CBD, THC, and the History of Hemp

There was a time when the cannabis industry was, well, only focused on cannabis. High-THC this, high THC-that, dank this, edible that. Recreation was the industry’s focus, and many people assumed it’d always be.

But now the pendulum has swung back, and things seem to be going in a very different direction. Another cannabis compound called CBD is taking off, and this one is unusual. Unlike THC or most other cannabinoids, it doesn’t get one high.

CBD: An Age-Old Solution

ancient history book the vedas

CBD draws popularity from its ability to get one healthy. The projections for this popularity? 22 Billion in annual sales by the year 2022, which would see CBD outpace ‘marijuana’ and become the most sought after cannabis product.  

In our opinion, there’s no need to be surprised about this; the direction things are moving in is actually the most logical one! That’s because hemp-derived CBD isn’t anything new — in fact, it’s as old as agriculture itself. The hemp plant has a 10,000-year track record as everything from building material to herbal remedy, while THC has really only been the rage for the last couple hundred. Let’s take a closer look at why that might be.

CBD, the Endocannbinoid System, and Ancient Wisdom

endocannabinoid system

CBD, or THC…which one’s healthier? Nature gives us some hints. Within the cannabis plant, genes that code for CBD and its production enzymes appear to be much older than genes that correspond to THC. It almost seems like high-THC cannabis is more of a human invention than a natural one.

And while it’s true that THC makes CBD work better, it’s also true that not much THC is needed for this entourage effect to kick in. From a biochemical perspective, even the smallest amount of THC is enough to work with CBD to ‘unlock’ endocannabinoid receptors and let endogenous signaling molecules do their job.

When the endocannabinoid system (ECS) gets unlocked and activated, good things happen. Common effects of ECS health include better sleep, more calm, less inflammation, and a greater sense of wellbeing.

These scientific findings make it easier to appreciate the wisdom of ancient cultures, who tended to use much more CBD than THC. There were a few reasons for this: for one, the cannabis plants available back then paled in comparison to today’s ultra high-THC cultivars.

Even when the ancients did take more concentrated amounts of cannabinoids, they did so only occasionally. Kief and other natural concentrates were used mostly within the content of structured religious ceremonies. Could it be that THC use still deserves that kind of intention—  that it was never meant to be so, well, recreational?

Cannabidiol = A Can-Do Attitude

If you need to focus and get things done, THC may not be the best option. It’s great for relaxing, yes…but so is CBD. There’s actually some evidence that most of cannabis’ relaxing nature comes from its terpene content, and CBD, not its THC. Hemp that is grown correctly (and CBD oil that’s processed correctly!) can contain plenty of terpenes, too. Plus, its high CBD content has been linked to higher motivation and mental clarity.

From a productivity standpoint, the differences between CBD and THC are pretty obvious, at least to those who’ve had both. The reason for these differences also points back to evolution: because THC is a ‘newer’ molecule, the human body hasn’t had much time to develop ways to metabolize it quickly.

Just like anything else that’s gotten out of balance, imbalanced cannabinoid intake can have large impacts on the finely tuned human body. Chronic THC overconsumption has been linked to forgetfulness, scattered thoughts, or even mood imbalances. Thankfully, CBD may be the antidote.

CBD…For Everyone?

CBD also appears to be safe and non-toxic for people of all ages. The same can’t be said of THC, which may carry some negative side effects in children whose brains are still developing. And while we don’t outright recommend CBD for kids, you can’t deny the amazing results young epileptic patients are getting from the plant!

Hemp might just be the plant of the future…and it’s definitely the plant of the past. With the CBD industry booming, hemp’s health benefits are more readily available to us today than ever before. Ancient cultures realized this centuries ago, and now things are coming full circle.