The History of CBD

CBD has been this new thing everyone’s talking about but it’s not actually a new discovery. It’s been around forever. The earliest written record of cannabis appears in ancient China around 6000 B.C., a little after human civilization arose, but the most evidence of the use of cannabis for wellness began to appear more around 2700 B.C. Chinese emperor Shen-Nung was using cannabis in topical ointments and teas in 2737 B.C.

As human civilization progressed, writings about the benefits of hemp began to appear across Asia.

Around A.D. 77, the Romans began using Hemp in the healing arts. A scholar by the name of Pliny the Elder claimed that cannabis extract was helpful for relieving discomfort.

In India, cannabis was considered a sacred plant gifted by the gods. The Atharvaveda was considered a library of knowledge that was useful for your everyday life. That manuscript actually contained details about the use of cannabis flowers and sees in a variety of balms and tinctures. 

Fun fact: Cannabis has been found buried in the tombs of Ancient Greeks and Egyptians who also wrote cannabis remedies.

CBD In The West.

By the sixteenth century, cannabis was being cultivated all over Europe. Because of its value, hemp was so popular in 1533, Henry VIII required all farmers to grow hemp. Even physicians of the age, such as Garcia de Orta and Li-Shih-Chen, were documenting the use of hemp extract as a support for appetite and for maintaining wellness.

In the 1600s, hemp cultivation came to North American colonies. The colony of Virginia created laws which mandated the cultivation of hemp by farmers. Massachusetts passed similar laws as well and so did Connecticut. Hemp seeds were even considered legal tender and used to pay for goods and services in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. 

Robert Burton wrote a popular medical text of the time called, “Anatomy of Melancholy” and noted that hemp extract was helpful in supporting mood.

By the eighteenth century, hemp’s uses were documented in  “The New England Dispensatory” and “Edinburgh New Dispensatory”– two highly respected pharmacopeias of the day.

In the early 20th century, medicines like opioids began to be developed. The use of cannabis-based preparations began to decline. However, a lot of medications were developed which combined cannabis with other pharmaceuticals in everything from cough syrup to sleep aids. 

By the late 1930s, the war on cannabis erupted, and the cultivation of cannabis because illegal. Possession of any form of cannabis was banned by the Controlled Substances Act, which listed cannabis–including both hemp and marijuana–as Schedule I substances with no medicinal benefits and a high risk of dependence. 

In the late 1960s the mysteries of cannabinoids, including CBD, began to unfold as researchers discovered the role of the human endocannabinoid system in maintaining good health. I’ll share more about that in another post.

As the 1970s progressed, cannabis once again began being used for medical treatment. A quarter of a century later, in 1996, the state of California legalized the use of cannabis for treatment of certain medical conditions, despite federal ban. 

Over the past few decades, there has been a huge explosion of research into the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids. CBD has been quickly gaining more acceptance in the U.S. as a result of all of the media covered by respected health experts such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The message of CBD’s effects is beginning to reach the masses. 

Most people in the United States have access to CBD oil and research into CBD’s effects on the human body has ramped up substantially. Modern technology has provided methods of refining and isolating CBD and even allowing an increase of the bioavailability of CBD oil through technologies such as nanoemulsions, which makes CBD water-soluble and increase its potency. 

Demand is growing more and more each day for CBD. Sales are expected to surpass $1 billion by 2020.

Medical Disclaimer: This product is not for use by or sale to persons under the age of 18. This product should be used only as directed on the label. It should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. Consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should be sought before this and any supplemental dietary product. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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