In the U.S., the Cannabis and CBD movements are gaining huge momentum. Here’s what you need to know about the history of the plant and its miracle cannabinoid: CBD.
A trip to Washington D.C. isn’t complete without taking in at least some of the sights and sounds of our Nation’s Capital.
Usually the must-see plaOsteoporosis/Bone Healthces will include the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the United States Capitol, and sometimes the Smithsonian, or several of the War Memorials.
But the next time you decide to visit Washington, you might want try visiting an interesting museum that’s a little off the beaten path.
If you take the short drive across the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River, you’ll arrive in Arlington, VA. On your right, you’ll pass by the Pentagon, but on your left you’ll see Pentagon City where, tucked between a fashion mall and a Marriot hotel, you will find the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Museum & Visitors Center.
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum and Visitors Center is to educate the American public on the history of drugs, drug addiction and drug law enforcement in the United States. The museum boasts state-of-the-art exhibits, displays, interactive stations and educational outreach programs. It even has a gift shop that sells all kinds of clothing and souvenirs sporting DEA slogans, logos and badges.
But of course the heart of any museum lies in its exhibits and the DEA Museum doesn’t disappoint. Themes include “Illegal Drugs in America”, “Good Medicine, Bad Behavior”, and “Drugs: Costs & Consequences”.
However, one of the most interesting virtual exhibits this museum has to offer is an exhibit on cannabis. Although you can definitely detect a strong bias against the plant from the DEA’s perspective, it’s still a wonderful display that delves into the history, effects on the body, and production & distribution of cannabis in the United States.
Cannabis and CBD: A Brief History
Cannabis has been cultivated for its medicinal, psychoactive, and physical properties for thousands of years.
According to the DEA, the oldest known written record on cannabis use comes from the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2727 B.C. He is known as the “Father of Chinese Medicine” and is also credited with bringing agriculture to ancient China. Shen Nung investigated the medicinal value of several hundred herbs including cannabis and was prescribing cannabis tea for the treatment of gout, rheumatism, malaria and, even poor memory.
Ancient Greeks and Romans were also familiar with cannabis, while in the Middle East, use spread throughout the Islamic empire to North Africa. Ancient physicians prescribed cannabis for everything from pain relief to earache to childbirth. Doctors also warned against overuse of the plant, believing that too much consumption caused impotence, blindness and “seeing devils.” In 1545 cannabis eventually spread to the western hemisphere where Spaniards imported it to Chile for its use as fiber.
In North America, cannabis in the form of hemp, was grown on many plantations for use in rope, clothing and paper. By the late 18th century, early editions of American medical journals referenced hemp seeds and roots for treating a wide variety of ailments and diseases.
Unfortunately, by 1937, 23 states had outlawed marijuana. Also in 1937, the “Marijuana Tax Act” was passed, representing the U.S. government’s first step toward regulating and taxing the production of hemp and marijuana for industrial and medicinal purposes. But while cannabis was effectively outlawed in many states, research soldiered on and in 1940, Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois achieved a clinical breakthrough when they isolated and identified CBD from the cannabis sativa plant.
The Marijuana Tax Act was eventually ruled unconstitutional in 1969 and marijuana (including medical marijuana) was criminalized shortly after. As a result, research into the medicinal qualities of cannabis was effectively halted for many years.
Thankfully, research into cannabis continued in other parts of the world. Most notably, Israel became a pioneer in medical cannabis research and development. By 1963, Israeli professor Raphael Mechoulam, The Father Of Marijuana Research, and colleague Yuval Shvo, made history by establishing the structure of CBD for the first time. Over the ensuing decades, Mechoulam was able to isolate numerous compounds from the cannabis plant with his research teams. Scientists to date have discovered that the cannabis sativa plant contains over 480 chemical compounds of which over 80 are terpenophenolic compounds.
According to CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, there is now promising research into the therapeutic value of cannabis and CBD that could change the lives of millions of people, including treatment for cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, to name a few. With regard to pain alone, CBD could greatly reduce the demand for narcotics and simultaneously decrease the number of accidental painkiller overdoses, which are the greatest cause of preventable death in this country.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) agrees that CBD is an extremely critical area for new research. They recognize the need for additional studies on the therapeutic effects of CBD and other cannabinoids and currently support ongoing efforts to reduce barriers to research in this area. Today, the NIH is supporting a number of studies on the therapeutic value of CBD for:
- Treatment of substance use disorders (opioids, alcohol, cannabis, methamphetamine)
- Neuropathic pain due to spinal cord injury
- Mitigating the impact of cannabis use on risk for schizophrenia
- Examination of the potential of CBD as an antiepileptic treatment
In a presentation to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, Nora D. Volkow, Director of the NIDA, concluded that, “There is significant preliminary research supporting the potential therapeutic value of CBD, and while it is not yet sufficient to support drug approval, it highlights the need for rigorous clinical research in this area. There are barriers that should be addressed to facilitate more research in this area.”
We couldn’t agree more.
The cannabis plant and its cannabinoids (like CBD) have benefited mankind for thousands of years.
That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to throw their support behind legislation that would reclassify CBD from a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act so that patients, parents of minor children, caretakers, pharmacies, producers and testing labs will gain access to its unique ability to treat a variety of ailments.
Let’s all do our part to make legal CBD a reality.
Here at IwantmyCBD.org, we are dedicated to ensuring your right to obtain CBD legally. We are working hard to make sure CBD rich hemp oil remains a dietary supplement. To see what we are up to, sign up for the I want my CBD Newsletter. If you feel that CBD is right for you and want to join the fight to protect your access to CBD, you can help by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter or Pinterest. Join us in spreading the word on CBD and let’s keep the momentum going!
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