Reefer Madness

Fascinating Facts About CBD and the History of Cannabis

What is CBD?

Rx Remedies, MultiCannabinoid, Sativa, Indica, Orange, Mint, 150mg/mLCannabinoids are complex chemical compounds that act on receptors in cells. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid produced by both the hemp and marijuana plant. Both hemp and marijuana are genera of Cannabis sativa, which makes them visibly identical. However, there is one significant difference between hemp and marijuana, and that is:

  • Marijuana grows with higher percentages of THC, which is what causes the feeling of being “stoned,” and lower percentages of CBD.
  • Hemp is the reverse, growing with higher percentages of CBD and lower percentages of THC.

Although cannabis has been used for thousands of years for food, medicine, textiles, and its intoxicating properties, it seems only in recent history that cannabinoids (sans THC) and terpenes have received global attention for their therapeutic properties. And why is that? If CBD is this magical compound that is all-healing, why have we only recently heard about it?

The Illegality of Cannabis: The Beginning

Harry J. Anslinger was a government official in the United States. He savagely supported prohibition and the criminalization of drugs and is often credited for establishing not only America's drug policies but also the policies of other influential nations.

Harry Anslinger

In 1930, he served as the first commissioner of the Treasury's Federal Bureau of Narcotics and held the position for an unprecedented thirty-two years. Although the Treasury pursued the illegal trade of alcohol and illicit drugs, its motivation was not public safety but the loss of untaxed income.

From Alcohol to Cannabis

Before the end of alcohol prohibition in 1933, Anslinger had vocalized that cannabis was not problematic. In fact, to the allegation that cannabis contributed to violence, Anslinger was quoted as saying, “There is probably no more absurd fallacy.” Yet, with the end of prohibition came the end of the Department of Prohibition, which Anslinger led.

To ensure job security, Anslinger needed a new substance to demonize, which led to his collection of questionable evidence depicting marijuana as a root cause for crime and violence committed explicitly by Mexicans and the black community.

Anslinger's attack on marijuana became even more impassioned through mass media, as he described the plant as a “deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it…” Anslinger's determined denigration of marijuana moved from the state level to a national movement, further supported by what he called the “Gore Files”, which were a collection of quotes from police reports, graphically illustrating 200 crimes committed by drug users.Marijuana Propaganda, Reefer Madness

However, researchers have now proven that 198 of the 200 crimes were wrongly attributed to cannabis, and the remaining two could not be disproven, only because there were no records that those crimes were ever committed.

Marihuana Tax Act and the AMA

Anslinger's pursuit of vilifying cannabis succeeded by 1937 when Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act. The American Medical Association (AMA) strongly opposed the act because the tax was placed upon the physicians prescribing cannabis, the pharmacists selling cannabis, and the cultivators/manufacturers of cannabis.

The AMA's opposition was based on the fact that there was no evidence proving marijuana led to addiction, violence, or overdoses. They further argued that because marijuana was an unknown term of the time, the medical profession at large was unaware they were losing access to cannabis. Moreover, the AMA stated this bill had been created in secret, without allotting the necessary time for an opposition bill.

Despite the AMA's protests, the bill passed, affecting not only the distribution and cultivation of marijuana but also of hemp by association. Shortly after that, mandatory minimum sentencing laws were enforced, resulting in first-time offenders (most often people of color) serving between two and ten years in prison.

The Controlled Substance Act

By the 1940s, scientists had disproven Anslinger's theories and unequivocally confirmed there was no correlation between marijuana and crime, violence, or insanity. Regardless, by 1970, cannabis was officially outlawed for medical or recreational use with the passage of the Controlled Substance Act, which stated marijuana (along with other drugs like heroin and mescaline) had a high potential for abuse with no medicinal purpose.

In the 1970s, a bipartisan commission recommended Nixon decriminalize marijuana, to which Nixon responded with the War on Drugs – a global campaign led by the United States government of drug prohibition and military intervention to reduce the illegal drug trade in the United States.

Nixon's Domestic Affairs Advisor, John Ehrlichman, was later quoted, “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people…We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did.”

This groundless attack on cannabis for the last hundred years has devastated families and communities through the blind incarceration of the very people our government was claiming to protect. That alone is unforgivable. But these laws also prevented the necessary research on the medicinal benefits of cannabis, which is why the healing properties of CBD have only recently been discussed on a national level.

Is CBD A Drug? What Happens If You Take CBD Every Day?

CBD Gummies - Broad Spectrum - RX RemediesCBD is a single compound derived from the cannabis plant. To date, the FDA has approved only one prescription drug using CBD. So, although some could say the FDA has confirmed the safety of CBD by association, the FDA has not yet confirmed all CBD products are drugs. The World Health Association states CBD is non-addictive, has no withdrawal symptoms, and has an excellent safety profile. Although CBD does interact with some medications, for most people, consistent daily use is entirely safe.

Does CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?

There are over 100 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, all of which provide their benefit. If a drug test is performed, and someone tests positive for marijuana, what they are testing positive for is the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol, which is more commonly known as THC. There is currently no known test for CBD or any of the other minor cannabinoids. That being said, if you are using a CBD product where a high percentage of THC is present, you can fail a drug test. If your career or scholarship is dependent upon you passing a drug test, here is what you need to know.

The legal limit of THC that can be present in a hemp-derived CBD product is 0.3% or less. By comparison, most marijuana flower has a minimum of 15% THC. So, although you will not feel “stoned” when consuming a product with 0.3% THC or less, depending on how your body metabolizes cannabinoids and how much of the product you are consuming, you can still potentially fail a drug test. If you cannot have even trace amounts of THC in your system, we recommend using a broad-spectrum product.

Many cultivators will advertise their smokable flower or concentrated oil is below the legal limit of 0.3% THC, which is pretty misleading. In these instances, you must also examine the percentage of THCA. If you are consuming smokable flower or concentrated vape oils, you need to know both the percentage of THC and THCA, and that's because when THCA is introduced to heat, it converts to THC. So, if a flower tests with 0.3% THC and 10% THCA, when you smoke it, you are now consuming 10.3% THC, which will result in a failed drug test.

Have more questions about CBD? Check out our other blog posts or contact us at

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