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The History of Cannabidiol: A Chronological Timeline of CBD-Related Events

October 3, 2018

The History of Cannabidiol: A Chronological Timeline of CBD-Related Events

Cannabidiol as a substance isn’t exactly taught about in science class. True, you probably know a bit about cannabinoids and their function in the human body, but it’s unlikely you have much of an idea about the history of cannabidiol or marijuana in general.

Don’t worry, it’s not your fault; you’ve been let down! Most people around today grew up in an environment of intense fear of marijuana, with teachers desperate to avoid any kind of contact or risk of association with marijuana.

Well, no longer! Now, we can all learn together about CBD, as well as marijuana.

What better place to start than learning about where it all began, and how CBD came to where it is today?

Let’s take a look at the history of cannabidiol, as well as some particularly interesting CBD-related events.

The First Hemp Records

Despite the immediate assumption, marijuana and hemp products have actually been in use for millennia.

The very first records of Hemp use is in China during the Qin and Han dynasties, as evidenced by the study conducted by Lu and Clarke. It was listed as a primary crop in these empires, with a large amount of documentation detailing the practices and methods of both growing and using hemp.

This is primarily rooted in the industrial uses for hemp. Despite its cannabinoid content, hemp has been primarily used as a textile for making cloth, rope and other important textiles for most of human agricultural history.

The psychoactive properties of cannabis have likely always been known, but not fully exploited.

There are plenty of records detailing psychotropic experiences in human histories, though the exact chemicals or plants used is sometimes difficult to pin down.

What we do know is that, for a huge chunk of our history, we used hemp and cannabis in general for the good of everyone.

Until, that is, certain industries got in the way.

The Apparent Death of Hemp

There’s a very important reason why a knowledge and appreciation for cannabis products is only just now resurging throughout the world – hemp and cannabis products were banned in the USA.

Thanks to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 (yes, it was spelt like that back then), the Hemp industry was essentially destroyed.

The reasons for the creation of this bill are debatable, but the principal reason seems to be linked to Randolph Hearst and his own business interests.

Hearst, who you might know as the inspiration for the critically acclaimed movie Citizen Kane, was a prestigious business man, leading the nation in newspaper circulation and paper production.

Hearst was frightened of the hemp industry because, thanks to recent inventions such as the decorticator (a contraption that made it easier to separate out plant shells), hemp was threatening to put his paper business… out of business.

So, businessmen like Hearst got together and passed the Tax Act, which levied huge taxes on anyone growing or trading in hemp.

Thanks to this, the hemp industry essentially died. Additionally, the rising fear of psychotropic drugs, primarily caused by an influx of immigrants from south of the border who used marijuana as a recreational drug, prompted the American people to backlash against cannabis in general.

It’s entirely likely that cannabis and hemp might have completely faded out of use except as a niche textile. If it weren’t for a few key moments and people, it might all have disappeared.

People like Roger Adams.

Roger Adams & The Discovery of CBD

In 1940, a scientist and Harvard graduate named Roger Adams successfully isolated CBD from the rest of the plant.

This means that he was able to separate CBD from the other plant matter and other cannabinoids, allowing him to note it as a separate entity.

However, he didn’t do a lot with it. Roger Adams is sadly a bit of a footnote, as when later scientists successfully used CBD in medical treatments, they were able to go back and realize that Roger Adams had beaten them to the punch.

Scientists like…

Dr. Walter S. Loewe & The First CBD Tests

In 1946, although only 6 short years after Adams had isolated cannabidiol, Dr. Loewe finally began testing cannabinoids as a medicine on lab animals.

These experiments were significant because they were heavily documented, allowing future researchers to use their methodology, providing evidence to support their own theories and, eventually, try other studies out themselves.

By testing rabbits and mice after having been administered THC and CBD, Dr Loewe was able to determine the first documented effects of cannabinoids on mammals.

With regard to the specific results from CBD, Dr. Loewe found that CBD produced no discernible effects on the animals tested. Additionally, this was noted in contrast to the “central excitant” effect they observed when administered with THC.

Raphael Mechoulam’s Description of CBD

This event, despite the existence of the two that came before it, is usually ascribed the title of “The most important moment” in CBD history.

Mechoulam described the chemical structure of CBD in 1963, going further than Dr. Adams as he not only isolated the compound, but actually defined what the structure of the individual cannabinoid molecules are. He also described the structure of THC, which is incredibly important for the cannabis industry today.

Dr. Mechoulam completed this work at his lab in the University of Jerusalem, making Israel essentially the founding home of marijuana and the CBD industry.

Later on in the decade, Mechoulam began testing CBD and other isolated cannabinoids on primates, being able to determine the exact effects of different cannabinoids on our closest living animal relatives.

Mechoulam discovered that it was THC, not CBD, that caused the psychoactive high, allowing CBD to be considered a medicine that doesn’t get you high for the very first time.

First Medical Cannabis Tincture

Though it’s important to know when CBD was first isolated, it’s even more important to know when CBD was first marketed.

British Pharmacopoeia released a cannabis tincture that was likely filled with CBD full spectrum extracts, suspended within alcohol to make a CBD tincture.

This was the first example of an official, government backed medication that contained cannabis allowed to be sold to the public.

The First Legalization in the US

Once Britain released their medicine, the rest of the world began to take notice. In 1978, the state of New Mexico officially recognized cannabis as a medicine available to the public.

This was widely protested by the general public, who did not understand the full facts of what cannabis and CBD were, but it passed regardless. The bill made a lot of provisions regarding its use as a medicine, but it doesn’t actually mention CBD by name – it merely refers to using cannabis products for the purpose of treating certain conditions.

All this didn’t mean that it was easy to get marijuana or CBD though – it was still mandated very heavily by the government. However, 18 years later in 1996, California was the first state to completely legalize medical Marijuana. This was the first step in creating a solid Cannabis and CBD industry, as it provided a market for businesses to cater towards, as well as providing them with a safe space with which to grow their product.

Production of cannabis and CBD was difficult at the start, but it gradually became easier once other states began legalizing it.

However, perhaps the most important event for the history of CBD with regards to its legislation and eventual everyday use is…

Mechoulam’s Epilepsy Research

In 1980, Dr. Mechoulam teamed up with international researchers to explore the use of CBD as a specific treatment for epileptic patients.

The study was a success, demonstrating that patients treated with CBD experienced a reduction in seizures and an improved condition. However, the study was barely seen by anybody.

Thanks to the social stigma of cannabis at the time, it wasn’t covered by the media and no more effort was put into exploring CBD as a useful medicine to help treat epilepsy.

That is, until Charlotte Figi.

Charlotte Figi & Dravet Syndrome

Charlotte Figi is far from a CBD crusader – she is just a little girl who suffered from something terrible.

Charlotte suffered from Dravet syndrome, a serious epileptic disorder that gave her 300 grand mal seizures (this means the really bad ones!) every month.

At their wit’s end, her parents finally reached out to some medical cannabis growers and worked together to come up with a high CBD strain of cannabis – named Charlotte’s Web – for Charlotte to use.

After using CBD, Charlotte’s seizure frequency dropped completely, becoming only 2 or 3 a month rather than her previous frequency of 300. Her case received massive media attention, propelling CBD into the public consciousness and making people aware of the medicinal benefits.

This is such an important event because it finally, at last, showed the world that CBD could help save lives and improve the conditions of countless people.

The History Roundup

CBD has a long and storied history throughout humanity, from industrial and medicinal use, through to banning and social avoidance, then back to public awareness and usefulness.

Despite decades of scientific research and work by ardent scientists across the globe, it took 70 years from when CBD was first isolated for it to be finally appreciated.

In the end, it wasn’t the work of scientists or researchers, but the suffering of one little girl and parents who just wouldn’t give up.

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Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller, age 53 is an Ex Railyard Engineer who suffers from chronic back pain and anxiety. Jonathan’s goal was to create an unbiased site that would provide anyone who seeks help in CBD oil as a treatment, with accurate and helpful information.
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Getting Started with CBD Oil

If you suffer from anxiety (like me), depression or pain and are looking to get started with CBD oil, you need information on how to buy CBD oil, or you’re simply looking to learn more about CBD products, you’ve arrived at the right place.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has significant medical benefits. CBD can be extracted from two different species of the Cannabis Sativa L plant, which include Cannabis and Hemp. Unlike its rival THC, CBD does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.

One of the main advantages of CBD is its non-psychoactive affect making it a great option for people looking for relief from inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, spasms, and other conditions.
As I mentioned above the primary distinction between Hemp and CBD oil is the part of the plant they are derived from and what parts of the plant are used to create the oil. Hemp oil is typically made from pressing cannabis seeds to extract the fatty oil from within, while some that have mastered the CBD extraction process also use the flowers as they contain high percentages of CBD. CBD oil, on the other hand, is usually made from the flowers of cannabis plant through various extraction methods.

How Does CBD Affect Your Body?

The way marijuana affects your body varies from person to person as it will often depend on genetics, tolerance to the cannabinoids, medical health, DNA, and more. It also depends on the way you consume the CBD, for example, the effects of vaping CBD are far different to smoking it in the form of high-CBD cannabis strains. 

CBD and the way it affects us is still of somewhat a mystery to researchers they still try to figure out how it effects the EndoCannabinoid system. During the previous century, it was discovered that our bodies have receptors within the brain and central nervous system. Specific cannabinoids such as CBD bind to those receptors and activate the EndoCannabinoid System (ECS). This then provides a wide range of psychological and physical benefits helping the body.

Without going into specifics, cannabinoids signal to the body to create endocannabinoids and build more receptors. This helps the body to limit things associated with pain and inflammation, repairs cells and provides a wide range of other health benefits. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD is thought to be the ultimate anti-inflammatory cannabinoid.

Want to learn more about how CBD works read: How Long Does it Take CBD to Work

Medical Benefits of CBD

There is a misconception as to whether CBD can help treat patients, similar to pharmaceutical medicine, but thanks to the internet and a few different medical studies patients and researchers have been exposing their findings on how CBD oil is helping to cure a wide range of medical conditions.

The most popular story was the one of Charlotte Figi. At the time Charlotte was only 6 years old. As a little girl, she was experiencing over 300 epileptic seizures per week until she was successfully treated by a CBD-rich strain oil, later named Charlotte’s Web.

The high-quality CBD oil, changed her life, helping her to overcome a 6-year battle. Since her story hit the news, CBD and other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant are constantly being researched to understand how they can help to treat different medical conditions. As a matter of fact, CBD has been thought to help treat over 170 medical conditions, among them severe conditions such as Anorexia, Cancer, Arthritis, Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and PTSD.

Recent studies have even shown that CBD, may cure life-threatening diseases by altering genes. Other studies have proven that it might even be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and chronic pain.

The way that CBD works is that it interacts with receptors located in different parts of the central nervous system. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2. Both reflect the areas of the brain they interact with such as the limbic system. When taking CBD, this cannabinoid locks in on these receptors and affects the body in different ways. For example, it can help to block the pain caused by specific medical conditions.

While numerous studies have shown promising results, it is important to understand that CBD research is still at premature stages. A 2011 study that researched CBD for fibromyalgia showed extremely promising results. 56 of 112 participants who took CBD in the form of oil saw a great reduction in their symptoms and pain, while those using traditional methods didn’t see hardly any improvement.

Can you Buy CBD if you live in an illegal state?

The process is not cut-&-dry, and but thanks to the Farm Bill of 2014, forms of CBD can now be delivered to your doorstep. Those that live in recreational states can purchase CBD cannabis oil which is high in potency and extremely effective for helping to treat severe medical conditions, while those that live in other states that are not medical or recreational can benefit from CBD hemp oil. CBD Hemp oil is perfect for helping to treat a wide range of conditions including anxiety, depression and acute pain. 

Who is NaturalWellNessCBDOil?

My name is Jonathan, and I’ve created this loving resource that is packed with information about CBD oil. I am growing a community on Facebook and are constantly engaging with different people to help them make more informed decisions. I review products on a daily basis and provide unbiased reviews about some of the top CBD oil manufacturers. All the information on the site is FREE; I only ask that you help to share the information you find on the site with other people that are suffering. 

To your health and happiness.