CBD products are everywhere, and their popularity is growing. Stores and brands are advertising the plant compound’s various uses. The list of beneﬁts is growing as fast as the number of hemp-infused products.
It’s understandable if all the hype makes you skeptical about the beneﬁts of our Innovative CBD oil and other infused products. It’s essential to understand that hemp extracts and use may seem new, but that’s not accurate. People have been using the ancient plant for thousands of years.
THE LONG HISTORY OF HEMP
Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. Its ﬁrst known use was as an agricultural crop in Asia over 10,000 years ago to condition the soil for other vegetation to grow with its high nutrient level. The plant quickly became a staple. Historical records show civilizations using it for ﬁber to make clothing and other textiles.
The ﬁrst mention of its use in written documents is in the Pen-ts’ao ching, the world’s oldest pharmacopeia, an oﬃcial medicinal drug publication. This ancient text suggests people in Asian culture regularly used the plant as a natural wellness remedy.
Oral history reports that Hua T’o, the founder of Chinese surgery, utilized hemp compounds with wine to make the ﬁrst known tinctures. He used them during procedures. The references show the Chinese used the ﬂowers, seeds, leaves, and roots to mix various folk remedies for everything from aches and pains to sleep aids.
Hemp cultivation spread throughout the world over the past 10,000 years. Historical references to the plant have been found in the Middle East, India, and even in Greece around 200 BCE.
We know that hemp was a required crop in the new world when the British came to America. The plant made its way to the UK by 1500. In fact, King Henry VIII ﬁrst instituted the laws for growing hemp in 1535. The royal proclamation threatened ﬁnes to landowners that didn’t cultivate the useful crop.
Hemp’s popularity would spread throughout North American in the 1600s and continue to be a staple crop in the colonies and the U.S. until cannabis propaganda viliﬁed the extremely beneﬁcial plant. Although the two plants share many of the same compounds, hemp doesn’t produce the high associated with cannabis.
Despite available research, hysteria won, and the U.S. banned hemp culti- vation, sales, and use in 1937. Follow- ing America’s lead, the remaining countries around the world would also ban most hemp production.
It would take 81 years to change the course of hemp in America and throughout the world. We owe a great deal of appreciation to Dr. Ra- phael Mechoulam. He is considered by many the father of modern canna- bis research.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, was the ﬁrst compound isolated from the hemp plant. A Harvard chemist, Roger Adams, extracted CBD in 1940. A little more than two decades later, Dr. Mechoulam used Adams’ work to breakdown the compound’s structure in 1963. In fact, he veriﬁed CBD before THC, which wasn’t identiﬁed until 1964.
The professor and top cannabinoid scientist and pioneer recently turned 90 and is still a formidable expert in CBD, THC, and the endocannabinoid system.
NATURALLY OCCURRING HEMP COMPOUNDS
The plant contains more than the cannabinoids CBD and THC. It has at least 545 compounds. At least 140 of the phytochemicals are cannabinoids with similar characteristics to CBD.
The remaining compounds include terpenes, which produce the diﬀerent plant fragrances, ﬂavonoids that give hemp its unique tastes, and a blend of minerals and other essential phytochemicals. The complex group of plant chemicals works together to produce a variety of wellness responses.
Scientists are still studying all the plant’s compounds to learn more about how they interact with the body and their diﬀerent advantages. The majority of the compounds are cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
THESE BREAKDOWN INTO TWO PRIMARY CATEGORIES:
1. Cannabinoid Acids
The ﬁnal CBD oil or infused product you purchase doesn’t start its life cycle as a cannabinoid. Instead, they begin as simple acids. All cannabinoids in hemp form from cannabigerolic acid or CBGa. Scientists often call CBGa the mother of all cannabinoids because of where it is in the pecking order.
CBGa is the ﬁrst to form. It changes to either THCa, CBCa, or CBDa. Without CBGa, there wouldn’t be CBDa or CBD. Each phytocannabinoid has a precursor or a diﬀerent chemical composition before going through the decarboxylation process.
While not an exhaustive list, here are some of the known cannabinoid acids:
Cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCa) Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) Cannabichromenic acid (CBCa) Cannabinolic acid (CBNa) Cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVa)
2. Decarboxylated Cannabinoids
These are the compounds most consumers know. CBD and THC are decarboxylated. The decarboxylation process is a long phrase that means you’re heating the cannabinoids to activate them. Both compounds have beneﬁts as an acid and after the heating process. But there is one signiﬁcant diﬀerence between THCa and THC—the acidic form is NOT psychoactive.
Again, this isn’t the entire list. But here are a few of the identiﬁed cannabinoids following decarboxylated cannabinoids:
Cannabidiol (CBD) Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Cannabigerol (CBG) Cannabichromene (CBC)