for treatment of certain medical conditions. This is in addition to the 30 states that have passed comprehensive medical cannabis laws, which allow for the use of cannabis products with no restrictions on THC content. Of these 30 states, eight have legalized the use and sale of cannabis products without requirement for a doctor's recommendation.
Cannabidiol oil is extracted from the varieties of cannabis plants that have CBD occurring naturally in large amounts and THC in low amounts. To ensure a high concentration of CBD in the oil, a specialized process is used to extract the compound. The oil contains other compounds like terpenes, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, chlorophyll, vitamins, and phytocannabinoids like cannabigerol, cannabichromene, cannabidivarin, and cannabinol.