Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of chemical compound known as a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are found naturally in several plant species (phytocannabinoids), including the hemp plant. In plants, it's not quite clear how phytocannabinoids function, but it's thought that they may be produced as a defense mechanism. Cannabinoids are also produced naturally in humans and other animals (endocannabinoids). In humans, endocannabinoids interact with virtually all body organs and tissues, and appear to play a role in all physiological processes including the pain response, immune function, appetite, mood, sleep, and even reproduction.
Phytocannabinoids, when consumed, can imitate the body’s natural endocannabinoids by binding to receptor sites throughout the brain (CB1 receptors) and body (CB2 receptors). Different cannabinoids have different effects based on how they bind to these receptors. By targeting specific cannabinoids at these receptors, different types of relief can be achieved. Currently, there are over 100 different cannabinoids that have been isolated from the hemp plant - each displaying a wide variety of effects.
CBD is a major phytocannabinoid of the hemp plant and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. Because CBD has no psychoactive properties and does not interfere with physical or psychological functions, it is a leading contender for a wide variety of health applications