CBD may be getting mainstream attention for the first time, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely new. In fact, CBD has a long, fascinating history!
In today’s blog post, we’ll give you a brief history of CBD, how the landscape around it has changed over the years, and how CBD developed into the product you know and love today. There’s a lot of info in this one, so get ready to do some serious learning!
The Discovery of Cannabinoids
The first documented use of medicine derived from cannabis dates all the way back to 2737 BC, when Chinese emperor Sheng Neng used a cannabis-infused tea to treat ailments. But while the cannabis plant has been around for a long time, the recognition that it’s comprised of unique compounds called cannabinoids is much more recent.
During the rise of modern medicine, cannabis was largely unrecognized by the medical community due to a lack of scientific evidence of how it worked—or if it worked at all. In 1839, however, an Irish physician and medical researcher named William O’Shaughnessy published a then-controversial study exploring the effects of cannabis. He also described possible medical applications, which helped set the stage for future research.
In 1940, chemist Robert Cahn identified the structure of the cannabis plant and an individual cannabinoid: cannabinol (CBN). Then in 1942, American chemist Roger Adams and his colleagues successfully isolated a cannabinoid for the first time: cannabidiol (CBD). Two years later, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was isolated for the first time. You will likely recognize THC as the psychoactive compound of the plant that causes euphoric effects. That’s going to be important later, so keep that in mind!
Once scientists understood that there were multiple cannabinoids and were able to isolate them, research into how individual cannabinoids worked began.
One of the most important discoveries concerning the cannabis plant was made in 1946, when Dr. Walter S. Loewe conducted tests using cannabis on lab animals. He noted that THC caused psychoactive effects on the animals, while CBD did not. In 1963, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam took this research a step further and discovered the stereochemistry of CBD, followed by the stereochemistry of THC one year later. This revealed the direct relationship between THC and the euphoric effects associated with cannabis and distanced CBD from the mind-altering compound.
Unfortunately, stigma surrounding the cannabis plant due to the psychoactive, euphoric effects often caused by THC led to restrictions on availability of cannabis even for academic purposes. The Boggs Act of 1951 increased the penalty for possessing cannabis, and the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 prohibited possessing it by federal law. It became very difficult to do research on cannabis, and therefore cannabinoids, because possessing it even for academic purposes was prohibited. Thus for many years, scientific research on cannabis and CBD was held back.
The Rise of CBD
While cannabis research may have been hindered by stigma, it wouldn’t be defeated by it. In 1978, New Mexico became the first state to pass legislation allowing the medical use of cannabis in some form. They did so through the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act, which allowed the use of cannabis through a research program approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana with the passing of Proposition 215. Many other states soon followed suit. With the legalization of medical marijuana came legal access to cannabis, and that allowed researchers to delve deeper into the study of CBD.
The 2014 Farm Bill laid the groundwork for the legalization of cultivating hemp and its products, such as CBD, and in 2018, it was expanded upon. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC is legal to cultivate, and products that are derived from it and also contain less than 0.3% THC are legal to sell. That means CBD is federally legal, as long as it is hemp-derived and contains 0.3% THC or less. With the widespread legalization of hemp-derived CBD has come renewed interest in it, and CBD oil is now one of the most popular products in the health and wellness industry!
At Nature’s Ultra, we’re strongly committed to creating high-quality CBD products that fully comply with regulations. We have a partner farm in Colorado, where we use organic and sustainable farming practices to cultivate the best possible hemp plants. Our quality assurance system tests to ensure that all of our products contain 0% THC, and we publish our lab results so you can be completely confident that your product contains no THC and is federally legal.
The Future of CBD
At Nature’s Ultra, we’d love to be able to tell you that we have a unique insight into the future. We’d love to say that we know exactly how CBD will be used in the coming years and what research will say years down the road. Of course, if we did have the ability to see the future, we’d probably also be stocking up on lottery tickets. But alas, our knowledge is based in the present, and our pockets remain devoid of winning lotto tickets.
But while we may not know exactly what CBD’s future looks like, we can say that we’re confident that it will be bright. Because CBD is widely available now, more and more research is being done. That research will likely lead to more recognition of how CBD can help with people’s health and lifestyles. We anticipate that for many years to come, CBD will not just be a popular supplement, but one that offers a multitude of benefits for a wide range of people.
Now that you know all about CBD history, click here to visit our product page. You’ll find incredible CBD oils, roll-ons, and even a muscle rub. Choose the perfect product for you, place your order, and get ready to take your place in CBD’s long and storied history!