CBD and cannabis in America: a history

A story and why CBD, cannabis and cannabinoids work for your patients

A story and why CBD, cannabis and cannabinoids work for your patients

Few subjects arouse so much interest from so many diverse groups as CBD and Cannabis in America. There is a lot of confusion and misuse of terms. Cannabis, (genus Cannabis), includes medicinal, recreational and fiber plants belonging to the Cannabaceae family.

Humans, being incredibly skilled, have used selective breeding to maximize the cannabis plant for two distinct purposes:

  1. Hemp was bred to maximize fiber for clothing, rope, feed, shelter;
  2. Marijuana was bred to maximize the psychedelic THC content and get “high” for relaxation and religious uses.

Hemp and Marijuana are just two breeds of Cannabis, just like Labradors and German Shepherds are canine breeds, while Broccoli and Cauliflower are breeds of plant species. Brassica oleracea.

The industrial hemp plant was legalized for production with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Hemp in early America

Views on the hemp plant are rapidly changing in America. Opinions actually go back to how our founding fathers thought of cannabis. “Wait a minute, that’s sacrilege,” some will say. “What do our founding fathers have to do with cannabis?” The short answer is – our founding fathers loved hemp.
How do we know?

  1. “Make the most of Indian hemp and sow it everywhere,” said George Washington.[1]
  2. “Hemp cultivation is of the utmost importance to the nation,” said Thomas Jefferson.[2]
  3. “We will soon want a world of hemp for our own consumption,” said John Adams.[3]

The Founding Fathers knew that the production of hemp and its many uses, as fabric for sails, rope for ships, and fiber for shoes, would make America stronger through its use in times of peace and war. So what happened to Americans’ perception of hemp and cannabis between the founding of our nation and today?


After the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Mexican immigrants settled in the United States, introducing the recreational use of marijuana to American culture. The drug became associated with immigrants, and fear and prejudice regarding Spanish-speaking newcomers became associated with marijuana. Anti-drug activists have warned of the pervasive “marijuana menace,” and crimes have been attributed to marijuana and Mexicans who use it.[4]

Panic over cannabis use spread across the country and as a result, the US Congress passed the Marihuana (sic) Tax Act of 1937 – which effectively made it illegal to possess or transfer all cannabis (marijuana and hemp) in the United States under federal law, excluding medical and industrial uses, by imposing an excise duty on all hemp sales. This is a case where lawmakers failed to consider the differences between hemp and marijuana.

But after the Philippines fell to Japanese forces in 1942, the US Department of Agriculture and the US military urged farmers to grow hemp fiber. The U.S. government issued cultivation tax stamps to farmers, and without any changes to the Marihuana Tax Act, over 400,000 acres of hemp were cultivated between 1942 and 1945. The last commercial hemp fields were planted in Wisconsin in 1957.[5]

After 50 years of state and federal criminality, in 1996 California became the first state to allow legal access and use of botanical cannabis for medical purposes under the supervision of a physician with the enactment of Compassionate Use. Act.

Early legalization and the endocannabinoid system (ECS)

How important is this whole story to your practice? Let me explain the endocannabinoid system to you.

Discovered in 1992 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Professor Lumir Hanus, PhD, and American researcher William Devane, PhD discovered the endocannabinoid anandamide. The discovery of these receptors led to the discovery of natural neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids.

Your body actually has cannabinoid receptors and a complete functioning system, which has cannabinoids as its main component – just like blood is the main component of your circulatory system. Endocannabinoids (eCB) and their receptors are present throughout the human body: nervous system, internal organs, connective tissues, glands and immune cells. The ECS system has a homeostatic role, characterized as “eating, sleeping, relaxing, forgetting and protecting”.

Academic studies have been conducted to quantify the effects of cannabinoids on pain conditions, including neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic mixed pain. Fifteen of the 18 included trials demonstrated a significant analgesic effect of cannabinoids compared to placebo. Cannabinoid use was generally well tolerated; the most reported adverse effects were mild to moderate in intensity. Overall, the evidence suggests that cannabinoids are safe and moderately effective for neuropathic pain with preliminary evidence of effectiveness in fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.[6]

The US government patent on CBD

Just a few years after the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, the US government invested millions of dollars in research into CBD, cannabis and cannabinoids, which resulted in a US patent. Yes… the US government holds a patent on cannabinoids. Patent #6630507[7] was issued in the United States of America in 2003, represented by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

What does this patent say? Directly quoted by the United States Patent Office, “Cannabinoids have been found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV-related dementia Non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid the toxicity encountered with cannabinoids high dose psychoactives useful in the method of the present invention.[8]

Also note that the patent was issued in 2003, when the entire cannabis family was still considered a schedule 1 drug – meaning it has a high potential for abuse, no medical uses currently accepted in processing in the United States and a lack of accepted security. to be used under medical supervision.[9]

The future of CBD and cannabis

The history of cannabis in America is fascinating, and it’s far from over. Currently, hemp-derived CBD/cannabinoids are federally legal in all states, as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC (Delta 9) by weight. Additionally, many states have approved medical or recreational marijuana (see below).[10]

It will be interesting to see how the US government reacts in the near future; but we do know one thing about CBD and cannabis: it will be fun to watch patients continue to clamor for these natural healing substances.

JOE KRYSZAK, MBA, is President of Stirling Professional CBD, the brand created by and for chiropractors and professional practices, which gives back to the chiropractic industry. Since 2014, Stirling has grown, extracted and produced the purest CBD available. Stirling Professional brings incredible CBD+ products to your patients with the industry’s leading range of 2,500mg CBD lotions, THC- and THC-free capsules and gels, and four great solutions for better sleep. We bring affordable solutions to your patients. For more information, visit stirlingprofessional.com.


[1] https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/farming/washingtons-crops/george-washington-grew-hemp/

[2] https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/hemp

[3] https://libquotes.com/john-adams/quote/lbk7u8g

[4] https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dope/etc/cron.html#:~:text=After%20the%20Mexican%20Revolution%20of,newcomers%20became%20associated%20with%20marijuana

[5] “David P. West: Hemp and Marijuana: Myths and Realities”. Naihc.org. Accessed March 9, 2011.

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312634/

[7] https://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-ParserSect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN /6630507

[8] https://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS =PN/6630507

[9] https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Marijuana-Cannabis-2020_0.pdf

[10] https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/cannabis-legalization-states-map-831885/

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