CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD is one of many phytochemicals that are naturally found in plants of the Cannabis genus, including the plant known as hemp. It is the second major component of cannabis after THC. It is also one of at least 113 different cannabinoids found in these plants. CBD was first isolated from the cannabis plant in 1940 and its chemical structure was determined in 1963.
Of all of the cannabinoids, CBD shows the most promise as a therapeutic compound. There is abundant scientific evidence (detailed in some of the other articles you can find on Wai Natural) that CBD is anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, antinausea, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, and antineoplastic (prevents tumor growth). CBD is not associated with psychoactivity (meaning it doesn’t give you a “high”), and does not affect motor function, memory, or body temperature on its own, making it safe to use and free of major side effects.
CBD works through the body’s endocannabinoid system, meaning that it binds to various receptors throughout the body to exert its effects.
CBD’s actions at various receptors throughout the body make CBD very effective at reducing psychotic symptoms in some mental disorders, acting as an anticonvulsant, acting as a neuroprotective antioxidant, relieving pain, reducing nausea, helping to preserve and protect normal cells, helping to destroy tumor cells, preventing neural toxicity, and preventing protein accumulation in the brain.
Phytochemicals, such as CBD and THC, are compounds made by plants and are generally used by the plants as a means of food production (such as with pigments like chlorophyll or carotenoids) or as a means of protection against competitors, predators, or pathogens. Plants are rooted in one space, making it tricky to defend themselves against other organisms. Therefore, they produce a variety of phytochemicals (also called secondary metabolites which can help them in their defense. THC, for example, as a psychoactive compound was probably produced by the plant in the first place as a means of defense against insect predators – the changes in brain function could deter the insects from continuing their feast on the Cannabis plant. Humans have cultivated plants for many of their phytochemicals – including caffeine and nicotine (also used by plants as natural pesticides!).