If you’ve been delving into the cannabis market at all, then you’ve probably heard the terms "CBD", being mentioned often. But what does CBD stand for, and what are the benefits of taking or using it?
Although CBD was isolated from the cannabis plant almost a century ago, CBD-only products are a relatively new addition to the natural health market.
What Does CBD Stand For And What Is It?
Let's have a look to answer, "What does CBD mean?"
CBD stands for "cannabidiol", and it is one of the numerous phytocannabinoids. CBD occurs in other plants too, but most abundantly in cannabis.
Over the decades, another cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, was more popularly researched and is generally known for its psychotropic effects on users. Read on for more about the distinction between these two cannabinoids.
CBD continues to get greater public and medical attention the more we learn about it.
Chemically, both cannabinoids present in cannabis mainly as acids, and when cannabis is heated, THC and CBD decarboxylate. Decarboxylation is a chemical process that changes the cannabinoids' molecular structure. 
CBD interacts indirectly with an important regulatory system in the body of vertebrates, called the "endocannabinoid system" (ECS).
Via the ECS, CBD is known to alleviate many a health condition.
Because it's a natural remedy with a very positive side-effect profile, a lot of people choose to use CBD health products.
How Was CBD Discovered?
CBD was first isolated from cannabis in the 1940s by Adams and coworkers. In 1963, scientists at the laboratory of Israeli chemist, Raphael Mechoulam, became the first to determine its structure and stereochemistry. 
We would never have known about the endocannabinoid system if scientists had never found THC and CBD. The discovery of the ECS is considered one of the most important in medical history.
While CBD is extractable from both marijuana and hemp, its presence is more abundant in the hemp plant. Therefore, most CBD extracts are gained from hemp, not marijuana.
Hemp contains only small amounts of THC (usually less than .3 percent). Hemp-CBD extracts are used in products such as oils, tinctures, topical balms, creams etc.
Is CBD Marijuana?
Short answer—no. CBD is not marijuana. This would be a bit like saying nicotine is tobacco, which is wrong, of course.
Let's untangle this common confusion.
Both THC and CBD are found in the cannabis plant, which has two well-known varieties.
- Marijuana is one variety of Cannabis Sativa L. Marijuana contains more THC than CBD. Its possession and use is mostly illegal in the U.S., except for medical purposes. (Patients need to be registered with their state's medical marijuana program, though.)
- Hemp is another variety of Cannabis Sativa L. CBD is found more abundantly in hemp, and it contains only small amounts of THC. Hemp is now completely legal in the U.S.
So what are the other differences between THC and CBD?
This means that only THC-rich marijuana can cause hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia in some people, and mostly if they take it in high doses. It is also known for causing pleasant feelings of euphoria, deep relaxation and such. Recreational marijuana users refer to these sensations as being "high" or "stoned".
Unfortunately, marijuana can be addictive, and its chronic, heavy use can be harmful. This is why it is illegal for recreational use in most states. THC has demonstrated important medicinal properties, but its psychotropic characteristics have put brakes on its clinical utility.
As the reader can guess—using hemp-extracted CBD, won't give any of the psychotropic effects associated with marijuana use.
CBD and THC also interact in different ways with the ESC at two main receptor sites. 
What Are The Benefits of CBD?
The list of potential benefits of using CBD is long and impressive. However, it is most commonly used as a:
Due to legal restrictions, there is, unfortunately, a prominent gap in medical research when it comes to both medical marijuana and CBD.
With that being said, there was enough clinical evidence to prove its efficacy and safety in treating severe epileptic seizures, even in children. For this reason, the FDA has approved a pure CBD anti-epileptic drug in 2018.  
There are many people who use CBD as a supplement only. It is an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory, as mentioned, and it may even play a role in neurogenesis (the regeneration of new neurons in the body's nervous system, which includes the brain). This and more makes it a great nutritional supplement to use for overall health and wellbeing.
CBD is also used in beauty and skincare creams and oils.
Another huge benefit is that CBD use is largely considered safe, and is associated with very few side effects, especially if the dosage is low to medium.
RELATED: The Side Effects of CBD Explained
Is CBD Legal?
Until very recently, hemp was illegal because of its association with marijuana.
But inside the 1000-page document of the new Farm Bill, signed into law by Donald Trump end of 2018, is the Hemp Act, which completely legalizes hemp cultivation, possession and use.
"Federal" means that hemp is legal by national law.
Technically, however, a state could declare hemp-CBD illegal, and its possession could, therefore, land a user in trouble in the prohibiting state. (National government gives states leeway to create and enforce their own laws.)
But this is so unlikely to happen, given the fact that hemp farming and the CBD industry are expected to explode over the next few years. Economists predict that it will give especially the burdened U.S. agricultural industry a much-needed injection.
For this reason, any state government who chooses to still prohibit hemp and hemp-derived CBD despite the 2018 Farm Bill, would be considered just plain stupid. 
So, what does CBD mean? Hopefully, by now the reader is a bit more knowledgeable about this special cannabinoid, and how it can improve the lives of many Americans.