The Rise of CBD: How Cannabidiol Became the Biggest Game Changer for Legal Cannabis

 In Blog, Info on CBD
(Photo credit: Brian Shamblen/Flickr)

When it comes to marijuana, much of the buzz tends to circle around tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana. But there’s another compound gaining plenty of attention in the cannabis community these days: cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD is one of many compounds found in the cannabis plant. This non-psychoactive cannabinoid doesn’t produce mind-altering effects like its more famous cousin, THC, but it has demonstrated impressive potential for treating a broad range of conditions, including epilepsy, anxiety disorders, insomnia, acne, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Unfortunately, decades of federal cannabis prohibition and widespread misconceptions about the medical properties of this plant have prevented many researchers and patients from taking advantage of all that CBD has to offer.

Federal policy and propaganda surrounding the War on Drugs have hampered CBD research efforts and clouded public understanding of this compound. Most people don’t know about the fascinating role cannabis and CBD have played in the evolution of human medicine.

To cut through the fog and illuminate the medical legacy of this ancient plant, we’ve compiled a brief account of the most notable moments in the history of cannabis medicine and the discovery of CBD.

Ancient Medical Marijuana Use

Archeologists have unearthed numerous texts referencing medical cannabis use in ancient times. While these ancient people may not have understood the specific role CBD was playing in their lives, they definitely realized the medical value of cannabis.

Here are a few of the most striking examples of medical cannabis use in ancient texts:

CBD in the Modern World

Medical cannabis use continued for hundreds of years throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East before making a big break in the Western world in the mid-1800s. As medical cannabis use increased in the West, so to did scientific inquiry and research into the therapeutic properties of the plant and its various compounds.

Here’s a selection of key moments in modern cannabis science:

A Bright Future for CBD

The rise of CBD science is changing the conversation around cannabis and helping many people reassess their misconceptions about this drug. And despite its political baggage, things are looking up for CBD as medical access to the compound rises across the country.

To date, 24 states have legalized comprehensive medical cannabis programs and another 18 states have specifically legalized the medical use of CBD. Hemp Business Journal predicts consumer sales of the compound will hit $2.1 billion by 2020, Forbes reports.

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