CBD: Where it Began

Although CBD Guernsey (CBD.gg), was the first of its kind for the island, the compound has a long and interesting history. Here at Guernsey CBD we took a look back at how it first came about.


The First Steps: From the 40s to the 60s


CBD was isolated from cannabis extract for the first time by a team of investigators in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois.


Despite their achievement, no other expert took a real interest in this research for another 20 years. Then in 1963, a chemist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Raphael Mechoulam, determined its exact structure.

The following year his research group made further achievements, they;

  1. Isolated THC for the first time
  2. Synthesised both cannabinoid compounds


Their groundbreaking work opened up a new field of research into the pharmacological behaviour of cannabis’s components.


Therapeutic use studies begin: The 1970s


In 1973 a group of Brazilian scientists made the claim that CBD may reduce or potentially prevent convulsions caused by epilepsy in animals. An effect they demonstrated at the end of the decade on patients suffering from neurological disorders – however, the results of which were not conclusive. Only a year later in 1974, researchers discovered that CBD functions as an anxiolytic. <link to glossary article>


Through the middle of the 70s other clinical tests were run to explore additional medical areas, the results of which demonstrated that the compound may reduce nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It was at this time that the potential sedative effects of the chemical were also found.


CBD’s Relationship with Psychosis and Anxiety: The 80s and 90s


The following two decades saw interest in CBD decrease, nevertheless, some important breakthroughs were still made.


This time it was Brazil that continued to make way in the field, in 1980 they conducted a small study on which Mechoulam collaborated, and was one of the first to reveal that CBD may reduce convulsions in patients with epilepsy.


Later work, in 1982, described the potential effects that CBD may have on antipsychotic effects. The authors gave a group of healthy volunteers the compound and saw that it inhibited symptoms such as altered perception, depersonalisation, and the refusal to communicate with others. However, it wasn’t until 1995 that a clinical test was run that saw patients using the compound.


Experts truly began to consider its potential therapeutic potential in 1988, when scientists discovered the body’s endocannabinoid system. This opened the door to new studies in different medical areas.


At the end of the 90s researchers at the National Institutes of Mental Health, revealed that CBD could have cellular antioxidant properties, which could be potentially beneficial to those with Parkinsons and Alzheimers.



CBD and Autoimmune Diseases: The 2000s


The first decade of the millennium saw more promising studies carried out regarding the therapeutic potential of CBD. The research centered on two areas: its effect on immune system cells and its anti-inflammatory/calming properties.


These studies looked into the compounds effects on rheumatoid arthritis, the development of tumours and chronic neurological pain, thanks to its immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties.


Despite research being hampered by legal restrictions,there have been dozens of studies carried out over the last ten years into CBD’s effects in people suffering with;

  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Schizophrenia
  • Cancer


One study published in 2011, by scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, explained their findings that CBD may impede metastasis in cancerous cells.


To this day scientists and experts continue to research CBD, its properties and its effects on the human body and brain.