Explore the History of CBD Oil

With a recent rise in popularity, it’s easy to assume that CBD, or cannabidiol is a recent discovery. However, that’s not quite the case. In fact, the history of CBD oil started thousands of years ago, but its popularity in the United States didn’t begin until the legalization of medical marijuana.

Early History of CBD Oil

As mentioned, cannabidiol has been used for thousands of years, with the first known documented use being by the Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung. He used cannabis-infused tea for anything from malaria to memory improvement, gout, and rheumatism. Fast forward several years and Queen Victoria, whose reign ended in 1901, also used cannabidiol to relieve her menstrual cramps.

Around the same time Queen Victoria would have been enjoying many CBD effects, an Irish physician and researcher named William B. O’Shaughnessy released a study (1839) which discussed CBD oil benefits. At the time, however, he discussed them in terms of the cannabis plant, not realizing he had stumbled upon cannabinoid compounds. The official discovery of these compounds would come almost a century later with new advancements in research and technology.

CBD Timeline

From the early years, there were several contributors to the history of cannabidiol. These include:

  • 1940 - Robert S. Cahan, a British chemist, discovered the fully formed structure of Cannabinol (CBN)
  • 1942 - Dr. Roger Adams, an American Chemist, became the first to successfully isolate the cannabinoid cannabidiol. He also discovered tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.1963 - Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered the stereochemistry of cannabidiol, which helped to understand the effect of this cannabinoid. A year later, he did the same with THC, which helped him to determine cannabidiol did not have a mind-altering effect.1980’s - Dr. Mechoulam and his team began studying the effect cannabidiol would have on the treatment of epilepsy. While having great success, the stigma of this natural drug was great, therefore leading to the study not being publicized. However, less than a decade later, interest in the therapeutic effects of cannabidiol re-emerged causing further research and discoveries.
  • 2018 - The Farm Bill was signed into law legalizing the production of industrial hemp for several uses, including cannabidiol oil.

The Rise in the United States

The rise of legalized medical marijuana, and eventually CBD, can really be pinpointed to the passing of Proposition 215 in California (1996). Once this state legalized medical marijuana, seven states followed over the next four years, including Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Maine, Hawaii, Nevada, and Colorado. Not only did this open the door for further research, but patients could now use CBD oil for pain, they could use CBD oil for anxiety, or even CBD oil for depression without risk of penalty. 

Despite legalization, the stigma around this drug didn’t really improve until people began sharing their own CBD testimony. One story in particular about a young girl named Charlotte Figi really captured the hearts of Americans and began shifting opinions. Charlotte was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome which caused her to suffer around 300 seizures a week causing her to lose her ability to walk, eat, and talk. With the help of this cannabinoid, she now only experiences two to three seizures a month and lives a normal life.

CBD Statistics

While some may be skeptical about the longevity of this industry, it only takes looking at a few facts and statistics to see its popularity and place in the market.

  • CBD sales are predicted to be about $1.8 billion by the year 2020, and the market could reach a value of $22 billion by 2022.
  • 40% of Americans have tried or are interested in trying this natural drug
  • The U.S. market contains more than 850 different brands of cannabidiol products
  • Employee demands in this industry rose by 76% in just one year
  • Cannabis workers earn more in wages than the typical American
  • Most direct sellers are women with over 75% of brands being founded or managed by women.

Health Stats

While the statistics on the industry are encouraging, it still begs the question of whether this product actually works. The following statistics actually show the effectiveness of cannabidiol on individuals with use:

  • 30% of people over 54 reported lower stress levels
  • 45.2% of individuals were able to stop medication for anxiety
  • 61% of caregivers for autistic children noted significant improvements in the children’s symptoms and behavior. 50% reported improvement in communication and 40% had a decrease in anxiety.
  • High doses of cannabidiol were shown to provide large perceived changes in feelings of depression.
  • 89% of individuals with epilepsy reported a reduction in the frequency of their seizures.
  • 100% of people with migraines or headaches reported a decrease in discomfort and pain.
  • 97% of users dealing with chronic pain reported, on average, a 64% decrease in pain.

While not a complete and comprehensive list of all the reported benefits of cannabidiol, it’s easy to see why this natural product has risen in popularity. Further research and CBD literature will tell whether these effects are long lasting and the effects of long-term use.

What the Future Holds

While this cannabinoid has significantly increased in popularity throughout the past several years, there is still a stigma that must be overcome. Because it comes from the same type of plant as THC, people automatically assume it is bad for you. In reality, though, cannabidiol has been found to not produce the feelings of euphoria or being high, nor has it been found to be addictive.

Therefore, the first step in destigmatizing this product is education. Because of its popularity, more and more people are becoming interested in this “cure-all,” and are wanting to know more. This provides a great opportunity to educate with accurate information and statistics.

Opening the Doors for Research

Secondly, there needs to more dedicated research. While there are CBD oil side effects to contend with, people need to know of the great results others are having while employing it. 

Further research adds to the knowledge of the product and could lead to more FDA-approved medications. From here, we may find the ability to help hundreds, if not thousands, find relief from debilitating pain and diseases, improving their lives for the better.

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