The History of CBD

Library shelves stacked with books on CBD history

CBD may seem like it came out of nowhere, popping into public consciousness and onto shelves across the country with no warning, but CBD oil’s history is long and storied. Decades of stigma against hemp and marijuana means that CBD’s long history of use and scientific properties have been overshadowed. EndoCoast wants to give you a brief look into the history behind CBD so you have a better understanding of what makes high-quality CBD oil so incredible.

Early CBD History

The first documented use of cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient China. Around roughly 2500 BC, a pharmacological book advocated for hemp usage for pain reduction and inner harmony. Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung drank tea infused with cannabis to improve his memory. The history of the hemp plant itself spans thousands of years, and hemp has been used for textiles, paper, and food for thousands of years.

Fast forward to the 1800s, and Queen Victoria was even prescribed a tincture of cannabis by a royal doctor to alleviate pain caused by her menstrual cramps. At around the same time, an Irish physician named William Brooke O'Shaughnessy made the first groundbreaking discoveries in CBD oil history by bringing the therapeutic use of Cannabis Sativa to the forefront in the Western world.

While O’Shaughnessy was working in Calcutta, he observed locals using cannabis for therapeutic purposes. When he tested the folk remedies, he was famously able to relieve pain from rheumatism, convulsions, tetanus, and rabies. After his experiments in India, he was an advocate for its use for the rest of his life. O’Shaughnessy brought his discoveries back to England, where the use of cannabis was popularized in the Western world for perhaps the first time in human history.

Pale green fields full of hemp

The Discovery of Cannabidiol (CBD)

Hemp was a staple crop in early colonial America up to the early 1900s. At that point, other cash crops like cotton and wheat became favored for textiles, and hemp fell out of favor. CBD history slowed down significantly at this time.

It wasn’t until the 1930s when the next big breakthrough in CBD occurred. A British chemist named Robert S. Cahn discovered the first individual cannabinoid, cannabinol (CBN).

In the same year, an American scientist named Roger Adams isolated the first cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD). Later, the first discovery of THC was based on his research. Yes, THC is certainly the more notorious compound from cannabis, but it was discovered after CBD!

Between the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, cannabis use became popular in youth culture across modern Western countries. In response, research into cannabinoid pharmacology increased significantly, broadening our understanding of hemp’s properties.

Israeli organic chemist Raphael Mechoulam made pioneering discoveries in the 1960s that changed the course of CBD history. He confirmed for the first time that CBD was not psychoactive, unlike THC. As a result of this, cannabis users began isolating CBD into various products, and CBD oil history took off at full speed.

The US Capitol building where legal CBD history began in the US

Decriminalization and Legalization

That is, until Nixon came along. In 1970, as part of the Nixon Administration’s War on Drugs, federal law classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug. That made the use of all cannabis, including hemp and its derivatives like CBD, illegal to grow or use for any purpose. Starting in 1973, certain states began to decriminalize possession of small quantities of cannabis, but those laws were not federal.

It wasn’t until 1996 when the turning point in CBD oil history really began. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize cannabis for medical purposes. In 1998, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington followed suit, and the floodgates opened from there.

The first states to legalize the recreational use of cannabis were Colorado and Washington in 2012. Now, medicinal cannabis is legalized in 33 states, 4 US territories, and the District of Columbia. Recreational use is allowed in 11 states. Fourteen other states have laws limiting the amount of THC allowed in hemp products, effectively allowing CBD products.

The 2018 Farm Bill and CBD

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp growing across the country (with many restrictions and regulations). This opened the floodgates for hemp-derived CBD products to appear in everything from food to hemp CBD lotions, cosmetics, and even bath bombs.

CBD is still highly unregulated, and only time will tell what the next step in CBD oil history will be. In November 2019, the CBD industry reached a value of $1 billion USD, and that’s expected to grow dramatically in upcoming years.

At the same time, the FDA is still deliberating on how to classify CBD. On one hand, it’s part of a prescription drug for epilepsy, Epidiolex. On the other hand, it’s a common over-the-counter supplement that requires no prescription or FDA oversight -- the cheap, barely-there CBD you can buy at the gas station is regulated just as much as pure, premium products. We’re not sure what exactly the future of CBD history will hold, but it certainly contains untapped potential and future regulations as a natural therapeutic remedy.

EndoCoast’s high-quality CBD greens drink powder next to a glass.

EndoCoast: Your Trusted Resource For Premium Natural CBD Oil Products

At EndoCoast, our CBD stands above the rest, and we have the lab results to prove it.

We use a revolutionary CO2 extraction process that ensures no nasty chemicals are sneaking their way into your products. When you use our pure CBD products, you can feel confident knowing that they contain:

  • NO pesticides
  • NO herbicides
  • NO harsh chemical solvents
  • Full-spectrum benefits, including terpenes for a synergistic “entourage effect”

In addition, we derive our product solely from organically grown hemp that contains less than 0.3% of THC, so you receive a potent product with zero psychoactive effects. Want to learn more? Check out our blog or FAQ page for more insights, fun facts, and articles about hemp and CBD history and more.

Find your coast. Shop EndoCoast CBD today.