The term CBD is considered to be a term which has been introduced in recent years, however, CBD is not a new term or substance, especially when it comes to the science and medicine industry.
In the year 1993, a company called GW Pharmaceuticals was licensed by the British government, which allowed them to grow a specific strain of cannabis to be used in clinical trials. Geoffrey Guy MD, the GW Pharmaceuticals co-founder, believed that CBD-rich cannabis plants could develop cannabis-based medicines with no or minor psychoactive effects. Guy convinced the British government of this and was the reasoning for GW being licensed.
Throughout history, the cannabis plant and its compounds have been used for all different uses throughout different areas of human life. Specifically, high-CBD cannabis strains have been estimated to have been part of ancient societies, with one of the first recorded uses being around 2727 BC, when an emperor of China, Sheng Neng, used cannabis tea. From the first recorded cases of cannabis use, it is evident the use of CBD-rich cannabis spread throughout the world.
A team at Illinois University were able to isolate CBD for the first time, which highlighted that there are active compounds within the cannabis plant that contain no psychoactive properties. This discovery was a major step for CBD as psychoactive qualities were associated with the cannabis plant.
After the war on drugs and the Misuse of Drugs Act, cannabis became very difficult to obtain even for research by scientists and doctors.
Up until the 1980’s not much changed when it came to CBD because of the difficulty of obtaining it. In the 80s and 90s, the use of CBD began to pick up again, although slowly.
This is when the British pharmaceutical group, GW Pharmaceuticals started official medical trials to further the understanding of CBD and its potential. This early research opened up the area of CBD to even further research internationally.
Through research studies, many benefits began to be discovered and continue to do so. After such discoveries, the small-scale cultivation of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis plants and products began, and the next discovery was how CBD interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system.
As research continues and technology progresses, the understanding of CBD persists and the information gained from these studies is spreading throughout the world. Studies on CBD’s therapeutic benefits have increased, even more so in recent years, and an abundance of new information on CBD has emerged.
The largest and most pivotal change in recent years has to be the legalisation of medicinal cannabis in the UK in 2018, which was welcomed by the CBD industry, including patients, doctors, and scientists with open arms. In this brief history of CBD, it is clear that this phytocannabinoid has come a long way and its therapeutic benefits are even more promising when looking at recent clinical studies.