Cannabis has been cultivated for its medicinal, psychoactive, and physical properties for thousands of years. The earliest recorded medical uses of the plant date as far back as 1400-2000 BC. The Chinese used it topically and in teas. In India, the plant was considered sacred. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians buried it with their dead.
Later in Europe, cannabis was used medicinally for many conditions, including general wellbeing, good appetite and good mood. Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of cannabis on human body and the animals, suffering from rheumatic diseases, cholera, tetanus and hydrophobia.
In the 19th century, William Osler, considered to be a “Father of Modern Medicine”, was a proponent of the medicinal use of cannabis. He believed the plant was an effective treatment for migraines.
CBD was first discovered by Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois in 1940; however, its structure was not fully elucidated until 1963. The interest towards CBD began to unfold further as researchers discovered the role of the human endocannabinoid system.
In 1937, the “Marijuana Tax Act” was passed, representing the U.S. government’s first step toward regulating and taxing the production of hemp and marijuana for industrial and medicinal purposes. However, the Act was ruled unconstitutional in 1969 and marijuana was criminalized shortly after. As a result, research into the medicinal qualities of marijuana was effectively halted for many years.
Over the past decade, an explosion of research into the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids, has created a tremendous interest among people.
The hemp industry in the U.S. received a boost with the passage of the 2014 Farm bill, which allowed “institutions of higher education” and state agriculture departments to grow hemp under a pilot program, as long as the state law permitted it. Additionally, the 2014 bill established a definition of industrial hemp, officially setting the THC threshold in the U.S. at 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
The 2018 Farm bill went several steps further and legalized the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity while removing it from the list of controlled substances. The 2018 bill also listed hemp as a covered commodity under crop insurance and directed the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation board to streamline the process for developing hemp policies.
Today, you can find CBD on every corner. Thousands of varieties from edibles to topical, and every one of them is screaming how “legal” they are. In reality, CBD is considered legal only if it is derived from industrial hemp in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill, associated federal regulations, associated state regulations, and by a licensed grower.
With that said, the CBD market is expected to grow to $22 Billion by 2022.