Cannabidiol or CBD is a cannabinoid that is increasing in popularity and is heading toward acceptance in mainstream medicine. But where does its use originate?  How was the CBD used in the past?

Written accounts regarding the use of cannabis appeared as early as around 6000 B.C. in China, just briefly after the emergence of human civilization. Yet it was only around 2700 BC when the most direct proof of its medicinal use started to appear.

According to the first editions of Pen Ts’ao Ching, at around 2737 B.C., Chinese emperor Shen-Nung was drinking cannabis teas and using topical cannabis ointments to alleviate pain.

From then on, anecdotes regarding hemp’s therapeutic benefits started to emerge in pharmacopeias throughout vast Asia.

Cannabis was even regarded as a god-gifted sacred plant in India. The Atharvaveda, a manuscript of knowledge valuable for daily life, detailed how Indians use the seeds and flowers of the cannabis in various tinctures and balms.

Ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who were said to have formulated cannabis remedies, were also found to have buried the plant in their tombs.

Based from the writing of Hua Tuo, cannabis extract as anesthetic and blood thinner was used in the second century B.C.

The Romans are believed to have started using hemp for healing art purposes at about A.D.77. This was evident in the writings of Pliny the Elder, a scholar who advocated for the use of cannabis extract to relieve pain.

CBD Oil in the West

Europe was cultivating cannabis across Europe in the 16th century. For the society at that time, the hemp was highly valued that HenryV11 even required every farmer to grow hemp in 1533.

A lot of doctors during that time like Li Shih-Chen and Garcia de Orta, documented the use of hemp extract as an antibiotic and appetite stimulant.

Cultivation of the hemp moved toward North American colonies in the1600s. Laws mandating hemp cultivation by farmers were even created in the Colony of Virginia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. In Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, hemp seeds were regarded as legal tender and were used as a mode of payment for services and goods.

Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, a prominent medical text during that time indicated that hemp extract help in managing mental health disorders.

Two of the greatly acknowledged pharmacopeias of the 18th century – The Edinburgh New Dispensatory and The New England Dispensatory documented the medicinal uses of the hemp.

W. B. O’Shaughnessy, a well-known surgeon and a professor at the Medical College of Calcutta during the industrial age started to commend the hemp’s remedy potentials in the American Southwest.  He conducted experiments to identify the effects of hemp extracts on humans and animals and suffering from cholera, rheumatic diseases, hydrophobia, and tetanus. He wrote about the hemp extracts’ potential to relax spastic muscles and alleviate pain.

In the third edition of the U.S. Pharmacopeia, the hemp extract was listed as an antidepressant, sleep aid, and pain reliever. Another doctor J.R. Reynolds conducted a study concerning the potential of hemp extract to help asthma and ease tics.

The years that followed up to these days witnessed the unfolding of many studies concerning the hemp plant and its compounds called cannabinoids, including CBD and their health benefits.

CBD’s acceptance in the US has been growing, thanks to extensive media coverage which help the message of its healing powers to reach the public.

CBD oil is now readily accessible to anyone and studies about its effect on the human system has grown significantly. By 2020, total sales of CBD is expected to exceed $1 billion as demand continues to increase rapidly.