Organic or Synthetic CBD – Which is Best?

Why Whole Plant Cannabidiol is Superior for Medical Treatments

Earlier this year, an Israeli study entitled "Overcoming the Bell-Shaped
Dose-Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in
was published in the journal Pharmacology & Pharmacy. This study
proved that for clinical use, whole plant CBD-rich cannabis extracts and
products are significantly more effective and therapeutic than synthetic
single-molecule CBD. As a result of its findings, this study put to bed
the stereotyped notion that "crude" CBD compounds are low-quality and
less effective than their pure, synthetic counterparts.

The findings of this study have major implications for
phytopharmaceutical and medical marijuana industries and may produce
treatments that can help patients cope with painful and difficult
inflammatory diseases.

What is CBD?

CBD, both whole plant and synthetic varieties, is a compound derived
from cannabis that offers considerable medical
without making patients feel "high." This is because CBD-rich cannabis
strains are not psychoactive or are less psychoactive than their
THC-dominant counterparts. This makes them effective and appealing
treatment options for patients suffering from inflammatory

Many studies have been conducted on the clinical uses of CBD, and
currently, the compound is being evaluated as a treatment option for
everything from
and chronic
Additionally, CBD has been shown to have considerable
properties as well as significant neuroprotective and neurogenic
capabilities, which may expand its therapeutic uses in the future.

The Israeli Study and the Bell-Shaped Curve

The Israeli study set out to compare the therapeutic benefits of
CBD-rich cannabis extracts and single-molecule CBD. To begin this
process, the researchers consulted preclinical studies from the last 15
years. The team quickly discovered that when single-molecule synthetic
CBD was administered orally or in injection form to a patient suffering
from a condition like inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), multiple
sclerosis (MS), diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, the treatment produced
a bell-shaped curve between dose and response. This means that, after a
certain dosage amount, the impact of CBD ceased to be therapeutic. The
therapeutic dosage window for synthetic CBD was very limited and there
were no positive effects noted in patients when single-molecule CBD was
given in higher or lower doses. This trait of single-molecule CBD limits
its usefulness and makes it difficult to utilize effectively in a
clinical setting.

The Clinical Difference Between Whole Plant and Synthetic CBD

After discovering the bell-shaped pattern created by single-molecule
CBD, the Israeli team set out to learn more about the treatment
differences between single-molecule CBD and whole plant extract rich in
CBD. To do this, they located a CBD-rich cannabis strain that had very
little THC (this strain was similar to California’s ACDC strain, which
has long been favored by
for its high CBD content) and administered both the whole plant and
synthetic varieties to mice. Upon doing this, the researchers confirmed
that when single-molecule CBD was administered, it produced a
bell-shaped curve with a very narrow zone for therapeutic
administration. The whole plant CBD extract, however, had a much
different effect.

Unlike the single-molecule CBD, the whole plant CBD-rich extract
produced a direct and immediate reduction in pain, inflammation and
TNFa production, which is
a protein that plays a significant role in inflammation. These results
proved that CBD-rich cannabis extract is actually more effective at
reducing inflammation than commercial painkillers. In fact, when the
researchers tested whole plant CBD and aspirin side-by-side, they found
that the whole plant CBD-rich extract produced a much more pronounced
anti-inflammatory effect than aspirin.

Additionally, unlike purified CBD, CBD-rich extract displayed a direct
correlation between dose and effectiveness. Whole plant CBD extract
exhibited increased therapeutic responses in accordance with increasing
doses, which makes this treatment option attractive and applicable to
patients in a clinical setting. Finally, the researchers discovered that
the amount of CBD-rich extract required to produce a therapeutic effect
in patients was much smaller than the amount of pure CBD required to
produce the same therapeutic effect. These finding indicate how CBD-rich
extract can be used more sparingly in patients suffering from
uncomfortable conditions.

The Future of Whole Plant CBD

CBD-rich extract has a direct dose-response reaction, low administration
requirements and profound anti-inflammatory properties. Using these
results, the Israeli researchers determined that CBD-rich extract is
superior to single-molecule CBD for treatment of conditions that involve
inflammation and pain. Although the exact reason for this increased
effectiveness requires further study, researchers currently believe it
may be due to an interaction between the CBD itself and
phytocannabinioids and non-cannabinoid compounds. Although further
clinical trials are required to better understand the treatment
applications of CBD-rich extract, it is clear that whole plant CBD has
the potential to change or compliment the treatment options for many
common conditions that were previously treated by synthetic drugs alone.
Because of this, CBD-rich extract gives patients a powerful tool to
reclaim their well being. In addition to offering a lower dose of
treatment than single-molecule CBD, CBD-rich extract also produces fewer
adverse effects and has the potential to leave patients feeling better,
despite their health difficulties and painful conditions.


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