Why CBD is under Limelight? The (Untold) History of CBD

Ching Ming – CBD!!!


Ching Ming, literally means Pure and Bright and the perfect name for the Chinese Spring Festival, witnessing the start of Spring season.

CBD – Cannabinoids is known to have extracted from the Cannabis sativa L., (Hemp) plant, which has its roots deeply vested with the Chinese Empire.

Cannabis sativa L., – Hemp

Regarded as the elemental heart of Hemp (fiber-rich Cannabis) cultivation, China boasts the therapeutic use of Cannabis in Chinese medicine to about 1800 years.

History of CBD in a Jiffy:

Here you go with the top 10 episodes of the promising history of CBD.

1. Chinese Mythology:

All through the traditional Chinese literature, Cannabis has its name etched as a seed and fiber crop. Few witnesses include its episode in the philosophical writings by Zhuangzi, Confucius, Mozi, Xunzi, and Mencius crafted during the Warring States Period (475–221 BC).

The renowned Agricultural work dated Sixth Century AD, Qi Min Yao Shu – The Essential Techniques for the Welfare of the People portrays the cultivation of the Hemp plant.

The Cannabis (Hemp) seeds known as ‘achenes’ (referred to as ‘huomaren’ in the Traditional Chinese Medicine) along with other plant parts record its ancient medicinal use in the treatment of mental conditions and pain, thus paving way to the modern research regime of Cannabis, in the world of medicine.

Owing to its fiber-rich biotypes, Cannabis (Hemp) was also used predominantly in the production of paper, clothing, fishing nets and rope.

Cannabis owns a complex taxonomic history. While popular texts like the Chinese Pharmacopeia and Flora of China denote it as monotypic genus with chemical and morphological differences, certain other texts claim it as a polytypic genus.

Besides numerous medical references, Bencao (The Complete Ben Cao is the compilation of about 800 Bencao texts, certified authentic), the earliest Materia Medica texts of China showcases extensively about the various plant parts of Cannabis, the effects of Cannabinoids, therapeutic properties and its historical use in the treatment of mental illnesses, seizures, pain, menstrual discomforts etc., and requires enough evidence to substantiate its stand.

Early documented use of Cannabis-based medicine in Chinese folklore: 2737 BC

First documented use of Cannabis – infused Medicinal Tea

Many reliable sources state that the first recognized use of cannabis-extracted medicine is 2737 BC by the Chinese Emperor Sheng Neng.

He is said to have taken a medicinal tea infused with Cannabis for the treatment of rheumatism, difficulties in memory, gout and malaria.

The lasting substantiation for this medicinal claim is his work Pen Ts’au, used by Chinese medical practitioners even today.

2. Roman Conquest:

The Romans got hold of about 60 acres of Cannabis cultivation during their regime in China and are often tributed to the arrival of Hemp in Italy.

Pedacius Dioscorides, the Greek Physician recorded about 600 strands of Cannabis in his Materia medica based on his research samples on accompaniment of the Roman encampment.

3. Queen Victoria: Mid 1800s

The emperor passed on the baton to the Empress.

Yes! In the mid 1800s, Queen Victoria is said to have used CBD to treat menstrual cramps.

It is also said that Hemp was cultivated prevalently in England and the Colonists from England are believed to be reason behind the onset of Hemp in America.

4. The window towards the discovery of the CBD regimen: 1839

The credit goes to William B. O’Shaughnessy, the Irish physician, who published his research on the healing properties of the Cannabis plant.

Being a fundamental investigation, Physician William mainly focused on the medicinal use of Cannabis, especially as an anesthetic and was contrary in nature.

5. First individual discovery of cannabinoids: 1940s

The pioneers in the discovery of Cannabinoids were Robert S. Cahn, the British chemist and Roger Adams, the Harvard mastermind chemist.

While Robert submitted the partial structure of Cannabinol (CBN), Roger Adams set foot in the History of CBD by isolating the first cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD). This splendid research also paved way for the discovery of its psychoactive relative Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Roger Adams, The Harvard Mastermind Chemist, who first isolated CBD – Source: Freedomleaf.com

Roger Adams is also renowned for his discovery of Adams Scale, used even today for computing the potency of Cannabinoids.

6. The Breakthrough in Cannabinoid pharmacology: 1960s

Though the episode of Isolated CBD set foot firmly, researchers had restricted ideas on the structure and the biological elements of Cannabis.

It was Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, rightly called as the Godfather of the Cannabis pharmacology, witnessed the clear picture about the individual effects of Cannabinoids.

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the Father of Cannabis – Source: Vice.com

Mechoulam hit the nail on the head by documenting the stereochemistry of CBD followed by the stereochemistry of THC.  He clearly proved that the effect of THC is responsible for the euphoric effects related to the use of Marijuana.

These tremendous studies liberated CBD from the false claims of being psychoactive, thus proving it to be a non-psychoactive component of cannabis.


7. The Breakthrough continues: 1970s to 1980s

The baby steps in the breakthrough of Cannabinoid research, attained its first accolade when certain states in the United States including Oregon and New Mexico, passed various bills that legally acknowledged the therapeutic values of Cannabis. (Ex: The Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act, 1978)

The mission strengthened further with the team efforts of Dr. Mechoulam. They conducted a promising study on the use of CBD as a soothing agent in the treatment of epilepsy.

Conducted on 8 groups, about half of the study group recovered from seizures and the rest showed progress by showcasing a decline in the occurrences of seizures.

The Cannabis stigma engulfed this pioneering research and required another decade to withstand its authority.

8. The most promising era of the CBD province: 1990s

This decade plays a significant role in the Ascend of CBD in the United States and across the globe.

California was the first state to legalize the use of medical marijuana in 1996 with the California Proposition 215 initiative.

This led to the gateway for extensive research on the potential use of CBD in the treatment of numerous health conditions, including epilepsy, pain and certain other neurodegenerative disorders.

In 1998, the license granted to GW Pharmaceuticals by the British Government was indeed a turning point in the therapeutic-based CBD capabilities.

The research report presented at the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS), made a clear effort in discriminating the psychoactive effects of THC and the absolutely non-psychoactive properties of CBD.

9. Personal healing experiences did a perfect job: 2000s

Besides everything else that research reports and pharmacological studies could do, the personal healing stories of people who used CBD in their survival regime, grabbed the attention of the entire populace.

Charlotte Figi, the Colorado little princess born in 2006 was suffering from Dravet Syndrome, a severe epilepsy that led to about 300 seizures per week, causing her to lose her capability to eat, talk and walk.

Fed up with all kinds of treatment in the world of modern medicine, Figi’s parents chose to try CBD oil, reluctantly.

Charlotte Figi, the Survivor of Dravet Syndrome before and after the use of CBD – Source: canvas.seattlecentral.edu

CBD was the life-saver for darling Figi and she is now leading a hearty life, facing a minimal of 2 to 3 seizures per month and Figi’s parents shared the phenomenal healing benefits of CBD in an interview with CNN health.

The story of Rick Simpson, who recovered from skin cancer with the use of CBD and numerous other lifetime experiences of people who used CBD in the treatment of various conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, depression, anxiety etc., were the real-time warriors behind the CBD ascendancy.

10. The revolutionary CBD, and the rest is HISTORY:

The CBD voyage is indeed the most promising one with all the ups and downs to prove its potential from, the Cannabis infused tea to a capable Cancer remedy.

The United States new farm bill, December 2018 substantiates the hemp derived CBD as legal on a federal level. While certain States have diverse regulatory practices, the good news is that CBD extracted from Hemp plant is legal prevalently in the United States.

Trust me, CBD is expected to a billion dollar industry, for its enormous benefits.

Hear what the Expert says about the projected rise of the CBD market.

So, what are you reflecting upon? The rest is HISTORY.


Cannabis in Chinese Medicine: Are Some Traditional Indications Referenced in Ancient Literature Related to Cannabinoids? By E. Joseph Brand and Zhongzhen Zhao, published in NCBI
Meet the ‘Father of Cannabis,’ the Man Who Discovered Why Weed Makes You High by Vice.com
Medicinal Cannabis: History, Pharmacology, And Implications for the Acute Care Setting by Mary Barna Bridgeman, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP and Daniel T. Abazia, PharmD, BCPS, CPE, published in NCBI
W. B. O’Shaughnessy and the Introduction of Cannabis to Modern Western Medicine, published in the Public Domain Review

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