There has been a steady increase in the interest and research of the medical marijuana field as of late, but it is by no means a new discovery. According to Carl Sagan, a popular and credible scientist, the cannabis plant may have been the world’s first agriculture crop dating back roughly 12,000 years ago. Fast forward to 1850 and Cannabis was added to the list of The U.S. Pharmacopeia. The U.S. Pharmacopeia describes its role as demonstrating “identity, strength, purity, and quality for medicines, dietary supplements, and food ingredients.” As you can tell, cannabis was associated as a medicine over 150 years ago. However, this was a time where the research was centered on the entire plant rather than the individual compounds it consists of. Approximately another 150 years later, the British government contracted a pharmaceutical company to grow cannabis and monitor it closely for the ability to harness consistent extracts of specific compounds for clinical trials. This was in 1998. That same year GW Pharmaceutical’s co-founder, Geoffrey Guy, presented his findings toward the development of cannabis-based medicine that did not produce any psychoactive effects at an International Cannabinoid Research Society meeting. All of his research pointed to the healing power of one compound, cannabidiol, which is commonly known as CBD. However, he wasn’t the first to discover CBD’s ability. In fact, it is reported that even Queen Victoria of the 19th century used CBD-rich cannabis as a remedy for menstrual cramps! However, these CBD-rich strains have been weeded out (no pun intended!) during the upswing of recreational marijuana use. The majority of users were indeed looking for the psychoactive effects that other compounds of cannabis offered, such as THC. So unfortunately, cannabis began to gain a reputation of something only able to get you “high,” versus the healing abilities of CBD that many have been, and still are, studying.
So what exactly is CBD?