“CBD” is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. This is a non-psychoactive ingredient which is extracted from the female hemp plant (cannabis).
Generally, cannabis is considered a drug. The reason is the intoxicating effect of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This does not apply to its active ingredient CBD. Because of its positive effects, it is found in numerous medications. It is used for severe epilepsy, burnout and sleep disorders. CBD has anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and sedative effects. Thus, CBD is legal.
CBD Use Origins
The history of CBD began in 1940, when Roger Adams was the first to isolate the active ingredient from marijuana. He worked as an organic chemist at a university and wanted to research the chemistry of cannabis. Cannabis was completely unknown at that time. All that was known was that this drug intoxicated users. The reason was a mystery.
During his research, he successfully extracted CBD. However, since he did not describe the chemical structure of the substance, he is not often associated with the discovery of CBD.
In 1946, Dr. Walter S. Loewe conducted the first tests of the cannabis plant on rabbits and mice. His research revealed the following: The active ingredient CBD did not elicit any noticeable behavior, while THC led to psychoactive behavior.
The real breakthrough in the history of CBD came in 1963/64, when Israeli scientist Prof. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam isolated CBD again and described its chemical structure. For this reason, he is credited with the discovery of CBD. He also succeeded in isolating THC and describing it. Without him, cannabis research and thus the CBD industry would not be as advanced today.
The Stigmatization of Cannabis
In the following years, the hemp plant became increasingly unpopular. The reason for this was, among other things, its consumption during the 1960s. Society did not want to identify with dissenters whose image was tied to cannabis consumption. Thus, cannabis was criminalized in most countries.
The medicinal potential of CBD was discovered in 1973, although it was actually “rediscovered” because many ancient civilizations had previously known and used the healing properties of cannabis. Initial tests on animals showed that the active ingredient led to a reduction in epilepsy symptoms. These properties were successfully transferred to humans a few years later. In addition, scientists found that it took away the subjects’ anxiety. Two years later, the first CBD tincture was developed.
Medicinal Discovery of CBD
The next milestone in the history of CBD was in 1980, when Prof. Dr. Mechoulam published his studies on the relationship between cannabis and epilepsy. He had done these in collaboration with a team of researchers from the Sao Paulo Faculty of Medicine. During the research, they studied the effect of CBD on patients with severe epilepsy. The subjects were mostly children. They found that the drug led to an improvement in symptoms. There were no side effects.
This moment is considered groundbreaking in CBD history. However, the results gained little notoriety because of the negative image of cannabis.
The following 20 years were marked by distancing from cannabis and hemp in general. As already mentioned, society did not want to identify with the so-called “hippies”. Hemp was demonized and criminalized.
In 2000, the medical benefits of CBD were recognized again and the use of the plant or the active ingredient was decriminalized. Thus, CDB became legal. The first countries to do so were Luxembourg, the USA, Canada and Belgium. In the meantime, the medical use of CBD has been approved in many parts of the world. In the UK, home cultivation (with a license) is allowed.
In 2011, the first drug came on the market. It is used to treat muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). This drug is prescribed as a “last solution”. That is, it is prescribed when no other drug works. Nevertheless, the approval of this drug is a big step in the history of CBD.
Since 2018, CBD has been making history around the world. Research study on the subject is published non-stop. The results are very promising. The acceptance of the drug is growing steadily.
Today, the sale and possession of CBD is unrestricted in some countries and CBD is legal. It remains to be seen where this successful path will lead. However, one thing is certain: the story of CBD is just getting started.