A History of CBD: Where Does CBD Come From?

A History of CBD: Where Does CBD Come From?

Where does CBD come from?

In short… the answer is…


Cannabidiol, CBD for short, comes from cannabis.  This does require some further explanation…

Why is CBD Legal?!

Page of an old book. Hemp, Cannabis or marijuana, medicinal plant

In 2014, the US federal government took the first steps in making the Hemp plant an agricultural commodity for the US.  In the 2014 Farm Bill they decided to define the difference between hemp and cannabis.  What they decided was that Hemp is to be defined as a cannabis plant that contains less that .3% Delta-9 THC.  Delta-9 THC being the intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis.

In 2018 they took it a step further by passing another Farm Bill.  Again, they delineated the difference between hemp and cannabis by the .3% Delta-9 THC levels, but they took it a step further by removing the other cannabinoids present in the plant off the controlled substance list.

This made CBD legal in all 50 states.  As long as the CBD is derived from a plant that contains less than .3% THC, or as long as it is derived from Hemp, then it is legal to sell and posses by federal law.  Now, individual states are starting to pass laws that allows them to regulate the sale of CBD and the growing of the hemp plant.  Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, signed a law into effect on July 1st, which will allow Florida farmers to grow hemp and regulates the retail sales of CBD products.

The History of CBD or Cannabis

Ancient China

Now, to get into the history of CBD, we must take a look at the history of cannabis. The history of cannabis goes back over thousand of years. The first instance of someone documenting using cannabis for medicinal purposes is Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung in 2737 BCE.  He drank a cannabis infused tea to treat an assortment of conditions.

People continued to use cannabis throughout the following centuries.  However, modern medicine didn’t take the plant seriously until the 1800s.


In 1939, William B. O’Shaughnessy published a highly controversial study that delve into the medicinal benefits of cannabis. In this study he found that cannabis could be helpful for pain and spasticity.

Although Shaughnessy’s study paved the way for the study of cannabis in western medicine, it did little to show why cannabis had these medicinal benefits.  Later, a British Chemist named Robert S. Cahn discovered an individual cannabinoid and isolated the structure of cannabinol (CBN) in 1940.  Two years later a Chemist named Roger Adams successfully isolated CBD.

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam

Mechoulam is the godfather of THC and CBD

In 1963 and 1964, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam successfully determined CBD and THC’s stereochemistry. Mechoulam is the godfather of cannabis research.  He was able to isolate and determine the benefits of the individual cannabinoid chemicals in cannabis.

Mechoulam’s research is why we know that Delta-9 THC is responsible for the intoxicating effects behind cannabis.  It is also why we can identify the different between THC and CBD.


Mecholam’s work is what started the research which looks into the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids. The FDA has only approved one product to make medical claims and it is sold on the US Pharmaceutical market as Epidiolex. Until cannabis is legalized and the FDA is allowed to research cannabinoids further, CBD companies will not be allowed to make any medical claims. However, we can make you aware of any scientific studies done on CBD.

Click here to see every study done on CBD!

Learn more about CBD!

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