Organic vs. Synthetic CBD

            CBD is the naturally occurring chemical found in the marijuana plant that people hope could have potential to have medical benefits. THC is the chemical in marijuana that gets people high, which means you cannot get high at all from CBD alone. Organic CBD has an ineffective delivery mechanism. This blog examines organic CBD versus synthetic CBD and the potential future of synthetic CBD in medicine.


            When CBD enters the brain, it can help people with things like pain management. There is some hope for treating seizures, and a few other conditions. But, there are also a few problems with CBD. The first of these is that the body adjusts to it too quickly. Whenever you see a video of someone with Parkinson’s and they take a spoonful of CBD oil and they stop shaking, it’s always the first or second time. The title of the video usually will be something to the effect of, “Woman with Parkinson’s takes CBD for the first time and stops shaking!” The problem is that, because of how fast our body adjusts to it, at first, she/he will need a spoonful to feel the effect. Eventually she/he will need more and more and more, until finally it just isn’t having any effect at all.

            The second issue that must be addressed is that CBD has a hard time figuring out how to get to the brain. When a person smokes weed, the THC knows how to bind onto fat cells. It clings onto the circulating fat cells until they reach the brain, where marijuana unbinds and stays. When someone takes pure CBD however, it has a hard time going straight to the brain, which can make it difficult to get the correct dosage.


            To address this, Zynerba pharmaceuticals just announced they are working on synthetic CBD and it has passed phase 2 of clinical trial testing. The drug will be called Zygel and is hopeful for treating things like seizures, Parkinson’s, and behavioral symptoms of conditions such as autism.

Synthetic CBD Upsides

            When it comes to making a drug synthetic, there are upsides and downsides. Some potential upsides could be that they could make a drug that has an easier time being absorbed by the body and takes a more direct route to the brain. They could also modify the chemical where the body does not adapt to the chemicals as rapidly. Another positive would be that it is more controlled of a substance. There would be less variation depending on the plant that CBD was collected from, the weather, exposure to things like pesticide residue, and chemicals like butane, which are currently used to extract CBD from marijuana.

Synthetic CBD Downsides

            However, there are some downsides as well. As we have seen with opioids, the more synthetic a chemical gets, and the further it gets from where it naturally started, the more addictive and problematic it can be. People will ask me all the time, “why could the ancient Chinese cultures sit around and smoke opium all day, and be fine, but currently we’re having such a huge opioid crisis?” A lot of the answer is because of the synthetic nature of our current opioids. The further you get from the natural plant, and the more it is processed, the more problematic it can be. This is also why buying ground beef and making burgers at home is so much healthier than going to McDonald’s.

CBD TBD (to be continued…)

            It will be interesting to following the developments of synthetic CBD to see if it will be a breakthrough in medicine and help people to get the treatment they need. In looking at organic CBD versus synthetic CBD, it is yet to be determined whether synthetic CBD will have the benefits medicine is hoping for.