Cannabis has a long and diverse chapter in the history of humanity. Starting in Asia around 500 BC, most ancient cultures grew the plant locally for medicinal purposes (Herbal remedies). Early colonists in America cultivated hemp for textiles and rope. The hemp fiber was used therefore to make clothing, paper and sails while its seeds were used as food. It was common knowledge that the plant was fast-growing, easy to nurture and provided countless benefits.
In the early 19th century, an Irish doctor studying in India, discovered that cannabis extracts could help treat symptoms such as stomach pain and vomiting in people that suffer from Cholera. The news spread throughout world quickly.
Only recently Scientists discovered that both THC & CBD extracts were the actual source of the plant’s medicinal properties. They interact with areas of the brain that are able, (among other things) to lessen nausea and promote hunger.
In the US, Cannabis wasn’t widely used for recreational purposes until the early 20th century. Immigrants from Mexico introduced the recreational practice of smoking marijuana to the American culture. However, by 1931, 29 states had outlawed Cannabis due to public fear caused by massive unemployment. By 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was implemented. It was the first federal U.S. law to criminalize marijuana nationwide.
The 70’s will forever be remembered as the “War on Drugs” era. That’s when President Nixon himself, listed marijuana as a Schedule I drug—along with LSD, Heroine & Ecstasy while declaring that it has no medical uses other than high potential for abuse. Marijuana was meant to be perceived as a “gateway drug” by the general population.
In 1972, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse (NCMDA) released a report that recommended “partial prohibition” and lower penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana based on the misconception that Cannabis was addicted and therefore dangerous. Nixon and other thick-headed government officials, however, ignored the report’s findings completely.
It wasn’t until 1996 that humanity finally became fully aware of the benefits that the Hemp plant had to offer. On that year, California became the first state to legalize the use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes (mainly treating severe and chronic conditions). As of today, 11 states including Washington, D.C. and Colorado are fully legalized.
On July 21st, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two drugs containing THC that are prescribed in a pill form to treat nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy and loss of appetite in Aids patients.
On May, 2018, the FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended the approval of the CBD medication Epidiolex to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. By then, enough evidence has risen to the point where the FDA determined it is acceptable to approve such new drugs, said in so many words Timothy Welty, the chair of the department of clinical sciences at Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Cannabis is still illegal under U.S. federal law, but the tide is slowly shifting. Countries like Canada and the Netherlands for example, have already legalized Cannabis for recreational purposes while many others started the process of decriminalizing it since the benefits are now conclusive, can no longer be ignored and are becoming a worldwide consensus as more and more people are trying CBD for the first time every day to improve themselves on many aspects, both mentally and physically.
The health benefits of CBD extracts continue to exceed all expectations and ignite numerous other research that is continuously changing the world of medicine as we know it.