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What is CBD

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CBD, or cannabidiol, has surged in popularity within the natural products industry and is becoming a focal point in cannabis research. As one of numerous cannabinoids found uniquely within the cannabis family, CBD distinguishes itself from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, by being non-psychoactive. This means it does not significantly alter cognitive brain function or induce the typical “high” associated with marijuana use. So, what is CBD?

Cannabinoids are produced by all varieties of the cannabis family, including hemp. While CBD and THC are the most recognized cannabinoids, a plethora of others exist, and recent attention and resources have been directed towards their investigation. Within our brains, specialized receptors known as CB1 and CB2 receptors are designed to interact with cannabinoids. These receptors play a crucial role in how cannabinoid molecules are assimilated into the body, influencing both psychoactive effects and immune responses associated with cannabis consumption.

Recent years have seen significant advancements in cannabis processing and consumption techniques. Concentrated forms such as oils and rosin (extracted through heat and pressure) have facilitated cleaner ingestion methods like vaporization by cartridge vaporizers, which have gained broader acceptance. These innovations have led to more consistent and identifiable dosages for medical patients and enthusiasts, potentially offering safer consumption options. Additionally, ongoing efforts to challenge cannabis prohibition have spurred more precise and comprehensive studies into the effects and applications of cannabis.

History of CBD

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is among the numerous cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Since the 1940s, cannabis as a whole has been subject to prohibition, becoming a central target in the global war on drugs initiated in 1970. Although hemp is federally legal today, this hasn’t always been the case. Centuries ago, both hemp and marijuana held widespread use for industrial, therapeutic, and even spiritual purposes. However, what is the backstory of CBD? How far back does its usage trace, and what prompted cannabis legalization?

The therapeutic use of the cannabis plant can be traced back to ancient China, around the year 2737 B.C., when Emperor Cheng Neng brewed the first cup of CBD tea. This tea addressed ailments such as gout, malaria, and rheumatism. Throughout history, cannabis made intermittent appearances, with rumors suggesting even Queen Victoria used it to alleviate menstrual cramps. However, as modern medicine progressed, cannabis fell victim to misguided regulation. Exploring CBD’s medicinal potential owes much to the pioneering efforts of William B. O’Shaughnessy. Sadly, recognition of his work came almost a decade after his passing.

Cannabinoids experienced a resurgence after languishing in obscurity for years when Harvard-trained chemist Roger Adams unearthed and isolated CBD from the cannabis plant. Alongside CBD, Adams also pinpointed another cannabinoid known as CBN or cannabinol. These breakthroughs paved the way for the recognition of THC. However, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam delved even more profoundly, elucidating the structure of CBD. Through collaborative efforts, scientists deduced that the psychoactive properties of cannabis were predominantly linked to THC, while CBD emerged as the therapeutic component of the plant. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to note that CBD still exerts some influence on the brain, underscoring its efficacy against conditions like anxiety and insomnia.

How was CBD First Used:

Cannabis has been cultivated as hemp and marijuana for at least 5,000 years. The presence of cannabinoids is what gives the plant its health benefits. These compounds can be extracted as oily resin, which people used to infuse tea and other beverages before the light was shed on CBD’s chemical structure. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that the state of New Mexico legalized cannabis for research purposes. The state released a bill, the 1978 Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Act, which enabled the study of therapeutic properties of cannabis.

The Rise of CBD in the United States:

The ascent of CBD in the United States can be traced back to the burgeoning research into its medicinal benefits, which caught the attention of medical professionals. This growing body of evidence prompted individual states to reconsider the criminalization of cannabis. California led the charge by legalizing medical cannabis in 1996, setting a precedent that Alaska, Washington, and Oregon swiftly followed within a year. Maine joined the movement the following year. Subsequently, Colorado, Nevada, and Hawaii embraced legalization in 2000. Fast forward to 2021, and 18 states across the US have enacted laws permitting recreational cannabis use.

Five years ago, our understanding of CBD and its potential therapeutic applications could have been more extensive. Fast forward to the present day with twisty glass blunt pipes, and CBD has emerged as a prominent player in wellness. The legalization of hemp in 2018 served as a catalyst, paving the way for a surge in CBD companies and products. The pivotal Farm Bill passed in December 2018 redefined hemp as cannabis containing deficient levels of THC, specifically 0.3% or less, further propelling the CBD industry into the spotlight.

In a significant milestone, 2018 saw the FDA’s approval of the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, designed for managing epilepsy. Administered orally, this medication has shown remarkable efficacy in reducing the frequency of seizures.

The CBD market has experienced exponential growth, with analysts forecasting its worth to reach a staggering 22 billion dollars by 2022. This meteoric rise indicates CBD’s versatility and widespread adoption across various forms. In the United States alone, there are over eight different forms of CBD products, ranging from gummies and tinctures to topicals, patches, capsules, and .

The landscape of CBD research is dynamic, with ongoing exploration into its potential therapeutic benefits. Researchers are delving into its analgesic properties, exploring its role in mitigating inflammation, and investigating its impact on psychiatric disorders. As our understanding deepens, we anticipate more discoveries that could further illuminate CBD’s therapeutic potential.

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