After a long break over the Holidays, we’re providing you with some reading material that should satisfy as you come back to work and strap in for the New Year.
So grab a hot beverage, and dive into a history of the cannabis plant and its evolution as a health device.
A Great Origin Story
Every hero needs a great origin. However, at one time cannabis was such a common treatment for whatever may ail you that it’s difficult to know just what the overall attitude surrounding the plant was.
Cannabis as a medicine was used before the Christian-era in Asia. It was there that the Chinese also used cannabis fruits as food. These fruits are small (3 to 5 mm), elliptic, smooth, with a hard shell, and contain one single seed. The first evidence of the use of these seeds was found during the Han dynasty.
Colloquially terms like hashish stem from it’s popularity in India. This is where more experimentation and social use of the plant became widespread.
Records from 1533 show that King Henry VIII, in Great Britain, required that for every 60 acres of land, each farmer must set aside ¼ acre for hemp cultivation (otherwise face a fine of three shillings and four pence).
Similarly, in colonial America, it was illegal for farmers to not grow hemp. Founding Father Thomas Jefferson demanded that an “acre of the best ground” be kept to grow hemp . Colonists came to America on ships that used hemp ropes and drafted the Constitution on hemp paper. Cannabis continued to spread and grow throughout the world, with both its industrial and psychoactive effects being noted.
This is quite a stark contrast in comparison, because by the 1950s, CBD had been outlawed in all 50 states.
Although cannabis has been central to the development of mankind, the legal and medical uses of CBD seen today are a more recent phenomenon. As early as 1563, Portuguese physician Garcia da Orta observed that:
"Those of my servants who took it ... said that it made them so as not to feel work, to be very happy, and to have a craving for food".
Around the same time, Chinese doctor Li Shizhen documented the anti-nausea effects of cannabis. A common story is that Queen Victoria used to smoke cannabis in order to ease her menstrual cramps. We don’t have much factual information regarding some of these stories, but we can’t dispute that the side effects of cbd products are more than effective to help with the problems mentioned.
The introduction of cannabis in the Western medicine occurred in the midst of the 19th century, reaching the climax in the last decade of that century, with the availability and usage of cannabis extracts or tinctures.
In the first decades of the 20th century, the Western medical use of cannabis significantly decreased largely due to difficulties to obtain consistent results from batches of plant material of different potencies.
Scientific naming and identification of the chemical structure of cannabis and the possibility of obtaining its pure constituents were related to a significant increase in scientific interest in such plant, since 1965. A revolution began for the plant as it made way to the people.
This interest stayed strong, socially, but scientific importance was renewed in the 1990's with the description of cannabinoid receptors and the identification of an endogenous cannabinoid system in the brain. A new and more consistent cycle of the use of cannabis derivatives as medication begins, since treatment effectiveness and safety started to be scientifically proven.
Since the Dawn of Mankind...
CBD oil has a long and rich history with mankind. Humans have been cultivating cannabis since almost 4000 years BCE. Now you know that in 1533, scientists and physicians began to take this dietary supplement derived from hemp plants as a serious treatment for chronic pain and other illnesses.
In the mid-1950s, when scientists could extract cannabidiol and prove that CBD is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, the study and subsequent legal battle for CBD began. Now, almost 6000 years since the cannabis cultivation, it is now legal in all 50 states of the US and the FDA has begun to review cannabidiol oil as a medicine.
The Charlotte Figi Story
Chances are, if you’re a long time advocate for medical marijuana, then you are at least mildly aware of the issues involving childhood epilepsy and its treatment. The story (or history rather) begins when this young girl was born.
Only 3 months after Charlotte Figi was born, she had her first seizure.
This particular seizure, a Grand Mal, lasted a full 30 minutes. As Charlotte got older, her seizures increased in frequency and severity, up to the point where she was having multiple seizures a day, each lasting up to four hours.
By age two, Charlotte started showing signs of severe cognitive decline and Autistic type behavior. She would often have aggressive outburst, injure herself and be reluctant to make eye contact with people around her. By age three, Charlotte was wheelchair bound, stopped talking and couldn’t eat any longer.
Her parents were told that these symptoms were at the point where they were untreatable and nothing could be done to remedy the situation in drastic enough way.
Now let’s discuss what happened after some preliminary research by the family of Charlotte:
Upon hearing about some of the research around CBD, they make contact with local medical marijauna growers in the area, the Stanley Brothers. The brother have extensive experience in growing and just as medical marijuana growing and dispensing in Colorado was reaching peak popularity, they made contact to create a hybrid strain of medical marijuana (a mix between industrial hemp and low THC cannabis) which is unique in that it maintains a constant 30:1 of cannabidiol (CBD) to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ratio.
This strain was jokingly referred to as, “Hippie’s Disappointment” because of its low THC and high CBD content. The goal to create a strain of cannabis that has all the medicinal properties associated with the plant, but none of the psychoactive effects associated with other strains of medical marijuana was successful. And it is this low THC content combined with a high level of CBD that makes this strain ideal for use in children such as Charlotte.
Neurological disorders tend to be especially complicated, and families such as Charlottes, become frustrated with nowhere to turn for help. Evidence now suggest that cbd can be an especially helpful compound in these cases.
Summing Up A People's History of Cannabidiol
Today we know CBD is an incredible compound worthy of the medical field attention.
We are all well aware of this fact by now. But it wasn’t always common knowledge. Though things are always apt to change, CBD is legal ways that we haven't seen in hundreds of years. It has been demonstrated to help reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, promote sleep, and encourage a wealth of other health benefits.
The compound cannabidiol may be beneficially isolated from the rest of the compounds cannabis has to offer, it may not be as beneficial as it would be working in tandem with them. Still, laws in this country are what they are right now, and it’s up to the market to determine what they would like to see for products.
Until things change, try an isolate and know that it is made with scrutiny and belief in delivering the highest quality possible. We’d also like to leave you with this quote from Dr. Joyceln Elders, MD, the Former United States, Surgeon General:
“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.“
-Mar. 26, 2004, “Myths About Medical Marijuana,” Providence Journal
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