We’re willing to bet that by now you know a thing or two about CBD and the CBD industry.
In fact, it wasn’t long ago that CBD was only talked about in small circles of cannabis experts and researchers.
As with any movement, it’s hard to point to the exact time and place it started. Some say the push for CBD was in a living room in San Francisco where a “ragtag crew of activists, doctors, writers, and marijuana farmers met up in 2011.”
Others tell the story of Charlotte Figi, whose experience recovering from chronic seizures with the help of CBD led the FDA to approve the first pharmaceutical drug using cannabidiol.
Likely, it was a combination of these events that brought us to where we are today.
In a culture slowly learning to prioritize self-care in day-to-day life, it makes sense that CBD has gained its current foothold.
So, how does something go from criminal to mainstream?
Here’s what happened…
A Change in Perception
In the late 1960s marijuana was experiencing a renaissance. As a result, Nixon chose to come down hard on drugs. At the same time, the government dedicated significant funding for early cannabis research.
The Marijuana Research Project was established, and its founder went on to become Ronald Reagan’s top dog in the War on Drugs. At this time, a Brazilian scientist was beginning to see the effects of CBD on the reduction of seizures.
Later in 1980, another scientist, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, found significant results on the power of CBD that corroborated the compound’s ability to reduce certain types of seizures.
Although experienced cannabis users were aware of CBD, it was difficult to come by. In fact, the compound had been mostly bred out of recreational pot because it wasn’t psychoactive.
Fortunately, CBD-rich plants were identified and cultivated, and as the stories spread about how CBD improved people’s lives, the perception of it began to shift.
By 2011, the potential therapeutic use of CBD became more clear—particularly for those who were chronically ill or who had serious disorders that weren’t responding to prescription drugs.
The Lifestyle Brand
The U.S. approved the epilepsy drug (Epidiolex) wherein CBD was the chief ingredient. Soon, Great Britain came out with a 1:1 CBD & THC treatment for Multiple Sclerosis and the compound gained increasing popularity.
The CBD industry entered the mainstream, with CBD products accompanying people on hikes, their daily commutes, and improving wellness across the world.
A Renewed Legal Opening
The biggest roadblock for pharmaceutical companies was CBD’s inclusion with the cannabis plant, marijuana on the Federal Government’s Schedule I Narcotics list.
This had wide-reaching implications for the sale of anything derived from hemp or cannabis.
However, with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the U.S. government fully legalized cannabidiol in all 50 states. This meant that, nationwide, you could plant and harvest hemp, so long as your end product contained .03% or less of THC—the psychoactive component of cannabis that supplies its reputation.
This meant that in states like North Carolina, state governments could begin pilot programs for the farming of hemp. With it, there was more hemp on the scene lowering the barrier to entry for sellers.
A Continuing Challenge
The FDA still fiercely regulates CBD, forcing strict compliance in companies looking to expand their scope of CBD products.
At CBDfx, our priorities are customer care and strict compliance with the current laws. We ensure the CBD you receive is of the utmost quality possible.
While scientific studies on CBD have gained traction over the years, reliable testing lags behind.
Without the ability to verify hemp THC levels cheaply, there will always be a bottleneck to full legality and acceptance.
As of August 2020, three states consider CBD to be illegal at the state level (Iowa, Idaho, and South Dakota). The FDA itself has locked down any speech about potential medical benefits. This, along with increased local pressure has made farmers in Ohio, and even in North Carolina hesitant to seriously pursue hemp cultivation.
CBD’s Wide Horizon
Despite the inconsistent position of the federal government, there’s been an explosion in CBD products. Far gone are the days of stem-filled brownies and smoky rooms. Now there are tasty vapors, soft-gels, and soothing balms.
With that increase in availability and popularity comes the curiosity of economists. In 2019, the investment bank Cowen estimated that the U.S. CBD industry will be worth $16 billion by 2025. Even throughout the lockdown this year, CBD e-commerce sales have grown.
And as we learn about the capability of other cannabinoids, closer in nature to CBD than THC, which enhances wellness without the psychoactive effect (see: CBN & CBG, especially), the hemp plant’s possibilities continue to expand.
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