CBD is an abbreviation for the naturally occurring compound, cannabidiol. CBD is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of the plant, Cannabis sativa, which has two primary species - hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD, but there's a much higher percentage of CBD in hemp, which also has very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (less than 0.3% of delta 9 THC) compared to marijuana. While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause the psychoactive “high” more commonly associated with consuming cannabis. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” The plant has a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years.
The most commonly found CBD product type is the formulation of an oil, or oral tincture. CBD is also sold as an extract, a vaporized liquid, an oil-based capsule and even smokable flower. Food, drinks and beauty products are among the many CBD-infused products available in the market.
What you may not realize, is the fact that the human body actually produces its own endogenous cannabinoids: natural equivalents of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, such as THC and CBD. This is detailed further as we explore our endocannabinoid system (ECS).