The discovery of CBD
Like all great inventions in history, the discovery of CBD happened quite accidentally. Although people knew about healing properties of hemp for centuries, even millennia before that, the more significant progress happened in the forties of the last century.
A student and young scientist from Harvard unexpectedly came to the discovery of one of the main components of marijuana, cannabinoid. Since he did not give any importance to this, he didn’t want to do further analysis, and this discovery remained in a drawer. Years later, credit for discovering the CBD, its chemical structure and healing properties went to Raphael Mechoulam, whom dedicated to its more detailed research in 1963.
From that moment on, more specific experiments about this plant and its possible impact on health began so as research about its pharmaceutical use. THC, CBN, and CBD (cannabidiol) are selected as the most significant cannabinoids. Numerous animal testing has been carried out to determine the effects of this substance. At the very beginning of these studies, scientists concluded that CBD does not have any psychoactive properties and that it has no effect on the central nervous system, as in the case with THC.
It all started in ‘60s
The legal problems associated with the consumption of cannabis date back to the thirties of the last century. During the prohibition, the government introduced a law on the taxation of marijuana. Until that, the production of this plant had been a basis of American economic growth. A plant that had been used for industrial purposes until then, and which production was one of the leading in the US, literally overnight, became a “state enemy.”
The psychoactive properties of hemp, also known as cannabis, were commercialized during the sixties when hippie movement ruled, and when every kind of freedom was propagated. It seems that consumption of cannabis in this form was one aspect of revolt against extremely strict laws.
At the beginning of the sixties, the United Nations stated a convention with the intention to eliminate the use of cannabis for the next couple of decades. Soon after, the first legalization campaigns had begun. It is precisely during this period, when first movements and freely organized groups of people advocating for the legalization of cannabis appeared. Although public weren’t familiar with its benefits, and its pharmaceutical use was not approved, consumers of cannabis were persistent in making their satisfaction legal.
Legal issues over the years
As part of the “War on Drugs” campaign, the United States Congress enacted Controlled Substances Act, where hemp (marijuana) has been defined as Schedule I controlled substance, to decrease the illegality of another trade. Apart from the fact that its use was banned in public places, the procurement of marijuana for the medical and academic research was limited too.
However, as the research progressed towards proving the positive effect of cannabinoids, the laws in some countries also changed. A couple of years after being included in the CSA, the parliaments of several states began to remit.
After numerous economic calculations, California was the first starting decriminalization of cannabis. In 1976, this state reduced penalties for the possession. A few months later, considerably lower costs have been identified in the battle against narcotics. By the beginning of the 1980s, several other countries did the same thing.
New Mexico moved a step further – in the late seventies, this state recognized the medical benefits of hemp and completely legalized it. The identical thing happened in Virginia, where it was legitimately allowed to use cannabis as a therapy in cancer patients. However, in the rest of the world, this “trend” was not accepted. It should have been for nearly two decades to re-launch this topic.
California stood up first
In the 1990s, a revolution in legalizing of cannabis occurred. Due to the advancement of science and technology, more detailed research on this plant has begun. The scientific team, led by Miles Herkenham, has come to the sensational discovery that cannabinoids affect specific receptors in human brain. This provided a solid basis for many medical journals around the world to devote themselves to the popularization of the medical marijuana.
It was discovered our body produces a natural version of cannabinoids, called anandamide, which have a beneficial effect on the cerebral function. Due to the lack of this substance, the scientists thought that CBD from cannabis could be an adequate replacement.
Although new discoveries were revealed, the government of the United States was unappealing. The precedent occurred on November 5, 1996, when California held a referendum on the legal use and cultivation of marijuana, but only with the prescription, supervision, and recommendation of the doctors. Since then, every year at least one American state announces legalization of marijuana, and similar things have been happening around the world.
Referendums were held in Alaska, Washington, Maine, etc. At the beginning of the new millennia, criminal penalties for medical marijuana users were taken off in many countries. The world is becoming more and more open to new possibilities and all benefits of this plant. It’s a matter of time when hemp, or cannabis, will be officially placed on the list of controlled medicines.
The plant of enormous potential is an excellent material for abuse – it’s the reason why its possession, traffic, even cultivation were punishable for several decades and in many countries, still is. The lack of official data on safety for the use of hemp in medical treatment under supervision is a fact which slows down introducing this plant into the pharmaceutical mass production. However, there is a great deal of research that brings positive results on the potential of this plant and multiple benefits of its use.
Although the entire process of CBD legalization will take some time (recreational use of cannabis is completely legal in several states and some European countries), unquestionably, this act will favorably influence the economy on the global level.