CBD is new to many and with the explosion of the CBD marketplace many are benefiting from the healing properties of the cannabinoid. While it might seem new, CBD has been used for centuries.
The History of CBD
The first known use of marijuana for medicinal purposes was in 2737 B.C. Emperor Shen Neng of China prescribed marijuana for many of the same aliments the plant helps with today- gout, rheumatism, and pain relief. News of this treatment spread throughout Asia and the use of marijuana as medicine grew.
Reports claim that Christopher Columbus brought cannabis on his trip in 1492. Later in 1619, law in Jamestown required citizens to grow cannabis. George Washington even grew cannabis for fibers at his Mount Vernon estate. Marijuana and hemp were both commonly used in North America for medicinal purposes by the nineteenth century. Dr. William O’Shaughnessy, an Irish doctor who helped popularize medical marijuana use in England and Europe conducted a study examining the medical properties of marijuana.
In 1833, O’Shaughnessy began working for the East India Company and moved to Calcutta to work as a surgeon. There, he learned about marijuana from indigenous people and developed recipes for aliments using cannabis. O’Shaughnessy conducted many studies on patients using cannabis and treated convulsions and pain. His research also revealed the different compounds in the plant which we now know as cannabinoids.
After O’Shaughnessy brought marijuana into Western medicine, it became a popular medical treatment and alternative to morphine. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed by Congress, which made “the individual possession and sale of marijuana” illegal. However, the ruling did not outlaw medicinal marijuana but required those who “bought, sold, imported, distributed, cultivated or prescribed it as medicine” to pay a tax. The passing of this act in 1937 limited the studies and further development of medical marijuana.
The plant was still studied by researchers to better understand its properties. Using O’Shaughnessy’s research, British chemist Robert S. Cahn discovered individual cannabinoids in 1940.
In 1942, CBD itself was discovered by Roger Adams, an American chemist who successfully isolated the compound. His research also led to the discovery of THC.
More studies into marijuana and CBD were conducted, which led to the CBD boom of today. In 1963, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered the individual effects of cannabinoids. In the 1980s, Mechoulam discovered CBD can aid in the treatment of seizures, a common use today.
Since many states have made medical marijuana legal and CBD was made federally legal in 2018, the use of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine has become de-stigmatized. Experts expect the CBD market to be worth an estimated $22 billion by 2022.