source: By Paul Armentano, AlterNet – Monday, February 24 2014

Don’t sacrifice the plant for one of its healing compounds.

State lawmakers who have steadfastly opposed the legalization of medical marijuana are suddenly singing the praises of cannabidiol. What gives?

Lawmakers in a growing number of states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Utah, and Wisconsin, are saying no to medical cannabis but yes to cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound in the plant. But is this new direction in the best interest of patients?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of an estimated 100 unique, biologically active compounds present in the marijuana plant. First discovered in 1940 (though its specific chemical structure was not identified until 1963), CBD is the most studied cannabinoid after delta-9-THC. Like THC, the compound acts on the endogenous cannabinoid system to stimulate a variety of potentially beneficial therapeutic effects. (Some of these more notable effects include anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activities.) Unlike THC, cannabidiol is not psychoactive. Therefore, it does not trigger the so-called marijuana high. In fact, studies show that CBD tempers THC’s psychoactivity.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.