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History of CBD: A Brief Retrospective

CBD, short for cannabidiol, has become increasingly popular in recent years for its potential health benefits. However, the history of CBD dates back much further than many people realize. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of CBD, both in North America and worldwide.

History of CBD Worldwide

The use of cannabis, including CBD, has been documented for thousands of years throughout the world. Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese used cannabis for its medicinal properties. In China, the use of cannabis dates back to around 2700 BCE, where it was used as an anesthetic during surgical procedures. In India, cannabis was used as a traditional medicine in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, which dates back to around 2000 BCE.

Throughout history, cannabis has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes. It was used to treat pain, inflammation, and various other conditions. During the 19th century, cannabis was widely used in Western medicine, with many physicians prescribing it for a variety of ailments. However, its use declined in the early 20th century due to political and social factors, as well as the development of new pharmaceutical drugs.

In recent years, the use of CBD has seen a resurgence in popularity, with many people turning to CBD as a natural alternative to traditional medicines. CBD has been shown to have a variety of therapeutic properties, such as anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-anxiety effects. It is commonly used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and epilepsy, among others.

Despite its resurgence in popularity, the legal status of CBD varies widely around the world. In some countries, such as Canada and Uruguay, cannabis has been legalized for both medicinal and recreational purposes. In other countries, such as the United States, the legal status of cannabis varies from state to state. However, with the growing body of research on the therapeutic properties of CBD, it is likely that its legal status will continue to evolve in the coming years.

History of CBD in North America

The use of cannabis, including CBD, has been an integral part of Native American cultures for centuries. Many Native American tribes used cannabis for medicinal and spiritual purposes, and the plant was considered sacred. Cannabis was used to treat a variety of ailments, such as pain, inflammation, and fever, and was often combined with other medicinal plants to create herbal remedies.

In addition to its medicinal uses, cannabis played a significant role in Native American spiritual and ceremonial practices. The plant was often used in sacred rituals, such as sweat lodges and vision quests, and was believed to have the power to connect people with the spirit world. For many Native American tribes, the use of cannabis was a way to connect with their ancestors and their cultural heritage. Today, the cultural importance of cannabis continues in many Native American communities, with some tribes incorporating the plant into modern spiritual practices.

The prohibition of cannabis lasted for several decades, until the 1990s, when researchers began to investigate the potential health benefits of cannabis and its compounds. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis, and several other states followed suit in the years that followed. Today, cannabis (including CBD) is legal for medical or recreational use in many states, although it remains illegal at the federal level.


The history of CBD is a long and complex one, with roots in both traditional medicine and modern science. While cannabis and CBD have faced legal and social challenges throughout history, recent years have seen a growing acceptance of the potential health benefits of these compounds. As research into CBD continues, it’s likely that we’ll continue to learn more about this fascinating compound and its many potential applications.

Reference Links:

  1. Harvard Health Publishing – “Cannabidiol (CBD) – what we know and what we don’t” (
  2. Medical News Today – “What is CBD oil? Everything you need to know” (