HISTORICALLY, POT GROWERS have tried to maximize the content of THC in their plants. The more THC a plant contains, the higher you get. But with the advent of medicinal marijuana and the piecemeal process of decriminalization, growers are cultivating strains that contain a different compound: cannabidiol, or, since no one can pronounce that word, CBD.
CBD has always been in your weed, but in very small amounts. It's purported to alleviate all of the same medical ailments that THC does, including pain, nausea, muscle spasms, and so on. (Some studies indicate CBD has additional medical benefits as well, including treatment of psoriasis and the possible inhibition of cancer growth—but take that with all the grains of salt you can find.)
The trick is that CBD contains far fewer psychoactive elements than THC. This means it doesn't get you high. This high-less weed is a huge breakthrough for the medical-marijuana community, which has been battling the stigma that's surrounded weed for decades. But now there are strains—offered by medicinal-marijuana caregivers—that are much, much higher in CBD content than ever before, allowing nervous Aunt Gracie to treat her MS without getting totally blunted in the process.
The jury is still out on CBD, but it's the hot-button topic within the marijuana community. Expect to hear plenty about it in the coming months and years—it might very well change the face of pot as we know it.