CBD Comes Full Circle
Cannabis was once a legitimate drug in the U.S. but that all changed in 1930 with Henry Aslinger, a long-standing government official under 5 presidents radicalized the plant. He was also the first ever director for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, so he probably felt he had to do something pretty big. Anti-weed propaganda sprouted everywhere, telling the public the once-recognized healing plant will make you crazy and psychotic. It was made illegal in 1937 and the CBD health benefits where hidden.
Fast forward 82 years from the federal criminalization, and in my hands is CBD oil derived from hemp. A term used interchangeably with marijuana but specifically, it’s the fibrous material of the plant used to make rope, fabrics and paper.
Cannabis Legal Timeline
Now from what I’ve read, marijuana has a very complicated legal history. I tried to make it as concise as I can in the timeline but it’s pretty hard. I think the two key driving forces to the banning of cannabis were:
- Racial tensions rising coupled with the mass immigration of the Mexican Revolution, where hundreds of thousands sought out America for a better life. Henry Anslinger was also an incredibly racist man, which I’m not sure you can put down to the times, but he said things like:
” Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers”.
To be honest, some of his quotes are too inappropriate but another ‘moderately insane’ thing he states:
” Marijuana is the most violent-causing drug in the history of mankind”.
These are truly crazy things to say, as people will do anything to boost their political agendas. Even though zero scientific research was done at the time, Anslinger claimed marijuana to have no medical benefits. The more propaganda you spread, eventually, the more people believe you. He influenced the production of Reefer Madness, a movie released in 1936 portraying the psychotic behaviours of marijuana users. You may eat your families faces if you touch the stuff!
You also include the fact America (and the world) was within the Great Depression. The worst economic crisis of all time leads White Americans looking for people to blame. It was quite convenient to blame African Americans and Hispanic immigrants. It seemed like being in the wrong place at the wrong time: the influx of Hispanics a decade prior seeking escape from the dictatorship were the unfortunate targets. They blamed the ethnic minorities, and the plant they were smoking.
- The second aspect was the push by Big Pharma. For example, in 1913, the first bill was passed in California to ban marijuana with the push from the Board of Pharmacy. The chemistry was advancing and a lot of opiates and painkillers were emerging, so the pharmaceuticals didn’t want to compete with a plant that’ll eat away at their profit margins. It’s quite ironic that California also became the first state to legalize medicinal cannabis in 1996.
Possible CBD Health Benefits for Me
I want to test out the CBD health benefits. I want to be clear what I’m using it for, as there are tonnes of uses for CBD and marijuana, including MS (multiple sclerosis), Alzheimers, epilepsy, seizures and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). I’m fortunate to have none of the above, along with many other chronic illnesses CBD and marijuana help with.
I want to see if it will help with my anxiety. Admittedly, this is something I’m taming now but it most certainly is present more so than I would like. I’m analyzing whether the CBD health benefits extend to anxiety relief in an overall healthy 25-year-old; FYI myself – to avoid confusion!
CBD Health Benefits Emerging in 2011
A huge turning point was Charlotte Figi’s case, a girl suffering from Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that caused her to have 300 seizures a week. There was a CNN show, WEED, by Dr Sanjay Gupta, released in 2013 showing the struggles for Mr & Mrs Figi and poor Charlotte. Here’s a link to the fascinating 2-hour documentary, but I warn you, some of it may be hard to watch.
At 5 years old, Charlotte tried CBD (in the oil-form) for the first time in 2012. The results were staggering. She had no seizures that very same day. Charlotte went from having 300 seizures per week to just ONE. Of course, the key thing to administering cannabis to a 5-year-old girl is you need to breed a plant with very little to no THC, and high in CBD. This is the only way a child will get CBD health benefits.
Unfortunately, at the time very few dispensaries would sell such strains, as it wasn’t popular or profitable. People weren’t in tune with CBD health benefits and would associate cannabis with purely getting high. Bear in mind this was nearly 8 years ago at the time of writing this. She now has her strain: Charlotte’s Web, a safe strain of cannabis for kids with epileptic seizures where they too can receive the CBD health benefits.
Safe Medical Marijuana
This is a hot topic when marijuana is available at dispensaries and hospitals, especially when prescribing to children. An advocate of marijuana, neurologist Dr Orrin Devinsky has witnessed psychotic children in emergency rooms due to excessive doses of CBD. Controlling the prescription of CBD mitigates the issue.
There is a lot more we can talk about regarding the CBD health benefits. For a start, the 2.3 million MS sufferers worldwide and Alzheimer’s patients. Studies have shown marijuana can slow down the buildup of the protein plaque in the brain, beta-amyloid. Moreover, it helps to tame the often violent mood swings and depression associated with Alzheimer’s. The sufferers feel less disorientated and can finally laugh again.
Of course, CBD and hemp need to be grown with safe levels of pesticides, chemical and mould residues. And strains high in CBD and negligible THC. In my opinion, this formulation is far superior to the myriad drugs that simply disorientate the child even more. A bunch of prescription pills have many side effects and in the case of Charlotte, left her in a debilitated state with stunted brain development. Not to mention the risk of overdosing, which has never happened with CBD or marijuana.
I’ll continue to document my progress on CBD health benefits, notably for focus, anxiety and sleep improvement. So far so good.