How did we get here?
Today we’re answering that question and more with this brief look into the history of CBD. Keep
reading for the origins of CBD and hemp, how CBD became popular in the US, and what to
expect for the future of this booming industry.
The Origins of Hemp and CBD
It’s safe to say the hemp industry is one of the oldest in the world. CBD is derived from hemp,
which was used to make fabric as early as 8,000 BC. The father of ethnobotany, Dr. Richard
Shultes, guessed that if cannabis wasn’t our very first domesticated plant, it certainly was one of
Dr. Roger Adams first isolated CBD from hemp in 1940. In subsequent years, researchers
performed several comparative studies in animals to show the different behavioral effects of
THC, CBD, and CBN.
It was around this time that Haagen-Smith et al. discovered something surprising. Unlike THC,
they found that CBD is non-intoxicating and doesn’t cause the same “high” associated with
While this fact intrigued researchers and they spent the last decades researching the molecule,
public interest in CBD remained low. That is until the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into effect.
US Federal Legalization of CBD
On January 27th, 2014, the newest US Farm Bill included a short section that established a
distinction between industrial hemp and intoxicating marijuana. According to Section 7606,
industrial hemp is defined as any cannabis plant with THC levels of 0.3% or less.
State legislation soon followed the Farm Bill’s lead, making it easier for scientists to research the
benefits of CBD.
And research they did.
The National Institution of Health went from almost no funding for CBD research in 2014 to
funding an estimated $16 million worth of CBD research in 2018. As the research articles began