How CBD has changed the way we see cannabis

For many years cannabis has been considered as a source of violence, addiction and poor mental health. Movies showed us criminal, dirty and immoral cannabis users. Many still associate cannabis with ill health and addiction.

Since the legalization of CBD in the UK, various stores started selling it. Its popularity has gradually grown, since then. The Cannabis Trades Association reported that every year the number of CBD users doubles in the UK.

Medical cannabis is more and more associated with its benefits and not ugly things. Scientists consider it is only the beginning of CBD marching all over the world.

To understand future events and imagine how things may change in future, we look at the history of CBD industry development.

Ancient age to the industrial era

We know that people widely used cannabis in the ancient world for medical and spiritual purposes. The industry used hemp to make fabric and building materials. At the beginning of the XX-th century, hemp accounted for 80 % of UK textile production. At the same time, people started using cannabis for joy and relaxation.

Post-war counterculture is famous for the widespread use of cannabis all over the world. Many young and talented artists, writers, musicians were associated with cannabis and so-called creative high.

The 50s and 60s

During the 50s and 60s, the response to cannabis possession in the UK was most relaxed than the rest of the world. But in 1965, the parliament passed the Dangerous Drugs Act, and it made it illegal to grow and smoke cannabis. But there was less interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids even though tincture of cannabis was then still a licensed medicine in the UK1.

Scientific experiments

Researchers started rediscovering the health benefits of cannabis and started studying THC, CBN, or CBD extracted from cannabis. Early experimental observations showed that THC, but not CBD, induced catalepsy in mice, that CBN induced catalepsy in mice but only at high doses that were also lethal2.

In the early 1970s, research into the pharmacology of cannabinoids increased markedly. Several cannabinoid experiments focused mainly on the checking of psychoactive properties of cannabis1.

In the mid-1980s, two findings provided conclusive evidence that cannabinoid receptors do indeed exist. It triggered a growing number of studies linking cannabis to medical benefits and legalization of its medical use.

In the UK, cannabis debates are still on political agendas, but the perception of CBD has become much more positive. It is now associated with health benefits, by most.

CBD VS cannabis

The most crucial step is the differentiation of THC and CBD by the users. Since the isolation of CBD, researchers have understood a lot about how it interacts with various receptors. They now know that these receptors are not just present in the brain, but are also in multiple organs. These findings helped explain the wide number of health benefits of CBD.

Ongoing debates

We hear many stories when people feel some relief using CBD3. Celebrities and scientists participating in TV talk shows and news reports contribute significantly, changing the way we perceive cannabis. These days the images associated with cannabis are no longer of smoke or deprivation, but hope and medical potentials.

Many benefits of CBD are not fully recognized by science, yet. But each study conducted brings us more affirmation of its efficacy.


  1. Pertwee RG. Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2006;(147):163-171.
  2. Mechoulam R, Hanus L. A historical overview of chemical research on cannabinoids. Chem Phys Lipids. 2000;108(1-2):1-13. doi:10.1016/s0009-3084(00)00184-5
  3. MacKeen D. What Are the Benefits of CBD? (Published 2019). The New York Times. Published October 16, 2019. Accessed November 10, 2020.


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