The History of CBD: 10,000 Years and Counting

The roots of Cannabidiol (CBD) extend back thousands of years; to the end of the first ice age, Archaeological finds suggest that the source plant for the CBD compound, Cannabis Sativa, was likely one of the first agricultural crops planted by early man. In fact, growing Cannabis Sativa, something we tend to think of as modern, is often associated with the birth of agriculture 12,000 to 10,000 years ago.

The astronomer Carl Sagan an icon of scientific credibility put forth the possibility that Cannabis may have been world’s first agricultural crop, leading to the development of civilisation itself. Looking at time lines, it is clear that cannabis plants have been integral to mankind since earliest times.

Food and More

Cannabis plants are exceptionally versatile. Both the seeds and cannabis oil were used for food in China as early as 6,000 BCE. Two thousand years later, in 4,000 BCE, there is evidence of textiles made from hemp (cannabis) used in both China and Turkestan. The influence of the plant seems to have been global. In 850, the Vikings transported hemp rope and seeds to Iceland, and by the year 900, Arabs were learning techniques for making paper from hemp. By 1000 (1015 years ago), Italians were using ropes made of hemp on their sailing

A Mandated Crop

In contrast to today’s modern restrictions of growing Cannabis Sativa, England’s King Henry VIII actually fined farmers if they do not raise hemp for industrial use. This was in 1533. Less than one hundred years later, settlers in Jamestown, Virginia–the New World—-began growing hemp plants for hemp’s unusually strong fibre. Once the plant demonstrated its usefulness, it became illegal to NOT grow hemp in Virginia.

By 1850, Cannabis was added to the list of The U.S.Pharmacopeia, a respected compendium of Medicines and Dietary Supplements. That same year, marijuana was used throughout the United States as a medicinal drug and could easily be purchased in pharmacies and general stores. This lasted until about 1915.

Seeds of Change

According to the North America Industrial Hemp Council (NAIHC), growing Cannabis Sativa, even for industrial hemp purposes, has been effectively prohibited in the United States since the 1950s and the UK since

Things may be changing however. The explosion of interest in hemp derived compounds and products, most especially Cannabidiol (CBD), has motivated farmers and advocates across the U.S. to lobby for restoring the legal status of hemp as an agricultural crop in all 50 states, and on 12th December 2019, congress federally legalized hemp with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, opening a market that estimates will reach $22 billion by 2022.

Blooming Industry

In the mid-1990s, the Endocannabinoid system was discovered-perhaps the most significant medical discovery of the century. The Endocannabinoid system or ECS serves a vital purpose for health and well-being as it regulates crucial aspects of our biology including mood, pain, stress, temperature and appetite. Its primary goal is “homeostasis” which is the maintenance of a stable internal environment within the body despite fluctuations in the external environment. CBD aka Cannabidiol helps promote homeostasis within the body and researchers across the globe are now recognising its benefits and importance in regulating the Endocannabinoid System.

Following this discovery from November 1st 2018, for the first time in the UK, expert doctors have been given the option to now legally issue prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines when they agree that their patients could benefit from this treatment.