Before the hype train with mainstream icons like Kim Kardashian onboard, CBD was long an obscure cannabinoid that only a handful of scientists believed in. In fact, its long and bumpy road goes all the way back to ancient times.
Many sources cite Sheng Neng, an ancient Chinese emperor, as the first known cannabis user. A document from 2737 BC reveals how he used cannabis-infused tea as a remedy for malaria, rheumatism, and others.
In 1839, William O’Shaugnessy, an Irish medical researcher, conducted the first study to provide glimpses of the therapeutic potential of cannabis, sparking the interest of the scientific community.
During the last decade of the 1800s, Queen Victoria apparently relied on cannabis to relieve her menstrual cramps, as her private doctor’s notes indicate.
A testament to CBD’s rocky relationship with the law is the fact it was discovered only 3 years after cannabis was illegalized in 1937, by Roger Adams in 1940. For reference, THC wasn’t isolated until 1964, which is largely attributed to Roger Adams’s discovery.
1946 saw the first CBD-specific study, conducted by Dr. Walter Loewe on lab animals.
In the 1970s, things started looking up legally for CBD.
In 1973, Oregon became the first state to legalize medical cannabis. In 1978, the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research act officially acknowledged the medicinal potential of cannabis.
Naturally, this opened the door for studies on cannabis and CBD in particular.
In 1980, Dr. Mechoulam conducted a study that shone a light on CBD anti-seizure properties. Some years and studies on CBD as a remedy for epilepsy, we reach the pivotal year of 2018, when the FDA approved the first CBD medicine, EPIDIOLEX, for the treatment of epilepsy. This win can’t be celebrated without mentioning the famous case of Charlotte Figi, a young girl from Colorado, plagued by 300 epileptic seizures per week, which were cut to 2-3 per month with CBD.
Now, CBD seems to have finally outrun the stigma of its parent’s illicit past. People across every walk of life and status trumpet its powers, including many famous UFC fighters like Nate Diaz, which is not only an unequivocal testament the cannabinoid’s legitimacy and efficacy, but its long-overdue acceptance into the mainstream.
“Better late than never” has rarely been more appropriate.