With the explosion of medicinal and recreation use marijuana, many people are learning about the health benefits of CBD products. CBD is a commonly used acronym of cannabidiol, the chemical compound derived from the hemp plant.
So what's all the fuss about? Well, unlike it's cousin the marijuana plant, hemp only contains trace levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical component that gives marijuana its euphoric qualities. Hemp is most widely known for its fibers which are often used to make clothes, rope, fabrics, building materials, auto parts, industrial materials, and number of other products. Hemp is also known for its highly nutritious seeds, which have been shown to benefit heart health, skin diseases, and more.
Healthcare professionals and researchers are only now starting to learn about the medical and wellness benefits of cannabidiol. In fact, the FDA recently approved a CBD product for the treatment of Seizures (https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm611046.htm).
Cannabis sativa is one of the world's oldest cultivated plants, with it's origin in agriculture tracing back more than 4000 years. Although the earliest written records of the human use of cannabis date from the 6th century B.C. (ca. 2,600 cal BP), existing evidence suggests that its use in Europe and East Asia started in the early Holocene (ca. 8,000 cal BP) (Long et al., 2016). 19th-century practitioners ascribed medicinal properties to cannabis after the drug found its way to Europe during a period of colonial expansion into Africa and Asia. For example, William B. O'Shaughnessy, an Irish physician working at the Medical College and Hospital in Calcutta, first introduced cannabis (Indian hemp) to Western medicine as a treatment for tetanus and other convulsive diseases (O'Shaughnessy, 1840). (1)