It may seem as though CBD has sprung up from nowhere, but this isn’t the case. CBD actually has a very long and complicated history. For a while, it remained relatively underground in the black-market environment of cannabis. However, it has now resurfaced in the mainstream and had a $4.6 billion market in 2018.
Here is a quick history lesson in CBD for those who are interested.
CBD in the Past
Way back in the day, humans discovered cannabis. It was many centuries ago when human beings first encountered this strange plant, and it has remained in our lives ever since. The cannabis plant is native to several continents, growing naturally in Asia and the Middle East.
Accounts of cannabis vary, and sources are not always deemed trustworthy. Part of the problem is that the terminology used for cannabis has changed greatly over the years. For example, some accounts refer to ‘hemp,’ others to ‘marijuana’ in various spellings, and others still refer to slang terms.
Potentially the earliest documented use of cannabis is from 2737 BC. The Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung may have used cannabis-infused tea, noting that he used it to help his memory, gout, and more. Of course, we now know that cannabis is perhaps not the best plant used to aid memory!
Even over in Greece and Europe, Herodotus reported that the Scythian people would toss cannabis seeds onto hot rocks and inhale the vapor, causing them to dance. This is perhaps an early human activity akin to modern-day vaping.
Furthermore, Queen Victoria may have used cannabis to help with menstrual cramps. This is a more recent (the late 1800s) anecdote of historical figures using cannabis.
Science has now revealed that many of the health benefits noticed by ancient populations derive from CBD. This is a naturally occurring active compound found in the cannabis plant.
The History of Cannabis
If cannabis has provided human populations with joy and medical benefits for so many years, then why was it illegal for so long?
The prohibition of marijuana came as the result of a long, complicated series of events. No one issue can be blamed. Before the ban, many people used cannabis freely, and hemp was commonly grown throughout the US as a textile crop.
In the early 20th century, the plant came to be vilified. Media painted cannabis as ‘locoweed,’ a plant used by Mexican immigrants that made them lazy and antisocial. Several high-profile murder cases came to light in which cannabis was blamed as the substance that caused aggression and loss of inhibition. Other substances such as alcohol were likely involved, but the press was already hell-bent on blaming marijuana.
Influential figures in particular industries had an interest in banning cannabis. For example, the cotton industry would benefit from the destruction of hemp crops, and so would the paper industry. As people poured money into a smear campaign against cannabis, public opinion turned on its head.
In the early years of the 1900s, many states banned cannabis use. The prohibition included hemp, even though hemp cannot be used as a drug. After that, no effort was made to turn the tide back, and so cannabis has remained federally illegal ever since.
More recently, campaigners have fought for the right to use cannabis in a medical capacity. Part of this comes down to the hard work of scientists who discovered cannabinoids and have been highlighting their potential uses ever since.
How CBD Was Discovered
If you thought the history of cannabis was long, you’ll be glad to know that the history of CBD is much shorter.
In 1940, British chemist Robert S. Cahn successfully identified cannabinol (CBN). Shortly after, American chemist Roger Adams managed to isolate a cannabinoid for the first time: CBD. Adams was also the man who discovered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), drastically furthering our understanding of how cannabis works.
However, it wasn’t until 1963 when Dr. Raphael Mechoulam successfully identified the stereochemistry of CBD that we really understood how cannabis affects the human body/ Mechoulam’s research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem revealed that CBD was not intoxicating and that THC actually was responsible for the ‘high.’
Since then, much scientific research has been carried out on individual cannabinoids. Many studies have highlighted CBD’s therapeutic potential, such as this 2019 study on CBD for anxiety and sleep.
The emerging research has led several states and countries to re-assess their understanding of cannabis, which is why laws are now changing all the time.
Today, CBD has become a top-rated dietary supplement. It is now considered separate to cannabis and thus is permitted for use in much of the world. People enjoy using CBD oils, capsules, and even CBD topicals.
The market is full to the brim with brands and products. As the research continues and more comes out about cannabidiol, brands race to put out the next best thing. Whenever you choose to purchase CBD, make sure you use a reputable brand like Provacan. This company consistently tests its products for quality assurance, putting customers first. There is also a massive range of products to try.
Hopefully, thanks to a new and ever-evolving understanding of cannabis, the market will only get better and better.