A History of CBD Usage
Though the recent CBD craze has led many people to ‘discover’ the plant-based miracle of cannabinoid, the truth is that CBD has a rich history of medicinal usage that stretches back thousands of years. This valuable therapeutic resource has been a secret gift from the holistic community for centuries, but its history proves that its usefulness has spanned generations.
The first documented use of cannabis-derived medicine dates back to 2737 BC when Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung used a cannabis-infused tea to aid with a variety of ailments including memory, malaria, rheumatism, and gout. Between then and the mid-1800s, CBD mostly existed as an ‘oriental’ medicine used by shamans and other naturopathic-centered communities. It wasn’t until 1839, when Irish physician and medical researcher, William B. O’Shaughnessy, published a study which investigated the plant’s therapeutic effects, that researchers did begin to consider the medical applications of cannabis. In his study, which was O’Shaughnessy explored the rudimentary effects of cannabis and thoroughly described its potential medical applications, particularly as an anesthetic. While the Irish researcher may have not realized it then, he had just opened the door towards the discovery of the compounds that would one day be referred to as cannabinoids. From there, CBD spread across Europe, even reaching the Royal Palace in England; Queen Victoria is believed to have used CBD to alleviate menstrual cramps during her reign (3). CBD remained a dormant medicinal trend used for treating chronic pain and cramping until research expanded its medicinal uses in the 80s and 90s.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam made the first breakthrough towards understanding the effects of individual cannabinoids in 1963 when he successfully identified the stereochemistry of CBD (4). A year later, Mecholam’s made another breakthrough and discovered the stereochemistry of THC, which revealed the cannabinoids direct relationship to the euphoric effects associated with marijuana use, and disassociated CBD as a mind-altering compound. As research advanced, a landmark victory occurred, when New Mexico passed the 1978 Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act, a bill that legally recognized the medicinal value of cannabis. The momentum continued during the 1980s as Dr. Mechoulam and his team conducted a study on the potential application of CBD for the treatment of epilepsy as a hypnotic. Their success paved the way for modern usage of CBD as a treatment for back pain, epilepsy, depression, insomnia, and arthritis.
Today, CBD dominates the market as a medicinal tool capable of treating a variety of maladies and conditions. Its historical usage supports its ability to treat any condition and proves that this natural remedy is time-tested and reliable. From past to present, CBD has always been a game-changer.