CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the Cannabis plant that belongs to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. It's a naturally occurring substance that's used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it's not psychoactive. And this is the single most important property of the CBD cannabinoid from the medical—and legal—perspective.
By tapping into how we function biologically on a deep level, CBD can provide relief for chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression and many other conditions. Extensive scientific research – much of it sponsored by the U.S. government – and mounting accounts from patients and physicians highlight CBD's potential as a treatment for a wide range of maladies, including (but not limited to):