When is a rose really a rose? Simple question, but the ramifications can be wide reaching. You will see a long and deep series of articles on Cannabis. In it’s natural form Cannabis has many chemical components, but the two keys are THC (the psychogenic chemical) and CBD (the physiological chemical).

Many claims about the therapeutic effects of CBD have been made, but the hook that prevents a widespread distribution is approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). The FDA approves products as a “Food” or a “Drug”.

As a “Food” the product must be derived from a plant or animal. This is a pretty basic category which precludes many health benefits. The product must survive a rigorous testing to back the claims it is beneficial. A plant or animal basis takes natural CBD of the table for this reason.

Cannabis growers genetically work towards a “pure CBD” and progress continually is being made. Meaningful studies that substantiate the benefits are not being made. So claims of health benefits can not be FDA approved. Quality and consistency further hinder the success of the market. Don’t forget Cannabis is still illegal federally in the United States.

The “Holy Grail” is FDA approval and here comes the knick. It would have to move into the class of “Drugs”. This would require a synthetic CBD.

Having an FDA approval is tougher than one realizes. Yes, it has to be synthetic. Yes, it has to survive the gauntlet of successful testing. Yes, it has to beneficial to the user without being a reasonable risk to the consumer.

The rewards can justify the time crunch and more importantly the costs. The hurdles can be significant. Unlike natural CBD, the synthetic one can produce significant side effects. Side effects listed include low blood pressure, fast heart beat, mood changes, anxiety, stomach issues, sleeping problems, feeling high, poor concentration and even death.

Developers are working to unravel the knot created and derive a synthetic CBD. A product which overcomes the side effects and provides a product which will deliver a quality product.

One company, Greenwich Biosciences (NASDAQ: GWPH), has received FDA approval for a product called Epidiolex. This is the first, and only, company to succeed with a synthetic CBD.

Rest assured they will not be the last as a large number of other companies try to grab the brass ring. At least for the present there is only one sheriff in town, but it will become a crowded field.