Despite the gray areas surrounding its legal status, millions of people around the globe are now using CBD – and it all basically started with the determination of two parents in their quest to improve their daughter's quality of life.
The History of How CBD Came to Be
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is the second most well-known compound found in the cannabis plant. It was first discovered in 1942, when an American chemist named Roger Adams successfully isolated the first cannabinoid which just so happened to be CBD. His research also led to the discovery of the most well-known compound of cannabis which is, of course, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol.
Despite successfully isolating the two cannabinoids, researchers had limited knowledge of the cannabinoid structure and biological composition of cannabis. This made it hard to pinpoint the differing effects of the newly discovered cannabinoids. It wasn’t until nearly 20 years later that researchers made a breakthrough in understanding the effects of individual cannabinoids.
The Rise of CBD in the United States
While many thought the emergence of CBD in the United States was nothing but a fad that would eventually fizzle out, it became anything but just that. It all started in the early 2000s, when people began sharing their personal experiences with using cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat various ailments.
One of the first to share his experience was Rick SImpson, who had already been using cannabis for medical reasons. Simpson decided to make his own cannabis oil to be used as a topical treatment and within a matter of days the spots had totally disappeared. Unfortunately, his physician refused to acknowledge cannabis as a treatment alternative – but that didn’t stop him from sharing his experience.
Perhaps the most well-known story about CBD being used for therapeutic purposes involves a girl named Charlotte and her parents’ determination to save her life, despite being given little hope from the medical community. Charlotte began having seizures at just a month old and, with no real treatment option in sight, they continued to grow in frequency and severity. By age 6, she was suffering from as many as 300 grand mal seizures a week, leaving her wheelchair-bound, unable to move, speak or even eat. Her parents were running out of options and hope until another parent’s shared experience changed everything.
How One Little Girl Started the CBD Movement
In 2012, Charlotte’s parents stumbled across an interview with the father of a California boy who had been suffering from the same disorder as their daughter. In the video, the boy’s father shared his experience in using an alternative treatment for his son’s seizures. That treatment was, of course, medical marijuana..
Although Charlotte’s family was at odds in using marijuana as an alternative treatment, they had already exhausted all other options and felt they had no choice but to turn to the controversial treatment. After jumping over several regulatory hurdles in obtaining Charlotte’s medical card, her parents were finally able to begin treatment using a hard-to-find strain of marijuana with high CBD and low THC. Charlotte’s mother used the marijuana strain to create an oil that she could add to her daughter’s food and, to her surprise, just one dose gave Charlotte days of relief from her debilitating seizures.
Given that marijuana strains containing high CBD and low THC were scarce at the time, Charlotte’s parents found themselves jumping over yet another hurdle, until they met a family who had been growing the strain for research purposes. Together, the two families created the very first CBD oil – and the rest is history.
How is CBD Used Today?
Six years after its introduction as an oil, CBD can now be found just about everywhere. From gummies and softgels to creams and salves to tinctures, vape juice and even oils and treats for pets, you’ll find plenty of ways to explore the effects of CBD – along with three different types to choose from.
Over the years, CBD has evolved into three different classifications: isolate, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. CBD isolate is considered the purest form as all other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant have been completely removed, whereas full-spectrum contains all of the other cannabinoids, including trace levels of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD, on the other hand, also contains all of the other cannabinoids but without the THC and is considered one of the best ways to explore the effects of cannabis without the high.
In terms of its various uses, CBD is believed to offer a number of therapeutic benefits, although more research is needed to prove the laundry list of potential health benefits it has accumulated over the years. Hopefully, as research into its potential therapeutic benefits continues, we’ll see CBD break away from the negative views associated with cannabis so it can enjoy the spotlight it deserves.