An Old Remedy Made New: Looking At CBD Usage Across History

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Years of cannabis prohibition have led individuals to believe the therapeutic benefits of CBD are a recent discovery; little do they know, CBD and cannabis-derived medicine date back centuries!

The first-ever documented use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes goes back to 2737 BC, when Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung  used cannabis-infused tea to aid with a variety of ailments including memory, malaria, rheumatism and gout. Cannabis has since been known to have been used in Europe during the Middle Ages, and was quite prevalent in the Middle East, as it was highly valued  in this region of the world more than anywhere else during this period. The Cannabis plant is also well-suited  to this region as it grows very well in the Middle Eastern climate . However, the plant is not native to this area and it also remains unclear exactly  how it first arrived in the region.

What is CBD?

The question on everyone's mind is, what is CBD, and where does it come from? CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. This substance is the second most prevalent amidst the active ingredients of Cannabis Sativa . CBD is directly derived from the hemp plant; a variety of  the cannabis plant. While CBD is one of the 100+ components of marijuana, by itself, it does not cause the sensation of getting "high". This is because CBD consists of deficient levels (lower than 0.2%) of the substance responsible for intoxication, that is, Tetrahydrocannabinol - THC. A report issued by the World Health Organization  reported that "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD."

A common misconception seems to have formed, categorising Cannabidiol and Hemp to be the same. To further facilitate the confusion between the two, these products are also often falsely marketed to be the same product, which has stirred up confusion and a flurry of question marks in the 'green-rush' of the cannabis market. This fact is not entirely correct, however, yes, they both are derived from Cannabis Sativa, but they vary in terms of their chemical structures. The defining factor is not only their chemical compound but also that CBD and hemp are derived from separate parts of the cannabis Sativa plant.  Hemp leaves contain a high concentration of CBD and a very minimal concentration of THC, (only 0.2% in order for this product to be sold legally). 

Cannabidiol is extracted from the hemp or from marijuana which comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp plants are cannabis plants, which contain a percentage less than 0.2 of THC, the chemical compound responsible for inducing an intoxicated state. This chemical compound is present in higher concentrations in marijuana varieties of cannabis.

CBD is sold in various forms ranging from oils, serums, gels, gummies/supplements, extracts, and many more. It is a fascinating compound from a medical perspective because we have cannabinoid receptors all over our body. In our brain, in our heart, all over. CBD is a non-intoxicating chemical compound which has neuroprotective qualities. It interacts with the body through the endocannabinoid system that is a network of cannabinoid receptors in our body, which interact with other similar compound structures. This factor, in turn, produces healing effects on the mind as well as the body. There are primarily two types of cannabinoid receptors present in our body, CB1, which is found in the brain and CB2, which is present in the immune system.

Chronology of CBD

The use of CBD is not a recent discovery, as we previously mentioned; the cannabis plant was used for decades because of its medicinal properties, healing qualities and benefits in food. Dating back  thousands of years, people successfully identified ways to treat ailments, using the plant from which CBD oil is extracted.

Ancient Mongolia and Siberia

CBD use has been traced back to thousands of years ago, where in Mongolia and Siberia individuals grew and harvested Cannabis back in 12,000 BCE. Archaeologists believe that Cannabis Sativa was one of the first plants ever to be developed as well as harvested during the birth of agriculture. The agriculture of this plant was an essential part for the development of early civilisation. From the very start, the plant was used in almost all areas of life, such as food, building, medicinally, clothing, and for religious ceremonies too.

Archaeologists discovered evidence that oil and seeds from Cannabis plants were used as a source of food in China, dating back to 6000 BCE. While the Chinese used these plants for various purposes, its primary use was in their medicinal practices. The positive effects of this plant on people suffering from multiple ailments was noticed and studied further.

Emperor Shen-Neng is documented as the first known individual in history to use Cannabis for medicinal purposes, dating back to 2737 BCE. The CBD located in the plant vigorously treated pains the emperor experienced relating to both rheumatism and gout. As its benefits were identified, numerous treatments in ancient China began to involve the Cannabis plant.

Ancient records also explained how several parts of the plant could be used to heal or alleviate various medical issues. For example, the ground roots could heal clots and infections, while a different part of the plant could treat stomach pain and possibly even prevent hair loss. A Chinese book, Shu King, that dates back to 2300 BCE, describes the therapeutic use of Cannabis to treat a wide variety of chronic ailments, including menstrual cramps.

Ancient Asia and research on CBD

In China, research continued on the medical benefits of the Cannabis plant. By the year 140 AD, the Chinese had managed to develop a method to mix Cannabis with wine and use the concoction as an anaesthetic before surgical procedures. However, Chinese farmers already took the plant to Korea around 2000 BCE, where it was used as a form of medication.  Cultivation of the cannabis plant continued to spread throughout Asia, making its way into Europe and parts of Africa, where  its uses continued to develop.

CBD Oil Use in the Subcontinent

In the subcontinental region of India, starting between 2000 and 1000 BCE, people used the Cannabis plant for both religious ceremonies and annual, traditional celebrations. It was used as the main ingredient in a drink known as Soma, which is used in religious traditions. It was also included in Bhang, another drink used during festivals. Realising its healing properties, Bhang was also employed to treat various medical issues,varying from headaches to stomach ailments.

CBD in the Middle East and Islamic history

The most initial and recorded topical use of the cannabis plant was by the ancient Egyptians. They used Cannabis to relieve pain from inflammation as well as help with labour pains during childbirth. The ancient Egyptians additionally used Cannabis to treat sore eyes and cataracts. Another use of Cannabis was as a suppository to treat haemorrhoids. The Egyptians documented the medicinal use of the cannabis plant on scrolls that were interpreted to be from 2000 BCE.

The religion of Islam continued to grow in other parts of the world, and with it, the discovery and expansion of Cannabis and its multiple uses. Through continuous usage and experimentation, the Muslims realised it could be a great way to treat many medical problems, rendering Cannabis an integral part of traditional Arabic medicine from that point onwards.

Medieval Islamic medicinal practices in the Middle East were further advanced than medicinal practices in other parts of the world at that time. Medical research was shared by all people, not just those with wealth. As a result, it also continued its rapid development via word of mouth.

Islamic physicians furthered the medical discoveries that were made by ancient Greeks and Romans. This was done by obtaining and translating the records they had left behind and conducting further research. In addition to this, the Islamic physicians translated and expanded upon medical advancements that were made in the Far East. They wrote down detailed notes on medication, cures and diseases that had been discovered, as well as successful forms of treatment. These physicians also identified an important factor: that the cannabis plant contained compounds. Such compounds, they noted, made the plant useful as a diuretic, a painkiller, as well as a possible anti-inflammatory. They also discovered that it could additionally be used to treat stomach illnesses, fever and epilepsy.

The use and development of Cannabis compounds in medicine progressed throughout the Middle Ages. Islamic physicians in the Middle East strategically used the knowledge they already gained through other cultures to facilitate the expansion of Cannabis usage. These discoveries were carried over into the modern world, where the use of CBD oil eventually became identifiable and was researched to be extracted explicitly from the Cannabis plant.

Rise of CBD in the US

The first sign of an exclusive cannabinoid was when the British chemist RobertS. Cahn reported the partial structure of Cannabinol (CBN), which was later identified as a fully formed structure in 1940.

These studies later progressed as two years later,  Roger Adams, an American chemist, made history in the world of alternative medicine, when he successfully managed to isolate the first cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD). It is his research that holds the responsibility for the discovery of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Scientists had limited knowledge during the early stages of cannabis research. When it came to the cannabinoid structure, they possessed only a partial understanding of the biological composition that exists within the plant.

Due to this, early researchers could not accurately determine each compound and their respective effects.

In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, making it the first state to legalise medical marijuana.Within a few years, seven other states followed suit,  including:

  • Oregon, Alaska, Washington (1998)
  • Maine (1999)
  • Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado (2000)

With the legalisation of medical marijuana, patients in those states now possessed legal accessibility to Cannabis, and researchers could also expand their studies into cannabinoids, their medicinal properties and benefits. This propelled research into the potential benefits of CBD for the treatment of a variety of ailments varying from chronic pain, epilepsy, anxiety disorders and multiple neurodegenerative diseases.

Despite the stigma towards Cannabis beginning to shift, there are still many inconsistencies surrounding its legal status.  Also, due to CBD’s close relationship to the controversial plant, it was often confused with marijuana and judged under those same laws.

CBD in the UK

CBD is now rapidly spreading throughout Europe and has gained significant attention in the UK. CBD is accessible and attainable in the form of various products sold on the high street and online, including creams, oils, tinctures and edible treats such as gummy sweets. There are even CBD-infused pillowcases and yoga classes offering CBD-assisted guided meditation.

Benefits of CBD and how it is used today

Today, CBD is used to treat several types of ailments. CBD is popularly used in the form of oil, which is made by removing the CBD from Cannabis Sativa. It is added to a carrier oil, for example, coconut oil..

CBD-infused products have proven to be beneficial in multiple ways, be it for pain relief, treatment of acne, high blood pressure and anxiety. Social media influencers and beauty bloggers have flocked to provide their opinions and reviews on these organic alternatives and their benefits on skin cells. CBD's increased popularity stems from its anti-inflammatory effects. The most common skin disease and rite of passage for all the teenagers undergoing puberty is that of acne. If it is genetics to which we owe our blemished skin, then unfortunately,  acne is something we can't avoid even if we tried. However, CBD has proven to show excellent results on this skin condition, as it reduces the secretion in skin cells that produce fat. Its anti-inflammatory properties are packed with antioxidants that come to the rescue. These anti-inflammatory qualities are also facilitated by other properties which have been shown in multiple studies to reduce lipid product from the sebaceous glands.

Today, there are several ways to consume CBD that can be daunting and difficult when trying to explore your options or find the perfect product for you. It’s not just traditional balms and tinctures that allow you to reap the benefits of CBD; but also infused drinks, edible items, vapes and gummies!

One of the most popular products, and the one you're likely to have heard of even if you're new to the industry, is CBD oil. CBD oil is primarily a supporting oil, also known as a 'carrier oil' that is infused with CBD. CBD oils are simple, effective, and versatile, which is why they have become so popular. CBD oils can be applied sublingually (dropped under the tongue) and left for a few minutes to allow the CBD to absorb directly into the bloodstream. They can also be mixed into food and drinks or even applied topically, directly to your skin. When taken sublingually, CBD oils also have a high bioavailability (meaning a greater proportion of the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream) compared to other methods of absorption.

CBD has made its way into many other types of products too, including into skincare products designed for topical application. The beauty and skincare industry is one that never fails to follow the latest trends, and given that CBD is a hot topic right now, it is no surprise that a huge variety of CBD skincare, balms and creams have emerged. Indeed, Meghan Christensen of Forbes magazine has talked about the growing 'cannabeauty' movement, by giving a brief description of the top tier CBD beauty products of 2019. In her review, she talks about how the cannabidiol rush has definitely lit a spark in the ever-growing eco consumer market, as it encourages conversation amongst "eco-conscious consumers" igniting debates and discussions about all the unethical ingredients in products, thus exploring greener alternatives with organic healing properties, like CBD. Topical CBD products are applied and absorbed quite differently to other CBD products and are best suited to those looking to benefit from CBD's properties in a specific area, muscle or joint, or who are looking to incorporate CBD as part of a skincare routine.

In addition to oils and products designed for topical application, CBD can also be infused in edible and drinks products. Whilst these have a slightly lower bioavailability, as a result of having to pass through the digestive system, edibles are great if you want a slow-release effect when taking your CBD, or if you simply like combining it with a tasty treat! There are all kinds of edible products available, one of the most popular being the CBD gummy.

If you're not a fan of CBD oils or edibles, but you are looking to ingest and absorb CBD and don't want to apply it topically, CBD capsules might just be the option for you. Similar to edibles, CBD capsules have a slightly lower bioavailability but are perfect if you want to add CBD to your existing supplement routine.

Legalities of CBD

You must be concerned about the legality of CBD but let us reassure you; it is legal! CBD is readily obtainable and accessible in most parts of the United States. All 50 states have laws that legalise the use of CBD with different degrees of restriction. In 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government's position on CBD is confusing and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would make CBD difficult to prohibit. CBD in the UK, however, is an exception as it is completely legal in this region. However, there are conditions allowing this too, "provided it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved", or comes from outside the EU.

For CBD oil to be legalised in the UK, it needs to contain levels lower than 0.2% THC. The equivalent law in the US states that THC content should not exceed 0.3%. Cannabis oil, which has THC content, is not usually allowed in the UK.

The Future of CBD

As people turn to the alternative of medication that is herbal remedies to treat their ailments, it is inevitable that they will  cross paths with CBD oils. The positive effects of the plant that were initially documented by the ancient Chinese and were researched by the Islamic community in Arabic medicine still continue to be thoroughly observed and experienced by people in today's world. Individuals who turn to traditional means of Chinese medicine as a way of naturally alleviating medical problems have begun to greatly appreciate the effectiveness of CBD oils from the cannabis plant.

While the understanding of CBD has dramatically evolved over the years, the use of CBD still is not a completely normalised concept across the world. There are still many regulatory bodies and individuals who oppose  CBD usage and other  cannabis-derived compounds alike.

For CBD to reach its full potential, a need for more in-depth human-based research is required,  and greater awareness needs to be spread. While there may be some challenges ahead, the strength of the CBD community has shown remarkable promise, which is evident through its continued growth.

At Amphora, we believe in Vaping as the best mode of CBD consumption. This is because vaping is an extremely efficient, simple and mess-free way of taking CBD into your bloodstream so you can begin reaping its effects as quickly as possible. When inhaled, CBD enters your bloodstream via diffusion through the lining of the lungs. The effects of CBD can be felt as quickly as 15 minutes after inhaling. CBD in vapour form also has the highest level of bioavailability, which means the amount of CBD that is actually absorbed into your bloodstream, as opposed to being written off by other bodily processes. In our expert opinion, vaping CBD trumps all the other forms of consuming CBD, solely because of its convenient, speedy and uncomplicated nature.

About Amphora

Infused Amphora is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infused Products International UK Ltd. The company prides itself on blending the richness of the past together with modern quality assurance practices, in order to provide you CBD products at accessible prices. Infused Amphora was built on a foundation of people, authenticity, compliance, innovation and establishing a consumer experience that is unlike any other. Infused Amphora sells only the safest quality products and wants their customers to feel nothing but trust in their products and their accompanying benefits.

By purchasing any of Amphora's signature blends, you can enjoy the soothing benefits of a good dose of CBD, all while supporting an environmentally-friendly industry. As far as we are concerned, this is a win-win experience.

Certification and Lab testing

Infused Amphora believe in taking a holistic approach to the use and production of CBD products, which permeates every aspect of what they do! Amphora values transparency and consumer trust. For their products, QR codes are printed as well as Manufacture dates and Batch Identification numbers on all their CBD products so you can easily find lab testing for CBD products.

  • By scanning the QR code, using the batch number or the manufacturer’s date on the packaging of any Infused Amphora CBD vape oil cartridge, you can find the lab test results pertaining to that product.
  • Alternatively, you could search for the COA of the product you have purchased under CBD Lab Testing Results.

What is a Certificate of Analysis (COA)?

  • A certificate of analysis, or COA, is a certified lab report which provides information on the chemical contents of a product. Amphora products undergo rigorous testing by accredited independent laboratories to ensure that their CBD products meet their high quality standards.
  • Infused Amphora COA's consist of a list of cannabinoids, terpenes, potency and potential contaminants such as pesticides, solvent residue or heavy metals.

 

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Written by   Infused Amphora Team 

The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.  

Contributors  |  Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell 

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Angus Taylor    |    LinkedIn   IPI website
CEO Infused Products International Ltd.


IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of 
effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field. 

 

Dr Gaylord Wardell BSc, MD, FRCP    |     LinkedIn   IPI website  
Chair, Infused Products International Ltd., Science Advisory Board       



Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain managemen
t, medical practices and education.  Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.   

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Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.