The History of CBD

Holistic healing has become more mainstream for achieving optimal wellness and has led to the increased use of CBD products. Living in 2021, you can purchase CBD with ease – at your local grocery store, with a quick swipe on the Amazon app, etc. This was not always the case when looking back at history.

*Side note: Quality is key! Purchasing CBD anywhere does not always mean it is top quality. Here at Dr. Peace Lily, ingredients undergo Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and are thoroughly lab-tested to ensure products are top-grade.

The Beginning of CBD Use

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound from the hemp plant which belongs to the Cannabis sativa family. The first documented use of the hemp plant dates back to 1250 B.C. in ancient China. Surprisingly enough, the Chinese did not initially use hemp medicinally, but as a raw material for textiles, clothing, and paper. Hemp flowers were eventually incorporated into cooking, primarily for the seeds which were an ideal food source, high in vitamins and minerals. The flowers were also applied topically to treat skin diseases, wounds, and hair loss. The evolution of the Hemp plant and its uses was eventually introduced to other areas around the world: Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Medicinal Use

The turning point for CBD use, was its inclusion in the pharmacological book “The Herbal”. Written in China in 2500 B.C., it describes cannabis as having two different characteristics: feminine (Yin) and masculine (Yang). When the body is imbalanced, it was believed that cannabis could stabilize this unevenness by bringing peace and harmony within that person.

During the 2nd century A.D., Chinese physicians began utilizing cannabis as an external anesthetic for superficial procedures, such as ulcers and small external tumors. It was also used as a form of pain management post-surgery.

Mid-1800’s

Fast-forward into the mid-1800s, it was with no surprise that CBD was used as a form of holistic healing in other parts of the world. Queen Elizabeth, the former queen of the United Kingdom in 1837, relied on CBD products to help relieve her menstrual spasms. The royal family doctor, Sir J. Russell Reynolds, would prescribe her oral tinctures which were used sublingually with a dropper.

During this same era, one Irish physician made a crucial contribution to Western medicine through his in-depth research on using CBD as a medicinal drug. Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy was an assistant surgeon in the East India Company. He conducted a series of experiments involving cannabis and later published the results of these experiments into articles and books. From his research, O’Shaughnessy identified new applications for CBD and began providing recommendations for therapeutic purposes. In one of his experiments, he gave CBD to tetanus patients which could not cure the root cause of tetanus but was shown to improve spasticity symptoms. His career unfortunately came to an end, when CBD was later banned in numerous states.

Modern History of CBD

The banning of hemp production within the United States placed a halt on the CBD industry for a long time. This was until Roger Adams, an American organic chemist who graduated from Harvard, made vital contributions in CBD research. In 1940, Adams successfully isolated CBD from the rest of the cannabis plant compounds (also known as cannabinoids). From this major finding, other researchers became more curious and developed more studies. Dr. Walter S. Loewe discovered the absence of an altered mental state with CBD use. The three-dimensional structure of CBD was discovered by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, from which many refer to him as the “founder” of CBD.

A huge step in CBD history occurred in 1980, when Dr. Mechoulam found cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for epilepsy. Society was skeptical of this claim, until it was implemented in a real-life medical case in 2012. The patient was Charlotte Figi, who was a young girl suffering from a rare, drug-resistant epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. Charlotte had approximately 300 tonic-clonic seizures every month. Her parents reached out to medical cannabis growers and started treating their daughter with CBD. Her number of seizures declined drastically to only 2-3 seizures per month.

Although Western medicine continues to perceive cannabis-use as controversial for medical treatment, it has made a positive impact throughout history. For centuries, cannabis continues to make a comeback into society even after being banned time after time again. With the growth of more research, the more versatile cannabis continues to become. Recent studies have even shown CBD to help improve sleep disorders, such as daytime sleepiness and insomnia. If you happen to be someone struggling with sleep as well, feel free to check out Dr. Peace Lily’s highly rated oral CBD capsules indicated for a good night’s rest!

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