Although the medicinal benefits of CBD have only become mainstream over the past few years, they are far from a recent discovery. Cannabis has been used to treat all sorts of ailments for centuries, with the first documented case dating all the way back to 2727 BC when Chinese Emperor Shen Nung used infused tea to help ease his various ailments.
It was only in 1839, when Irish researcher William O’Shaughnessy published his study about the plant’s therapeutic effects, that people began to realise the potential of CBD. He didn’t know it then, but this would unlock a series of events leading to cannabis use as we know it now.
For more information about William O’Shaughnessy, visit here.
Further studies into the active ingredients in cannabis really began in the 1940s. It was soon proved that there were parts of the plant that were beneficial in many medicinal ways which did not have any psychoactive effects, and that these could easily be enhanced and put to good use.
Roger Adams, the American chemist, was responsible for the discovery of CBD and THC in 1942, when he successfully isolated the first cannabinoid. Although this was a big breakthrough, the amount of research was very limited as advancements in technology were not there yet and understanding of these compounds was not fully grasped.
For more information about Roger Adams and the discoveries he made, visit here.
It was in 1963 when we really started to gain an understanding of how we could use cannabis. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam made the connection between the medicinal benefits of CBD and the psychoactive properties of THC, cutting the tie between CBD being a mind-altering compound.
History was made in 1978 when New Mexico made medicinal use of cannabis legal with the 1978 Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act.
Mechoulam went on to establish profound connections between the use of CBD and epilepsy. The discovery could have been life changing for many people, but it was not made public due to the taboo subject of cannabis use, and the negative press that often stemmed around it.
However, with the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), the network of receptors in the body that react to cannabis, there was soon to be an explosion of interest stemming around the use of CBD.
In 1996, California passed the Proposition 215, making it legal to use marijuana for medicinal uses, and by the year 2000, many other states followed.
The stigma around cannabis began to shift, and the case of Charlotte Figi changed many traditionalists’ views.
The five-year-old’s rare form of epilepsy was ‘cured’ almost instantly with the use of CBD. She went from having 300 seizures every week to just 2-3 per month, and the years of trauma and nightmares came to an abrupt, but welcome, end. This was a symbol of hope for many and the start of more intensive research.
Take a read of Charlottes story here.
While there is still much that we don’t know about the plant and what its full potential could be, those that were once opposed to it have now opened their eyes and recognised the positive impact that it could have. CBD use has been legalised in countries all around the world, and we are finding out more and more every day.
For more information about where CBD stands with worldwide laws and restriction, visit here.
CBD is here to stay, and it’s almost certain that we will be able to harness its powers in more intimate ways as time goes on and technology improves. The medicinal properties can no longer be ignored or argued, and it’s sure to continue improving the quality of life of many people forever.