The History of CBD – A Short Overview

The cannabis plant has always been part of our history. It is even thought to be one of the first plant’s humans cultivated. It is also believed that growing cannabis has helped in the development of human civilization. It may sound astonishing for some but marijuana consumption has been around since 2900 BC in Ancient China. They use CBD (cannabidiol) strain seeds to plant in the garden of officials in power like emperors. And the marijuana is processed like tea in order for the drinker to experience the medicinal properties of the plant. 

Since there are early documents recorded that CBD is part of colorful history, let’s take a tour on memory lane. See for ourselves how did the marijuana plant start helping some of our human ancestors and when did we learn about getting the high benefit of CBD.

What Exactly is CBD?

Before we go into our history further, let’s define first what CBD is. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid discovered in the 1940s. When we use the term cannabinoid, we are referring to a chemical compound that acts on cannabinoid receptors. In layman’s terms, it is a chemical compound that acts on our brains, therefore, giving a certain result for the marijuana consumer. 

Cannabidiol is actually one of the 113 cannabinoids in the marijuana plants and it makes up to 40% of the plant’s extract. It can be taken into the body in several ways such as inhalation via smoking or vaping or by using an aerosol spray thru the cheek and mouth. 

The History of CBD

2900 BC – 1800s 

It has been known that Chinese Emperor Shen Yeng has been using the cannabis plant for its medicinal properties. CBD strains seeds were planted in the backyard to ensure that the emperor gets his afternoon dose of marijuana tea. He was regarded by many as the Father of Chinese Medicine and he also authored the book Pen Ts’au. It was actually one of the medical texts that gave reference to cannabis as a medicinal plant and is still used by Chinese doctors until now.

When Romans started advancing their military campaigns, they traveled with the Greek physician known as Pedacius Dioscorides. He gathered as many plants as he can in every country they have been and inspected them for possible healing properties. In his book Materia Medica, it discussed the medical properties of the cannabis plant along with 600 different plants.

In the 1800s, using cannabis was already part of the daily lives of most people. It was used as medicine especially for gastrointestinal illness and the plant itself was used for textiles and fabrics.

The 1900s – 1930s

Bad propaganda regarding cannabis use started in the early 1900s in the United States and different Western Countries. During the Great Depression, marijuana consumption was associated with massive unemployment, increased public resentment and the fear of Mexican immigrants. 

In 1910 where the Mexican Revolution happened, Mexican immigrants brought with them the habit of smoking marijuana recreationally. This paved the way for both the government and the public to be aware of the possible problem marijuana might bring. 29 states have outlawed marijuana by 1931. 

Harry J. Anslinger, the founder of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and its director from 1930-1962, was known as the worst critic of cannabis use. He ignored medical effects of the plant, fabricated negative accounts of cannabis users and he always pushed for the banning of the plant and making it illegal to use the plant under any circumstances. 

 

  • CBD Strain Seeds for Male Plants

 

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While Anslinger continued criticizing the cannabis plant and often referring to it as “marijuana” for it to sound foreign. Like a foreign entity invading the United States rather than stating facts that cannabis use has been in the country for hundreds of years. 

What he failed to recognize is that he mentioned that the resin for male plants had no intoxicating effects. This is in a way affected the propaganda he was so committed to doing.

Another accomplice of Anslinger’s propaganda is William Randolph Hearst a newspaper owner with shares in the timber industry. Hearst knows very well that hemp was a potential threat for his timber business therefore, conniving with writers and advertisers to cite the dangers of cannabis. Some of the articles were even used by Congress to fully implement The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that banned both hemp and cannabis from being sold in the US.

The Discovery of CBD

Dr. Roger Adams and his team in the University of Illinois were the first ones to discover Cannabidiol within the hemp plant in the 1940s. But during this time, they had no idea that it was CBD that they discovered. 

By 1963, CBD was successfully isolated and mapped out its structure and the studies of its effects progressed. This was done by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, considered as the Godfather of Cannabis Science. He was the first to use the isolated cannabidiol on primates and humans.

In 1980, he used the cannabidiol in patients suffering from epilepsy. This laid the groundwork for future researches about the medical effects of marijuana. 

The first cannabinoid receptor was discovered in 1988. This was the first discovery that proved that an endocannabinoid system exists within mammals. In this discovery, scientists have begun fully exploring the endocannabinoid system and the functions it does for the human body.

Present – Future

Today, with the passing of marijuana usage for both medical and recreational in some states, the research regarding the effects of marijuana seems unstoppable. It might have gotten easier for the scientists to continue on with the studies of CBD and THC as this is somehow backed up by the government.

Even for simple marijuana cultivators, a new avenue has been opened by allowing them to grow their own marijuana plant, they are able to experiment in their own little ways. Also, additional help is the number of strains that are locally available, by working on these, hybrids with unknown effects might be the next subject of the experiments of big marijuana seed banks.