You’ve likely heard these three letters before: CBD. Hemp products have infiltrated the market in a big way recently, filling our stores with drinks, coffee, tea, and even CBD Gummies.

So what is CBD, exactly, and why has it become so popular?

Well, it’s not pot, weed, Mary Jane, grass, or whatever the kids call it these days. In fact, it’s not even made from the same plant as marijuana. Most cannabidiol (CBD) and CBs  is sourced from hemp, the male plant of the cannabis sativa species, which contains mere trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient that gets you high.

To be clear, no, CBD will not get you high. It’s not a drug with recreational uses. However, like cannabis, it may have myriad medical benefits. And it might be a great addition to your lifestyle even if you don’t have a notable medical condition.

What is CBD?

To cut through the clutter, I asked an expert: Ian Kelley, an employee of Extract Labs, a Colorado-based company that specializes in CBD products.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in the leaves, flowers, and stem of hemp and cannabis plants.

The brand was founded by Iraq War veteran Craig Henderson, who started experimenting with CBD extraction in the garage of his home in 2016. In two short years, Extract Labs has grown from an operation of one to having more than 20 employees and an in-progress second lab out of state. Part of the company’s success is based on the expert extraction techniques and noted quality of products. But also, quite simply, Extract Labs hung its shingle at the right time. More on the explosive growth of the industry later; first, let’s figure out what this stuff is.