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What is CBD?

At Top Shelf Hemp Co. educating our customers is a large part of our mission. CBD has become a hot topic in recent years. Let's take a closer look at what exactly CBD is.

A Quick History

Decades of active prohibition may lead some to believe that the therapeutic benefits of CBD are recent revelations. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Evidence suggests that the first use of cannabis-derived medicine dates back to 2737 BC. Chinese Emperor Sheng Neng used cannabis-infused tea to assist with a host of issues including rheumatism, gout, malaria, and even improving his memory. Throughout history, cannabis has made its mark. We would have to wait over 4,500 years for human knowledge to begin to unravel the mysteries of the cannabis plant.

The credit for discovering Cannabidiol (CBD) goes to American chemist Roger Adams in 1942. While Cannabinol (CBN) had been identified two years earlier, Adams has the distinction of being the first to isolate a cannabinoid.

At the time because of their limited understanding of the cannabinoid structure, early scientists were unable to determine which compounds caused which effects. It took a year for researchers to determine the stereochemistry of THC, revealing the cannabinoids' direct relationship to the euphoric effects of cannabis. As a result, they were able to determine that CBD was not a mind-altering compound.

Over the next 80 years, CBD research was hindered due to its close association with the cannabis plant. The political policies of active prohibition slowed research to a crawl. Minor legal victories continued scientific interest in cannabis research, and a slow change in public opinion would help pave the way for the federal Farm Bill of 2018, legalizing hemp cannabis.

How is Cannabidiol Different from Marijuana?

Cannabidiol or CBD is the second most common active ingredient in cannabis. While CBD is an essential element in medical marijuana, commercially it is derived from the hemp plant. Many sources would lead you to believe that the hemp plant and marijuana are different species. This is not the case. From a scientific standpoint, the taxonomy of hemp and marijuana are identical. Breeding and cultivation are the major contributing factors in whether a cannabis plant is considered hemp or marijuana. This is why all legally grown commercial cannabis is lab tested. If a hemp plant exceeds .03% Delta 9 THC it is destroyed.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD is available across the United States. At the state level, it's legal status is contingent. Every state has its own laws and regulations regarding CBD. In the past the federal government's position on CBD has been confusing, placing CBD and marijuana in the same category of drug. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government legalized CBD products as long as products maintain less than 0.03% Delta 9 THC. Delta 9 THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis. It’s recommended you check state laws before purchasing CBD in your state.

The Science

CBD is being promoted by celebrities and athletes. You can find it being added to almost any product you can imagine. Top Shelf Hemp Co. is prohibited from making any health claims. Below is a link to an archive of professional research studies from 1980-2019, where you can make your own informed opinion.

Wrap Up

CBD has a fascinating history. Consuming CBD certainly has its benefits. It's advisable to check your local and state law for any new developments. Continue educating yourself on cannabinoids, and check out when you're ready for a more first-hand experience.

*Top Shelf Hemp Co. makes no health claims about CBD-Cannabidiol. Everything expressed in this blog post is based on the opinion of the author and information sourced online.


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