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History of CBD

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The first recorded use of the cannabis plant for therapeutic purposes comes from China. In 2737 BC, Emperor Cheng Neng successfully brewed the first cup of CBD tea.

The tea was used to treat gout, malaria and rheumatism. It was even found that people who drank this tea had improved memory and brain function over time.

The plant continued to appear in the stories of time. Queen Victoria was said to have used the plant to relieve menstrual cramps, supporting claims of analgesia.

Sadly, as modern medicine has progressed, cannabis has been relegated to a place of misguided regulations driven by racism and the need to find a new enemy for American society.

Before the dawn of Prohibition, cannabis got its chance to shine in 1839. Research into the medicinal value of CBD began with one man – William B. O’Shaughnessy.

Unfortunately, he never saw his work bear fruit. It was almost a century after his death that his work became recognized.

In his research, William O’Shaughnessy outlined the possibility of therapeutic indications for cannabis extracts. He presented the plant primarily as an anaesthetic.

Rediscovering CBD

After many years in the dust, cannabinoids were brought to light again when Harvard-trained chemist Roger Adams identified and extracted CBD from the cannabis plant. Along with CBD, he identified another cannabinoid called cannabinol (CBN). His discoveries are also responsible for the identification of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the most active component of the cannabis plant.

It was another scientist, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, who dug deeper and identified the structure of CBD. His research earned him the title “Godfather of Cannabis Research”. A year later, he successfully isolated THC, defining its structure for the first time.

By comparing their stereochemistry, the researchers were able to conclude that the mentally stimulating effects of cannabis were tied to THC and not CBD. CBD was found to be closely related to the therapeutic effects of the plant.

This discovery declared CBD safe for use as a therapeutic agent.

Don’t get it wrong, CBD still has some effect on the brain, otherwise it would be useless against anxiety and insomnia. The difference is that CBD’s effects on the brain are not intoxicating.

Farmacology CBD

Mechoulam was able to combine the therapeutic effect with some of the internal functions of the body. He hypothesised that there was a very specific mechanism by which cannabinoids were able to exert their therapeutic effects.

It was Allyn Howlett who discovered the CB1 receptor in 1985 or so. A few years later, in 1993, the CB2 receptor was discovered. These two discoveries proved Mechoulam’s hypothesis about the effect of cannabinoids on human health. The system he was referring to was called the Endocannabinoid System.

According to these researchers, the body has certain receptors that produce endocannabinoids. These chemicals have been found to control processes such as appetite, sleep-wake cycles, pain and reproduction.

When you take cannabinoids like CBD and THC, they activate endocannabinoid receptors, leading to a wide range of therapeutic effects that people experience.

How was CBD oil first used?

Cannabis has been cultivated as hemp and marijuana for at least 5000 years. Any health benefits derived from the plant (pain relief and insomnia) come from the presence of cannabinoids. These compounds can be extracted as an oil resin that people commonly infuse into teas and other beverages (e.g. bhang), long before the chemical structure of CBD came to light.

In the late 20th century, the state of New Mexico legalized cannabis for research purposes. The state passed a bill, the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act of 1978, which allowed for the study of the therapeutic properties of cannabis.

Following Mechoulam’s research in 1940, a group of Brazilian researchers conducted a clinical trial; epileptic patients were treated with 200 mg of CBD oil while another group was given a placebo. 40% of the population taking CBD experienced no convulsions within months. Another 40% witnessed a reduction in seizure frequency, while no response was observed in 20% and also in the control group.

The rise of CBD in the United States

As research into the medicinal properties of CBD continued to fuel the attention of medical professionals, individual states began to see reasons why cannabis should be decriminalised. Following the passage of a law in New Mexico and the decriminalization of cannabis in Oregon in 1973, more states began to legalize the use of marijuana as medicine.

The first state to legalise medical cannabis was California in 1996.

Alaska, Washington and Oregon followed a year later. Right behind was Maine, which legalized marijuana the following year. Next were Colorado, Nevada and Hawaii, which passed the law in 2000.

As of 2021, 18 states in the US have legalised cannabis for recreational use.

Charlotte Figi: A Girl Behind The Boom na CBD

Charlotte was born on 18 October 2006 and was a bright little girl suffering from Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. The drug-resistant disease found her in a wheelchair when she was just five years old. She often had up to 300 seizures in a week.

Fortunately, the family was based in Colorado, where medical marijuana use had already been decriminalized. Charlotte’s mother, Paige, began administering a special kind of cannabis oil; Hippies disappointed. Charlotte’s seizure frequency improved so dramatically that she became a sensation on social media. People who had similar cases came to Colorado from all over the world to buy this CBD oil.

Charlotte’s seizures have dropped drastically from 300 a week to a maximum of three a month.

Sadly, on April 7, 2020, she died of pneumonia and its complications.

Her story soon sparked a worldwide boom in CBD oils to treat seizures and epilepsy.

CBD in the USA today

Five years ago, we had little knowledge about CBD and its therapeutic possibilities. Now it’s the next big thing in the wellness world.

The legalization of hemp and its products has led to the sprouting of many CBD-based companies. This further promotes the use of the plant extract. The following statistics will help us understand how important CBD has become to the American community in just a few years.

  1. V roce 2018 byl FDA schválen první lék na bázi CBD. Lék, Epidiolex, se používá při léčbě epilepsie. Orální podání léku vede k drastickému snížení frekvence záchvatů.
  2. Trh CBD zažívá boom. Analytici předpovídají, že průmysl CBD bude mít do roku 2022 hodnotu 22 miliard dolarů.
  3. Dnes v USA existuje více než 8 různých forem CBD: gumy, tinktury, lízátka, náplasti, vape pera, kapsle, krémy a podobně. To odráží, jak se extrakt zakořenil do struktury společnosti.
  4. Možnost ještě více terapeutických výsledků CBD je vzrušující. Probíhá výzkum možných analgetických vlastností CBD, stejně jako jeho účinků na zánět, neurodegeneraci a psychiatrické poruchy.

The Future of CBD

The progression of CBD as a medicinal herb has been hindered by two areas; the stigma associated with cannabis and the lack of clinical research into its therapeutic use.

The change in the mindset of scientists and the public will mark the beginning of a new journey for CBD and hemp-derived supplements.

The stigma around cannabis is fading, and you can tell by the results of recent polls that show an overwhelming majority of Americans support federal legalization.

The history of CBD is a bit bumpy. It was once prized and widely used in folk medicine, but the frenzy created by cannabis advocates in the 1940s put it in legal limbo. Today, CBD seems to have been given its own redemption story – one that is well-written and heading for a happy ending.

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