CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in abundance in the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, a member of the cannabis sativa family. Classified as a phytocannabinoid due to its plant origins, it is one of over 100 cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plant. It’s recent meteoric rise in popularity in the health and wellness market is due to it’s ability to interact with our own Endocannabinoid system.
Whilst CBD is new to a lot of us, hemp shares a common history with many references to its cultivation on our island. One such example is the ‘Topographia Hibernica’. This record of the landscape and people of Ireland written by Gerald of Wales in around 1188 cites hemp production in Limerick. Hemp has been grown commercially for thousands of years throughout human history and at its height was one of the most highly traded commodities on the planet. It is a highly versatile plant from which a multitude of products can be derived. These include textiles, clothing, human and animal feed, biofuels and plastics, construction and insulation materials to name but a few.
It was not until the mid 1800s that cannabis started to gain some renown in western medical circles. This was the result of the highly accomplished, Limerick born physician, William Brooke O’Shaughnessy. While undertaking research in India he came across the plant which had been in use there both medicinally and recreationally for thousands of years. His groundbreaking research on the plant popularised it’s use in western medicine at that time, and paved the way for medicinal cannabis research. Despite the prohibition of hemp in the 1930’s, it’s use in the health and wellness sector has continued right up to it’s renaissance in recent years.
As the world reconnects with this miraculous plant, extensive scientific studies across a range of conditions have been and are continuing to be undertaken regarding the therapeutic potential of CBD and medicinal cannabis as a whole and we actively encourage our customers to conduct your own research into these exciting studies.