DOI: 10.1213/ane.0000000000006584 ISSN: 0003-2999

An Overview of Cannabidiol

Alexandra Sideris, Lisa V. Doan
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most interesting constituents of cannabis, garnering significant attention in the medical community in recent years due to its proven benefit for reducing refractory seizures in pediatric patients. Recent legislative changes in the United States have made CBD readily available to the general public, with up to 14% of adults in the United States having tried it in 2019. CBD is used to manage a myriad of symptoms, including anxiety, pain, and sleep disturbances, although rigorous evidence for these indications is lacking. A significant advantage of CBD over the other more well-known cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydroncannabinol (THC) is that CBD does not produce a “high.” As patients increasingly self-report its use to manage their medical conditions, and as the opioid epidemic continues to drive the quest for alternative pain management approaches, the aims of this narrative review are to provide a broad overview of the discovery, pharmacology, and molecular targets of CBD, its purported and approved neurologic indications, evidence for its analgesic potential, regulatory implications for patients and providers, and future research needs.

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