The History Of CBD
The market for dietary supplements today is stronger than ever, but now there is a new one that has created a buzz among commercial, political, and scientific circles. This new supplement is CBD or cannabidiol, and CBD products have now become bestsellers among supplements. It’s now legal to sell and buy CBD products because they’re extracted from hemp, and the 2018 Farm Bill passed by the federal government expressly excludes help from the category of banned Schedule I drugs.
Many were surprised by this turn of events. Hemp after all has always been cast in a negative light, and treated like other strains of marijuana. However, a closer look upon the real history of CBD uses reveals that it’s not quite as new as some people may believe.
The Early Years
Most people associate CBD use with the turn of the millennium. However, this is not accurate. Its use has been chronicled way back in the Victorian Age. In fact, Queen Victoria herself took cannabis that was filled with high CBD content. It helped her with her menstrual cramps way back in the 1800s.
However, the most notorious effect of cannabis has always been its psychoactive effects. This is due to the THC content in the cannabis and THC is a different compound from CBD. CBD doesn’t cause any significant psychoactive effect at all.
1998: The British Initiative
Through the years, several scientists and doctors were convinced about the potential of CBD to treat a wide range of ailments. They conducted studies involving lab animals, and the results suggested that CBD could reduce anxiety. These studies also indicated that CBD could minimize the frequency and severity of seizures.
Finally, the GW Pharmaceuticals company and its co-founder Dr. Geoffrey Guy were able to convince the British Home Office that cannabis plants rich in CBD may be able to act as medicine without resulting in any psychoactive effects.
Thus in 1998, the British Home Office licensed GW Pharmaceuticals to grow cannabis plants in order to extract CBD reliably for clinical trials and studies. GW began this initiative by taking over the genetic library of a Dutch seed company called HortaPharm. This was run by the American expat horticulturists Robert Clarke and David Watson.
This was how GW got its start with CBD-rich strains of cannabis. Dr. Guy discussed his approach with the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS), and held meetings with the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicine (IACM).
2009: California Joins in the Effort
Through the 20th century, buyers and consumers of marijuana focused mainly on its psychoactive effects. This is why generations of growers bred for high THC content to satisfy these users, even though cannabis itself had been banned by governments all over the world.
Strains in the cannabis produced in places like Northern California barely had trace amounts of CBD, because CBD had no psychoactive effects. Still, there were groups such as the Society of Cannabis Clinicians in the US which hoped that Northern California would soon be able to develop CBD-rich strains of cannabis on their own.
As more studies described findings about CBD benefits, doctors in California were kept informed though they were still unable to participate. Finally, in 2009 the Steep Hill Laboratory in Oakland was able to test cannabis samples the Harborside Health Center and discovered several strains of cannabis that had more CBD than THC.
It didn’t take long for scientists in the US “medical marijuana” states to discover strains with dominant levels of CBD. Soon, the market was flooded with oil extracts and concentrates that contained significant amounts of CBD. Once hemp became the primary source of commercial CBD, it was inevitable that legal CBD oil with their promised medicinal benefits would become popular to so many.