Since the CBD epilepsy drug Epidiolex became available on prescription in 2018, medical research into CBD has kicked into overdrive.

Scientists are currently researching whether or not pharmaceutical CBD oil is also an effective treatment for a host of other diseases.

Alongside this, researchers at the University of California have begun to develop synthetic CBD as a pharmaceutical drug.

So what is synthetic CBD, and how is it different to traditional CBD oil?

Related: Is CBD Oil Natural?

What is synthetic CBD?

So what is synthetic CBD?

Synthetic CBD is a form of CBD (cannabidiol) that has been made artificially.

Natural CBD is derived from the cannabis sativa L. plant family. CBD is present in both hemp and cannabis strains.

Synthetic CBD, on the other hand, has been made in a lab from other materials. Researchers at the University of California who have developed this new form of synthetic CBD have called the compound ‘H2CBD’.

Related: The Ingredients of a Good Quality CBD Oil.

Why make synthetic CBD?

You might be wondering why scientists would want to develop synthetic CBD when drugs like Epidiolex that are made from hemp derived CBD work to treat epilepsy.

Here are the two main reasons why:


Growing plants to made medicine is expensive, takes a lot of work and a lot of time too.

If chemists can create synthetic CBD in a lab without hemp or cannabis plants, they massively reduce the amount of money and time it takes to create CBD based medications like Epidiolex.

Side effects

While CBD is not a narcotic, and so does not make you ‘high’, it does sometimes have a mild sedative effect.

Many scientists believe the sedative effects of CBD are caused by CBD molecules converting to THC molecules when they come in contact with stomach acid after they have been swallowed.

However, researchers have discovered that synthetic H2CBD molecules do not behave the same way as natural CBD, and this reaction does not occur.

As a result, the sedative effects of H2CBD are less than natural CBD, which in some ways can be an advantage, especially when treating children.

Related: Why Can’t You Make Medical Claims About CBD Oil?

Does synthetic CBD work?

H2CBD is in the early stages of animal trials. Current studies being carried out on rats have found H2CBD to be equally as effective as CBD at reducing seizure frequency in epileptic rats.

This has led the research team at University of California to believe that H2CBD is equally as effective for treating epilepsy as CBD.

Further trials are required before scientists can conclude either way, and human trials will be a long way off yet.

Related: The Anti-Ageing Benefits of CBD Oil.

Is synthetic CBD safe?

In the trials carried out on rats, no sedative effect was observed after administering H2CBD. In some ways this does make the drug safer than natural CBD since sedation can be an unwanted effect.

However this also means that H2CBD may have no anti-anxiety or sleep-inducing effects either.

Mark Mascal, the professor of chemistry that directed the research has described H2CBD as ‘much safer’ because H2CBD cannot be converted to THC like natural CBD can.

He goes on to state that H2CBD has ‘no abuse potential’. We struggle to see how CBD made from hemp has ‘abuse potential’, unless of course someone converts it to THC.

However, it is important to note than other synthetic cannabinoids have been used to create devastating recreational drugs such as ‘spice’ (also known as K2).

Related: The Best Way to Take CBD Oil.

What is natural CBD oil?

what is raw CBD oil

In stark contrast to synthetic CBD, natural CBD oil is made by taking hemp plants and using supercritical extraction to create a thick dark green CBD paste.

This CBD paste can then be made to create CBD oil, or it can be processed further into products such as CBD distillate or CBD isolate.

Related: What is CBD Isolate?

If the CBD extract does not undergo further processing, it is what is called ‘full spectrum’ CBD extract. It contains a full spectrum of the terpenes, fatty acids, flavonoids and essential vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in hemp and cannabis plants. It is rich in antioxidants and nutrients.

We believe that this is the most powerful and beneficial form of CBD extract when it comes to supporting your wellbeing.

While it may not be as pure or concentrated as more processed forms of CBD, it retains the true integrity of cannabis sativa, as nature intended.

Related: The Top 5 Most Powerful Food Supplements in the World.

Concluding thoughts

The discussion of natural medicines vs pharmaceutical drugs is becoming an increasingly divisive topic.

With so many horror stories in the media, alarming side effects and risks of physical and emotional dependency, a lot of us have begun to shun many pharmaceutical drugs that for years have been over prescribed.

In our opinion, it is a shame that the medical community still can’t accept that natural substances work, often better than what they produce in a lab artificially, with little to no side effects.

Although drugs like Epidiolex still seem to pose a host of side effects that organic full spectrum CBD oils do not, at least it is derived from hemp and cannabis plants.

However, we can understand why it is not financially or physically practical to use hemp plants to create pharmaceutical drugs. We knew it would only be a matter of time before synthetic CBD was created.

The involvement of the scientific community in CBD research has been in many ways a good thing, as it has armed doctors and the public with knowledge about the cannabinoid. However it has also given rise to what we think is a very distorted view of CBD and hemp in general.

We believe that if synthetic CBD medications work for adults and children suffering with epilepsy, then the drug could be a cheaper, more readily available alternative for those families, and that is a good thing.

Where to buy organic, full spectrum CBD oil

At Aura CBD Oil UK we have helped thousands of people around the world create their own wellbeing, naturally.

Our organic, full spectrum CBD oils, pastes, balms and edibles are made from high-grade, European, CBD rich hemp plants.

If you have any questions about what we do at Aura you can email us at info@auracbdoil.com or send us a message on Facebook.

If you like this article be sure to check out our blog where we upload new content every week to keep you informed about the world of CBD.

  • No products in the cart.