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History of CBD: How Cannabidiol Became What It Is Today

Edibles, flower, oil, bath bombs…the CBD marketplace is HUGE right now. That’s thanks to CBD’s many health and wellness effects and the natural, organic CBD products on the market. But how did CBD get to where it is today? The history of CBD is interesting, vibrant, and full of discoveries.


Researchers have been curious about CBD for a long time after cultures around the world started using it for a variety of health reasons. But scientists didn’t always know how to isolate it and study it on its own. But good thing they figured it out now! CBD is full of benefits that make it great for people looking to soothe physical discomfort, feel a burst of energy and positivity, or relax after a long day. So thank goodness we have CBD! And the amount of products on the market is continuing to grow. Read on to find out the history (and future) of CBD!



What is CBD?

CBD is a compound found in the hemp plant; it’s one of over a hundred different phytocannabinoids. It’s the second most prevalent active ingredient in the cannabis plant (THC being the first). But unlike THC, CBD isn’t intoxicating. But it still provides an abundance of benefits.


CBD interacts with the receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) in a unique way that creates positive effects throughout the body and mind without any euphoric components. The ECS is in charge of our body’s overall wellness and balance (homeostasis). It has receptors in all of our major systems, including the digestive, nervous, and immune systems. When CBD interacts with these receptors, we can experience a variety of effects.



cheef cbd tincture bottle on tree stump



Benefits of CBD

The first benefit is soothing physical discomfort. Using CBD may significantly reduce aches, swelling, stiffness, and other minor physical conditions. You’ll be left feeling a sense of comfort and relief. That’s why people use it after a tough exercise class or before a long day at work.


The second benefit is minimizing negative feelings. CBD interacts with the receptors in our brain in a way that impacts how our brain responds to serotonin. This reduces negative feelings like stress, nervousness, anger, and sadness. CBD inspires creativity and motivation, giving you a boost before you clean the house, hang out with friends, or tackle an important project.


Another benefit of CBD is promoting better sleep. You will not only feel comforted and relaxed but will experience deeper sleep. This will help regulate your sleeping schedule and make you feel rejuvenated when you wake up the following day.


CBD may also regulate your appetite. While you won’t experience the “munchies,” you will be able to maintain a healthy diet and consistent exercise schedule thanks to CBD’s ability to reduce upset stomachs and other sickness symptoms. Whether you have a stomach bug or are getting treatment for a serious condition, it can help reduce the negative side effects.


Because CBD is so beneficial, the marketplace has continued to expand. There are so many ways to experience CBD now. Here are some of the products you’ll come across!


CBD Products

  • Oil: This is a tincture that you drop under your tongue. It’s fast-acting, long-lasting, and simple!
  • Capsules: Another easy way to experience CBD. Just swallow a capsule!
  • Gummies: You’ll find an abundance of sweet CBD treats, like gummies and honey. Gummies are one of the most popular, allowing you to simply eat a delicious treat and experience CBD’s benefits.
  • Cookies: Along with candy, you’ll also find CBD baked goods. You can even make CBD treats yourself by adding CBD oil or flower to any recipe.
  • Flower: Smoking CBD is always satisfying. There’s a strain for every preference and ailment. Some will leave you relaxed, while others will inspire creativity and energy.
  • Vape Cartridges: Vaping is another way to experience the effects of CBD very quickly.
  • Lotion: You can also rub CBD on your skin! This allows you to target specific body parts that are causing you issues. Reduce swelling and aches fast!
  • Salve: If you need an extra boost of CBD after a workout or long day at work, massage some CBD salve into a problem area.
  • Bath Bomb: People looking for a relaxing escape can sink into a fizzy CBD bath and let the soothing bubbles, colors, and scents transport you.



The Discovery of Cannabinoids

At first, researchers didn’t know there were individual cannabinoids. Today, it’s estimated that there are over 480 compounds identified in hemp with over 100 of them being cannabinoids, but the complete amount is still unknown as scientists are still discovering new cannabinoids in the plant.


Back in 1840, a researcher obtained the first active extract from a hemp plant. Another scientist decided to conduct an ethanol extract four years later, evaporating the alcohol and finding dark resin he named “cannabis.”


This opened up a lot more research. Later in the 19th century, scientists started doing more experiments. This time they performed an alcohol extraction with a lime solution to remove certain parts of the hemp plant. After filtering and treating the mixture, the researchers tested the leftover resin. After trying it, the scientists recorded “powerful narcotic effects.”


At this point in the history of CBD, it seemed like scientists were close to finding a new compound. Studies showed that there were definitely some noticeable effects, meaning each cannabinoid in the hemp plant had its own unique makeup and benefits.


When Was CBD Discovered?

One of the first cannabinoids to be discovered was CBD, short for cannabidiol. In 1940, a chemist named Roger Adams extracted CBD from hemp for the first time. The “godfather of cannabis research,” Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, started focusing on CBD once Adams extracted it. He was able to describe its chemical structure by 1963.



woman pouring cheef cbd capsules in hand



The Rise of CBD in the US

As people started to understand more about CBD and research the cannabinoid further, researchers started looking into CBD in a more therapeutic context. In the 1960s, Mechoulam noted that isolating the compound was important to better understand CBD for clinical trials. So during the 40s and 50s, CBD oil extracted from hemp was used in various pharmacological experiments. It was quickly noted that CBD had milder effects than THC, an intoxicating cannabinoid. This made it quite intriguing for Mechoulam, who started studying CBD oil’s effects on epilepsy in the 1980s.


In an interview, Mechoulam said: “The compound, CBD, turned out to be of extreme interest. We found, after a lot of preclinical work in rats and mice, that CBD had anti-epileptic qualities.” More and more research was done into CBD, including many reliable studies in 2005. Since the start of the 21st century, CBD as we now know it was available for sale. It was often used to improve mood and promote better sleep since it could “mimic naturally occurring endocannabinoids” found in the body, according to health specialist Dr. Tom Ingegno.



CBD Today

Today, the CBD marketplace has exploded. In 2020, the CBD global market size was $2.8 billion. By the end of 2021, it’s estimated to be $3.5 billion!


CBD has become so popular because it’s not intoxicating. Unlike THC, you won’t get “high” from using CBD. This eliminates many unwanted side effects, like red eyes, overeating, impaired cognitive abilities, and memory loss. Its benefits are impactful yet not debilitating, making it a great choice for many people who don’t want to get intoxicated or experience addiction or reliance.


Because CBD isn’t intoxicating, it was legalized throughout the United States with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. This made it even more popular since it can be freely manufactured, sold, purchased, and used anywhere in all 50 states.



The Future of CBD

The future of CBD is looking bright. It seems like 2021 is just the beginning! The marketplace is expected to reach $1.8 billion by the end of this year. But there is no slowing down in sight. By 2028, the CBD market is expected to reach $13.4 billion, growing at an annual rate of over 21%! As more research is done on the benefits of CBD, it’s no surprise that it will become more popular throughout the United States and beyond.



Final Thoughts – History of CBD

In the history of CBD, early researchers didn’t have the means to isolate it or figure out its true benefits. But by the 1900s, researchers couldn’t help themselves! They had to find out! And the research so far has shown that CBD has many health benefits and even more potential. But this is just the beginning. CBD has not been studied as much as it could be, and scientists are still looking into how it interacts with our bodies and positively impacts our health.


The CBD market is expected to grow insanely fast over the next few years, meaning researchers will have much work to do! Meanwhile, people can use CBD for soothing physical discomfort, improving their mental state, promoting better sleep, and decreasing the side effects of sickness and treatment. That’s just the beginning!


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