Not everyone knows what CBD is and where it came from. It may be new to many people but it has been part of the medicine world for so long.

Ancient civilization

The use of CBD and medical marijuana have been a part of ancient societies. The first recorded case of usage was around 2727 BC. Emperor Sheng Neng of China had various health ailments such as poor memory, gout, and malaria. A cannabis-based tea helped with his conditions. Although its use spread, there was only a few documentation.

The 1800s

William Brooke O’Shaughnessy published a medical paper documenting the modern uses for cannabis. He was well-known for his wide-ranging scientific work in pharmacology and chemistry. The Foundations of Fluid Therapy and the Indian Telegraph Service were also part of his work. The Limerick-born doctor helped introduce cannabis into Western medicine.

Queen Victoria also used cannabis in the mid-1800s. There are plenty of women who experience excruciating pain during their monthly period. The Queen was not exempted from this and had to use cannabis to ease her monthly menstrual cramp pain.

The 1900s

The sales of Indian hemp or marijuana became banned in several states. They claimed that the psychoactive compounds in the cannabis plant were harmful. Prescriptions became required in most states. The Marijuana Tax Law in 1937 prohibited usage of marijuana in the United States.

A team from Illinois University isolated CBD for the first time in 1940. They proved that active compounds without psychoactive qualities were in the cannabis plant.

The War on Drugs and the passage of the Controlled Substances Act happened in the 1970s. These made the availability of marijuana more difficult for scientists, doctors, and others.

The Act placed drugs and substances in various “schedules.” These were according to several factors such as potential benefits or potential abuse. Schedule 1 was the most restrictive and marijuana fell into this. The main reason was because of perceived danger. Another reason was due to pushback from the growing pharmaceutical industry. They feared the potential for competition from this natural alternative to standard treatments.

Individual states, starting with Oregon, began to decriminalize cannabis usage in 1973. During the late 1980s, CBD gained traction for its pain-relieving qualities.

The 1990s

California took a great leap when it legalized medical marijuana usage in 1996. British pharmaceutical group then started official medical trials using CBD in 1998.

The 2000s

CBD and medical marijuana went mainstream with its several benefits. One of the well-known cases of its effectiveness was that of the Figi family. CBD was able to cut their daughter’s 300 seizures a week.

In 2012, there were two states to pioneer legalizing recreational marijuana usage. These were Colorado and Washington.


Many states in the US now allow medical marijuana or recreational marijuana use. CBD, with various restrictions, is now legal in all but 4 states of the United States.

The history of CBD has come a long way since it started to gain attention. The most recent clinical trials showed that it has a promising potential. Not only for medical use but for therapeutic use, too.

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