History Of CBD Oil In A 5 Minute Read

History Of CBD Oil In A 5 Minute Read
(Photo : Julia Teichmann )

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about CBD oil, and CBD in general, is that it was discovered very recently. This can be partly contributed to the fact that, historically, knowledge of CBD had been kept out of the public eye.

The changes in legislation for CBD oil particularly, however, have made it difficult to find anyone who can't tell you, at the very least, what the cannabinoid is. 

Most people will also be able to tell you that CBD oil capsules and oil are often used for medical purposes, as a natural way of treating a variety of illnesses. This wasn't something that was discovered recently, either.

In fact, even before scientists had been able to identify individual cannabinoids, cannabis was used for medicinal purposes from the very beginning. For this reason, it's understandable why many people consider the use of cannabis a historically important part of the CBD oil discovery process.

The First Reported Use Of Cannabis For Medical Purposes

As far as historical records tell us, the first use of cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back as far back as 2737 BC. 

This was when Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung came up with the idea of using cannabis-infused tea to aid with a number of medical conditions suffered by his peers.

These conditions included memory loss, malaria, rheumatism, and even gout. 

Ancient China wasn't the only place where cannabis was commonly used for medical purposes, however.

In fact, reports suggest that it was also used by Romans in Europe In AD 77 to relieve pain and perform healing arts and rituals. 

The History Of Hemp

The above information proves that cannabis, which includes cannabidiol, has been used for medical purposes for much of the time this Earth has existed.

When it comes to CBD oil, however, focusing on the history of hemp specifically is even more important.

This is because much of the CBD oil that we use today, certainly the oil that is legal throughout the US, is made from hemp. 

Although hemp and cannabis both come from the cannabis sativa species, they do have some differences, with the main one being that hemp tends to contain less THC.

Though we mentioned earlier that many view this as a recent phenomenon, hemp actually found popularity for the first time in 16th century Britain when King Henry VIII, in 1533, made cultivating hemp mandatory for all farmers. 

Shortly after this, reports show that it also gained popularity in North America, where it became a heavily cultivated crop in the 1600s.

In fact, states including Virginia followed in King Henry VIII's footsteps, making it mandatory to cultivate hemp during that period. 

These combined efforts led to the first documentation of the medicinal properties within hemp in key medical journeys like the Edinburgh New Dispensatory and the New England Dispensatory. 

Perhaps the most popular research studies to take place during this period were performed by physician and medical researcher William B. O' Shaughnessy, who specifically investigated the therapeutic properties of CBD-rich cannabis, or hemp. 

Despite O'Shaughnessy's studies being considered controversial at the time, they were key in developing the modern understanding of individual cannabinoids like CBD. 

The First Discovery Of CBD 

Despite O' Shaunghnessy's progressive studies, the person actually credited for starting to develop a scientific understanding of the individual cannabinoids is British chemist Robert S. Cahn, who reported the partial structure of cannabinol (CBN). 

His research was then used by American chemist Roger Adams, who successfully isolated the first cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD). 

It wasn't until Dr. Raphael Mecholam identified the stereochemistry of CBD and THC that concerns about CBD lifted.

This is because, up until this point, people were concerned that CBD may be responsible for the euphoric high associated with cannabis use. 

When this was found not to be the case, New Mexico became the first state to legally recognize the medical value of cannabis with the passing of their 1978 Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act. 

Where History Caught Up With Modern Day 

To some, the history of CBD may seem like it comes to an abrupt ending. 

With New Mexico making a positive and innovative change to their legislation, how did we go without knowing about CBD for several decades? 

The truth is, controversy around cannabis and CBD was still strong, and many countries cracked down on legislation after discoveries into differing cannabinoids were made. 

This includes America, who passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, making the cultivation of hemp and marijuana strictly illegal.

Legislation like this stopped many researchers in the tracks, with very few able to perform their studies due to restrictions.

In recent history, however, there has been an increase in the number of countries legalizing cannabis and associated products. 

As a result of these changes in legislation, the FDA approved their first CBD-based medicine in June 2018 called Epidiolex, used to treat sufferers of two severe forms of childhood epilepsy. 

Many researchers are also attempting to pick up where those in the 1960s and 1970s left off, in a time many have dubbed the resurgence of CBD. 

The major difference this time around is that many of these studies involve human subjects, and use CBD oil to test their hypothesis' with. This includes finding the best CBD oil for depression

This is because CBD oil is the most legal way of getting hold of CBD products, and is also accessible to large proportions of society, making these studies actionable by the general public from the moment they are published. 

Even outside of these studies, many are opting for CBD oils as an alternative for cannabis products to avoid the paranoid and other effects that come from THC.

Many have even begun pushing the boundaries by testing the limits of the cannabinoid on themselves, and even their beloved pets in some cases.


As you can see, the history of CBD is extremely complicated. Not only did it take a long time to separate the cannabinoid from other parts of the cannabis plant due to limited knowledge, but CBD has also faced difficulties from a legal standpoint.

Having been stunted in the 1970s by legislation in many countries around the world, citizens were robbed of the opportunity to understand CBD's therapeutic benefits far earlier.

With the development of new legislation legalizing CBD oil, however, it's clear to see that the next generation are going to be fully equipped to make educated decisions about how the substance is used in their own life.

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