You’ve probably heard of CBD by now, whether through word-of-mouth from a friend, on social media, or maybe even on TV. If you’re not totally sure what it is, and if/how it works, then you might think it’s just another fad. Science says otherwise.

Despite the buzz in recent years, CBD has actually been around for quite some time. But before we even get into its history and effectiveness, what does CBD even stand for? It’s short for cannabidiol, pronounced “can-nab-id-EYE-all”.

So, what is CBD?

Cannabidiol is one of many (over 100) cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds found in plants from the cannabis sativa family. CBD is one of the more commonly studied and understood compounds (in addition to THC). Both of these compounds are found in marijuana as well as hemp (the two plants under the cannabis native family). Marijuana is relatively more THC rich, and hemp is relatively more CBD rich.

The distinction of whether CBD is derived from hemp or marijuana is important because it defines whether CBD is either legal or technically illegal (varying by state).

CBD from hemp is very low in THC content (commonly 0.3% or less). This is precisely why you can buy hemp-derived CBD products completely legally online, while CBD from marijuana plants is only legal in the states which have created such laws (and not online). 


To date, there is little scientific evidence that suggests a difference in the effectiveness of CBD from hemp vs. marijuana. Note, however, that CBD is NOT the same thing as “hemp seed oil” (like found on Amazon). These hemp oils are produced from hemp seed and do not contain cannabidiol or other phytocannabinoids, which are only found in mature hemp plants. Learn more about these differences and how CBD is extracted here.

With these differences in mind, and given the exploding popularity of new products, consumers should always be sure to look for independent lab test results from any company advertising CBD products.

If such information is not clearly presented online, then be sure to ask for it. The dietary supplement industry is unfortunately notorious for selling products that do not match what they claim to be. There is a risk in consuming CBD tainted with pesticides or chemicals, but verified lab results will provide assurance that what you are consuming is clean and safe.

Key takeaways:

What is CBD? A natural chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant family, which can be extracted in pure form and infused into various consumable products.

Now that you know what CBD is, let’s examine why and how it’s so effective. Keep reading.

Thank you for reading! Knowledge is power, and learning is key to living a better life.

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