CBD stands for cannabidiol, and is one of many compounds found in all strains of the cannabis plant.
The active compounds in cannabis are collectively known as cannabinoids, alongside other groups called terpenes and flavonoids.
In Europe the hemp plant (cannabis sativa) has been grown and used by humans for thousands of years. It is naturally rich in the CBD cannabinoid and is low in the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
CBD unlike THC is not psychoactive. This means that CBD does not change a person's state of mind when they use it.
Historically hemp has had many and varied uses, including rope, clothing and paper manufacture. Studies around the world in the 20th Century have since revealed many other benefits of using hemp or cannabis.
The western system of medicinal patents greatly hindered further research into cannabis, but in the 1990s scientists discovered that humans have receptors in the brain and other organs, which bind with the cannabinoids.
They named the newly discovered receptors CB1 and CB2, and called it the Endocannabinoid system. This system has an assortment of roles, regulating various functions in the body.
With much anecdotal evidence of the benefits of CBD many countries are re-evaluating their position regarding cannabis.
Many States within the US have already changed their laws regarding cannabis, and has seen Canada in 2018 reverse their laws.
The UK's governing body, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) stated in 2016 that products containing CBD are a medicine, and will work alongside businesses and trade associations to ensure they comply with the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.