Due to its organic nature, Cannabidiol (CBD) has a modern history with a clear-cut origin and something of a folklore precedent. The older records of Cannabis indicate its properties, and they also hold a measure of reasonable legitimacy. Both of these records have value and posterity and neither contradicts the other or cast any measure of doubt as far as scientific discovery goes. Whether looking back over decades, centuries, or millennia, evidence shows that CBD continuously influences and changes the life of mankind. From royal to everyday working men and women, it appears that Cannabidiol has the potential to help the human body feel better. The long and short details within this extensive betterment of people are certainly worth a brief retelling. To this end, the history of CBD deserves a closer look.
The Emperor of China and his Record of Cannabis
It may seem kind of mythical, or even biblical, to imagine. But, records about the use of Cannabis (CBD) date as far back in man’s history as China 2900 BC. The emperor of that era, Shen Yeng, is remembered for finding the Cannabis plant useful for medicinal and everyday practices. As a result of this interest, his authored Pen Ts’au contains a script that promotes the use of the plant for a number of ailments within the body. To this very day, some Chinese wellness professionals hold the Pen Ts’au in high regard. The text pertaining to Cannabis can be considered a cornerstone of evidence for the practical uses of CBD.
The Greek Physician With yet Another Record of Cannabis
And, there are other ancient instances in which men have sat down and taken note of cannabis and its properties. A look at the first 100 AD years in history should provide a good example. In the case of the Roman empire, there’s a book known for having texts expounding on the medical use of the plant. In the pages of De Materia Medica written by the physician Pedanius Dioscorides (40-90AD), Cannabis is mentioned along with hundreds of other plants. Much like the Pen Ts'au, the content indicates a curative effect on people. Once again, the longtime use (16 centuries) and high regard of this text-only gives credence and support to the use of Cannabis for medical purposes.
England Royals and Their Decree for American Cannabis
As time marches on, people continue the use of Cannabis where conditions afford them the opportunity. It just so happens that in London England the demand for Cannabis spikes a little bit. Fortunately, a simple solution presents itself to the people. In the year 1619, an edict handed down from higher-ups in the Virginia Assembly includes a little clause regarding Cannabis as a crop. It informs the common folk in the American colonies of their hemp-growing duties for the crown. Until around the 1700s, the American colonists mainly uses for Cannabis include the production of textiles and other practical things. For those early-day pilgrims, it would appear that the chemical properties of the plant held very little use. Intriguingly enough, it’s about this time that things start to get a little more complicated and interesting regarding the word about Cannabis.
A Scientific Name for the First Time in History - Cannabis Sativa
In the year 1753, a Swedish scientist by the name of Linnaeus gave the plant called hemp the proper title of Cannabis Sativa. Even though Linnaeus doesn’t know all there is to his Cannabis, his efforts are the first steps in unlocking the fullest potential of the plant. Along with its new name, people of the time are more than willing to witness and share the awesome potential of the Cannabis Sativa. As a result, the 1800s see a rise in popularity of the plant. This may have been the perfect storm for the events that come to pass the 19th century to follow.
A bit of Backlash for Cannabis in the US
Compared to other plants and the extracts yielded from them, the 1900s prove a little harsh to Cannabis Sativa in the United States. Some people indirectly attribute this turn of events to the Mexican Revolution and the shift in sociopolitical demographics in the US that followed the conflict. Long story short, violence from the conflict lasts about twenty years, and immigrants from Mexico are regarded as heavy smokers of Cannabis Sativa. As the end of the Mexican Revolution coincides with the start of the great depression, political winds make a scapegoat out of Cannabis Sativa. Beginning in the 1930s, it is largely labeled as an illegal substance state by state.
Unfair Cannabis Propaganda and Legislation Through the United States
Between the efforts of men like Harry J. Anslinger and the people working in his founded Bureau of Narcotics, the use of Cannabis Sativa suffers a public demonizing. It involves other government institutions like the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Prohibition. As a result of this decades-long campaign, people not only begin to turn away from recognizing the curative properties of the plant. Moreover, they also take up using the misnomer Marijuana (Maryjane in Spanish). But, one of the biggest setbacks to Cannabis being able to help the United States citizenry is the Marijuana Tax Act (1937). This made it illegal to buy and sell Cannabis or hemp in the United States.
A Spark in Cannabis Science from a Modern Doctor
The political ambitions of officials and government campaigning slow the general use of Cannabis in the lives of everyday men and women in the United States. However, the scientific community still pushes forward with learning all it can about the plant. And by the 1940s, it isn’t long before another doctor takes a closer look at what Cannabis has inside. In a long line of educated men working on the subject, Dr. Roger Adams uncovers the existence of the Cannabidiol compound in the Cannabis plant. This spark of knowledge happens at the University of Illinois.
A Short Wait for More Knowledge about Cannabis Plant
As Harvard man and accomplished chemist, Dr. Adams' research on Cannabis certainly proves that the plant has different compounds. But, none of his work actually identifies the structure of CBD or the other chemicals in the plant. Half a dozen years pass before someone else takes a closer look at what Adams’ had accomplished before the process of gathering data on these substances starts up again.
Different Effects of Cannabis Extracts on Mice and Rabbits
In 1946, a man by the name of Dr. Walter S. Loewe lays down to ground work for others to build on. In his experiments, the Cannabis extracts THC, CBN, and CBD are given to different mice and rabbits. Dr. Loewe observes that the THC puts the mice in a state of trance and excited the rabbits, but the CBD has no such effect. With this data, it’s only natural to question what makes the substances different. Nearly twenty years pass by before anyone can answer that question halfway across the globe.
The Difference Between Chemical Structure in CBD Chemicals
Following the work of Adams and Loewe, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam takes the research even further. His goal is to figure out what makes the compounds in Cannabis Sativa have their effects on people. This scientific discovery takes place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For the first time in history, people know the chemical structure for Cannabidiol. And a year later, lighting strikes twice as he uncovers the chemical structure for THC. Some people say that advances in technology had a hand to play in the breakthrough. However, nobody can deny the commitment Dr. Mechoulam shows in finding applications for the properties of CBD. His work begins in 1963 and continues into the ’80s, which includes experiments with primates and studies involving the effects of Cannabis on patients suffering from epilepsy.
The Chain of Reaction from Cannabis Research and Discovery
Most likely, the landmark discoveries that Adam, Loewe, and Mechoulam spearhead have a snowball effect on other facilities and institutions throughout the field. This cause and effect flow from the school house to the white house so to speak and influences governments and institutions around the world. In the decade to follow the discovery of CBD chemical structure, the state of New Mexico passes the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act. These herald the medical uses of Cannabis and its extracts.
The Cold Hard Evidence of CBD and Medical Application
As predicted, CBD brings something of a miracle to desperate epileptic patients in need of a solution during February of 1980. Dr. Mechoulam leads the way in a study at the Sao Paulo Medicine Faculty of Santa Casa. It involves 16 participants in severe conditions. And without fail, Cannabidiol improves their health with minimal side effects. Those are the kinds of numbers and measure of error that other studies strive to achieve. But it appears that the anti-cannabis propaganda construct started half a century in the past still held sway in the minds of the powers that be. As such, the United States would wait one more decade or so to make another significant step in accepting the use of Cannabis as a way of life. Ultimately, the ’80s are not kind to the chemical, and it goes largely unseen in the public eye.
The Public Relation Factor and the Legalization of Cannabis
For a longtime running, physicians of days long past and Doctors of science in the modern world have dedicated their life’s work to validating Cannabis and the extract CBD. But, it’s not enough to make the information worth the public's attention. It’s just not getting the kick-start needed to be a hit until the 1990s come along and people are publicly voicing opinions to “legalize it”. Which is exactly what the state of California does in 1996 for medical purposes. And, other states follow suite with similar legislation. Alaska, Washington, and Oregon legitimize marijuana sales through medical marijuana dispensaries in 1998. And, other states like Hawaii, Colorado, and Nevada are not far behind by the year 2000. It should be noted that some people going to medical marijuana dispensaries were acquiring goods for recreational use. So, the whole “medical” stint turns out to be a political mechanism for reversing laws without ruffling too many feathers. Even though it may seem like these events have little to do with the medical application of CBD, they are indeed connected.
The Federal Government and the Recognition of Cannabis
Without the state legislation of medical marijuana for public sale, who knows how long it would have been before the United States federal government got on board. In October of 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services receives a greenlight regarding CBD and other cannabinoids for having neuroprotection qualities. Undoubtedly, this piece of bureaucracy aligns with evidence dating back centuries and even millennia. In the meantime, the U.S. federal government keeps CBD and Cannabis on the scheduled narcotics list. But this chemical tagging doesn’t stop people from getting the most value and pain relief from Cannabidiol. And ten years later, the chemical finally gets the splash of attention it deserves.
A Miracle Relief from Epilepsy by Only Using Cannabidiol
In 2013, the story of Charlotte Figi takes the world by storm. Her rare form of epileptic seizures does not respond to traditional methods of treatment. Unfortunately, all evidence says that the symptoms of her condition could only possibly get worse. That is until she receives treatments of CBD, which virtually disappear all of her pain and suffering. Finally, Cannabidiol has the face and voice needed to drown out any doubts or slander regarding its medical potential. It turns out that Dravet syndrome doesn’t stand a chance against this chemical. And, further evidence suggests that CBD can be used in treatments for other diseases and ailments of the body.
Many States Jump on Board for Selling Cannabidiol
In the following year of 2014, there’s more good news. Several states (AL, FL, IO, KY, MS, MI, NC, SC, TN, UT, and WS) pass laws that allow the medical use of CBD. And, there’s a surprising aspect of these events. Although Cannabidiol is legal to use in these states, the sale and possession of Cannabis remain punishable. This legislation may seem counterintuitive, but it might actually prove to be a stepping stone in the right direction for CBD advocacy.
Cannabidiol for Every State from Coast to Coast
At the present time, the Cannabis extract Cannabidiol is legal in all 50 states, which means that it has to be making someone revenue. The only step needed to solidify its legitimacy is FDA approval. But that takes a while to happen, and a lot has to go into the process. Fortunately, there are plenty of sharp professionals on the cutting edge of Cannabidiol to keep progress moving at a good rate.
Heavy Facilities for CBD Research and Development
For example, the facilities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are still home to pioneering research. With the Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research funded for projects in February of 2017, researchers delve deeper into the uses of CBD by asking more complex questions. Does Cannabidiol have any effect on brain trauma, if so, at what stages and with what outcome? Many people wonder about the effect CBD has on cancer cells, or if it can aid in treatment. Is it effective against the pain as a result of root damage to the spinal nerve? These are just some of the question’s scientists hope to answer in the years of research to come. Moreover, the University puts this information to good use by developing new cannabinoids from scientifically produced strains for further refinement. This makes the chemical extracts better suited for medical use and government approval.
Cannabidiol in Good use All Over the World
In other parts of the world, the United Kingdom has the Medipen Medical Research Centre, which is a distributor of CBD vape equipment. The center has a research program in the work since 2017 that seeks to find the missing link between THC and cancer cells. It’s in a class by itself as an institution of the UK.
The United States and new Institutions for Cannabidiol Research
In something of an ironic turn of events, the place where Cannabis bashing has happened the hardest becomes a mecca of sorts for research. California institutions provide a good example. The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research takes on projects like looking into the ways that Cannabis can be used as a pharmacological option. But, the center does more than that. It conducts research on the long-term effects of CBD and other extracts as well as measuring the effects of Cannabidiol and cannabinoids on neuropathic pain caused by HIV.
Is it really fair to say that the history of CBD starts in the mid-1940s when so many texts and reputable medical professionals hold Cannabis in arguably high regard? Who can really trace back to the first time the chemicals in the Cannabis plant made someone feel better or find relief from an ailment? The truth be told, it’s the future of CBD and medical science's fullest understanding that should be the focus of our attention as a human race. Cannabis has never killed a person, and it never will. And, that’s the kind of history and record we can all take the time to learn more about.