ALL ABOUT CBD: A Brief History of Hemp and It's Benefits
So, what exactly is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabis compounds found in hemp. CBD activates the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which has been scientifically found to contribute to regulatory functions in the body. Yet, CBD remains heavily debated and regulated even though it causes no “high” and has shown no evidence of public health issues.
Unlike marijuana, Yale-educated biologist Dr. Genevieve R. Moore a.k.a. “Miss Grass” shares that CBD instead influences “other types of receptors while also enhancing your natural levels of endocannabinoids by occupying certain enzymes.” In simple terms, the calming, anxiety soothing effects CBD produces are due to its positive impact on our ECS. The ECS is also responsible for maintaining homeostasis, controlling cardiovascular function, regulating hormones, and other immune system functions.
How does CBD work?
CBD and cannabinoids fit into a network of neuron receptors (Endocannabinoid System or ECS) that help regulate many physical processes. The endocannabinoid system is a major interface between the nervous system, the hormone system, and the immune system. Most notably, in the nervous system, CBD can provide relief from pain and inflammation, producing a sense of calm.
But before we get into how cannabidiol can change your life,
We want to reassure you that CBD is non-hallucinogenic and has long been used to treat a variety of health issues, which we’ll explore more with specific examples of some of CBD’s secret, powerful benefits. Not only do all 50 states have laws that legalize CBD (with some variations of how it’s restricted), the 2018 Farm Bill finally loosened the regulation of hemp production. This led to a logistical impossibility for keeping CBD in an illegal status.
Most cannabidiol (CBD) is sourced from hemp (Cannabis sativa), the male plant of the cannabis Sativa species, which contains mere trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient that actually gets you “high”.
Consider Harvard Health’s analogy: legalizing hemp without making CBD legal “would be like making oranges legal, but keeping orange juice legal. CBD is legal if it comes from hemp, but not if it comes from cannabis (marijuana) - even though it is the exact same molecule.”
Another question we are often asked: Will CBD get me “high”?
Nope! Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. This means there will be no psychedelic effects on your mind or your mental processes. If you wish to avoid any psychoactive effects, consume only CBD products with less than 0.03 percent THC included in them.
Common Uses of CBD
CBD has become increasingly popular over the years, as it directly tackles what many of us need extra help regulating in our minds and bodies. For example, CBD’s common and most popular uses include: supporting the body’s ability to deal with stress, insomnia, anxiety, and irritable bowel symptoms, and decreasing chronic pain, inflammation, and even post-workout strains.
How is CBD most frequently used?
CBD is most commonly taken as an oral tincture, oil extract, pill, or smoke, but you can now find it in other forms such as gummies and topical products for physical pain relief. Policies and laws about industrial hemp, CBD, and other cannabis plants have historically been unnecessarily complicated and ill-informed. Luckily, you won’t be after reading this!
Now, for those of you interested in the deep dive, here’s:
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HEMP
In the regions of modern-day China and Taiwan, hemp was first discovered around 8000 BC. The cords, seeds, and oil of the hemp plant were historically used in China for pottery and food. Many anthropologists believe that hemp was likely one of the first agricultural crops that helped to launch human agricultural pursuits beginning about 10,000 years ago.
Where else has evidence of hemp materials been found?
Also referred to as “sacred grass” or “king of seeds” in some Persian and Hindu religious texts, hemp has long been essential across civilizations for people’s everyday needs throughout Asia (Mesopotamia a.k.a. current Iran and Iraq; approximately 8,000 BC), Africa, and Europe, and later in South America. The world’s first paper is also said to have been made from hemp by the Chinese in approximately 150 BC. In 1606, hemp was introduced to North America; less than 100 years later, US farmers were legally required to grow hemp as a staple crop. Across the pond, Henry VIII passed a similar act in the UK to mandate landowners to sow at least a quarter of an acre of hemp in 1535.
From the Middle Ages up until the 1920s, much of the world’s food and fiber came from hemp. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of all clothing was previously made from hemp fiber!
In Canada, hemp was the first government-subsidized crop, with the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada distributing its seeds to farmers in 1801. Hemp was massively important for the development of North American agriculture from its very origins. But, because of its labor-intensive and costly harvesting, cotton later became a more popular crop with the invention of the cotton gin at the close of the 18th century.
So, how and why did the understanding and growth of hemp deteriorate in the United States after centuries of being one of humankind’s most significant crops?
The answer to this question can be summarized in one word: propaganda. In the 1930s, companies with vested interest in new, synthetic textiles viewed hemp as an economic threat to doing business. On the verge of becoming a “billion-dollar crop” in 1937, the US government instead enacted prohibitive tax laws for hemp dealers, which lobbyists had made their singular mission. By the end of that same year, hemp production was altogether banned. In 1938, Canada followed suit, prohibiting hemp production under the Opium and Narcotics Act.
Paradoxically, hemp’s redemptive moment came during World War II. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1942, the US was suddenly cut off from its major hemp importer. As a result, both the US and Canada eased hemp restrictions to meet war demands.
In a complete reversal of previous legislation, the US Department of Agriculture then released a film titled “Hemp for Victory”. In it, “patriotic farmers” were urged by the government to help meet their 1943 goal of sowing 50,000 acres of hemp seeds. Though its known uses include 25,000 different applications, hemp remained banned for decades in the same country whose Declaration of Independence was written on paper made from that same plant-based material!
Looking back to go forward: the use of medical marijuana is another fascinating topic that shares a similar and yet not identical history.
Connecting the dots here, we can see how financially and politically motivated interests have negatively impacted farmers’ and consumers’ ability to enjoy the innumerable benefits of the plants and chemical compounds derived from the cannabis family. Medical marijuana’s usage began about 6,000 years ago; approximately 4,000 years later than hemp. But, contrary to popular knowledge, marijuana usage only became illegal in the US in the 1900s.
In the years since the 2018 Farm Bill passed, marijuana has yet to see the same easing of regulations that its plant sibling, hemp, has at last enjoyed once again. Can you guess why?
A TIMELINE OF HEMP’S GLOBAL EVOLUTION
Now, let’s take a look at how hemp has evolved around the world:
HEMP FOR MIND, BODY + SPIRIT
For centuries, hemp has been used as a folk remedy and ancient medicine, revered for the curative properties found in the leaves, roots, and seeds. Both the seeds and the flowers have been used for diverse health issues, ranging from difficulty during childbirth and arthritic joints to rheumatism, dysentery, insomnia, and many other ailments.
This week, we’re giving you an insider’s look into the healing effects and secret benefits of CBD (which you now know comes from the magical hemp plant!) you’ve likely been missing. Taking a glimpse at our archives for added knowledge, we invite you to amplify your wellness game with CBD and other botanical allies, plus some of our favorite supportive rituals and practices.
How to get the most out of these
5 BENEFITS OF THE CBD FLOWER
1. SOOTHE STRESS + ANXIETYCurrently, clinical trials and other scientific studies aim to determine what many CBD users already report to be true: CBD can significantly reduce anxiety. One studies affirmed promising results for future explorations of the link between lowering anxiety and CBD usage. “Human experimental findings [...] suggest a lack of anxiogenic effects, minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile,” thereby encouraging researchers to emphasize CBD’s efficacy in “reducing anxiety behaviors” and “the potential value and need for further study of CBD in the treatment of anxiety disorders.” We love combining CBD with fellow herbs or fungi that reduce stress, like adaptogens, or fellow nervines that we love like Damiana and Blue Lotus.
2. SLEEP PEACEFULLY + DREAM LUCIDLYNearly 70 million Americans experience some kind of sleep disorder, with 10-30 percent of the US population experiencing short- or long-term insomnia. Studies suggest that CBD can help us to fall asleep and stay asleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, early research showed CBD improved sleep in more than 65 percent of study participants.
3. MANAGE CHRONIC PAINTwo of the hardest conditions to treat are inflammatory and neuropathic pain, both of which CBD helps to regulate and minimize, according to scientific research. In an animal study published in the European Journal of Pain, CBD was reported to lower arthritis pain and inflammation when applied to the skin. Visit our blog to learn more about other herbal analgesics that we love to use alongside CBD oil, such as Mulungu, and more.
4. MAKE YOUR SKIN GLOW 2 WAYSYour skin is your body’s largest organ, and the only one exposed to the outside! Incorporating CBD into your skincare routine can have profound effects on your outer glow. Remember that Endocannabinoid System (ECS)? CBD can be applied directly onto the skin and has the potential to help your ECS reduce the inflammation that causes many common skin conditions, ranging from acne and redness to dry and blotchy skin. Self-massage for your face/neck + CBD = a powerful combination of inexpensive additions to your personal care practices.
5. COMBAT ADDICTION + NIX NICOTINE
We all know smoking processed tobacco is bad for us. But, other smokable herb blends have been used from the beginning of human history in ceremonies, to clear phlegm, for recreation, and for other medicinal purposes. According to Harvard Medical School, “CBD can help lower cravings for tobacco and heroin under certain conditions.” Anything consumed in excess is not recommended nor do we recommend swapping CBD out for tobacco. To learn more, check the full Harvard cannabidiol health report.
Here's an excellent video on Hemp's History that we highly recommend watching if you'd like to dig deeper into its historical use.
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DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to encourage self-diagnosis, and is purely informational in nature. We are not suggesting any of these herbs be used in place of medicine or as medicinal alternatives. We do suggest you work with your chosen herbalist, healer and/or physician to best integrate these and other herbal remedies into your monthly menstrual cycle routines. Please use plant medicines carefully and intentionally. Discuss any questions or doubts directly with a healthcare practitioner.
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NEW PRODUCT ALERT
Sacred Hemp Pre-Rolls
Now Available to Order!
Our new CBD blend is composed of 35% organically grown hemp flowers from Oregon, along with euphoric herbs like Blue Lotus, Damiana, and Rose … PLUS lung supportive plants like mullein, raspberry leaf, and more! Sacred smoke CBD blends are available to ship by today! Or if you’re in NYC, stop by to pick up pre-rolls at any one of our apothecaries.
We invite you to enjoy your sacred smoke responsibly.