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CBD and Its Complex History

CBD and the boom of legal marijuana may be blowing up headlines in daily news, but the history of cannabis and its use in medicine goes way back – try more than 10,000 years back. For centuries people seeking natural medicine, royalty, and medical professionals alike have turned to cannabis for its benefits to health. Despite common misconceptions, CBD itself has only been around for less than 80 years since its discovery in 1940, and it’s not yet fully legal.

A Brief History of Cannabis Throughout the Ages

Some of the first cases of marijuana use can be traced back to what is now the regions of Romania and Taiwan, with evidence dating back 5,000-10,000 years. For hemp use, most of the initial evidence can be traced back to ancient China. From around 6000 BCE and beyond, hemp was used to construct tools, clothing, and shoes, and was also added to food.

It wasn’t until around 2700 BCE that there was a written record of hemp being used as a medicine. Such records revealed that Emperor Shen-Nung of the Sung dynasty developed his own hemp oils, to be used as topical ointments for pain relief.

In the United States, cannabis was widely used as a patent medication during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Federal restrictions of cannabis use didn’t come about until 1937, with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act. No longer considered to have medicinal uses, criminal penalties for possession of marijuana and hemp became increasingly standard.

This was especially true following the Boggs and Narcotic Control Acts during the early to mid-1950’s. Such legal restrictions on cannabis (including the Controlled Substances Act of 1970) have contributed to limitations on cannabis research by restricting its availability for academic research.