Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

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CBD History: The Past, Present And Future Of Using CBD

Many people assume that CBD is a rather new and innovative supplement, but CBD history actually goes back much further. Actually, scientists first isolated and began to research the effects of cannabidiol in the 1940s.

Many people assume that CBD is a rather new and innovative supplement, but CBD history actually goes back much further.

Actually, CBD as we know it today has been around for more than half a century. Let’s take a look at this chemical compound’s interesting history since it was first discovered and the journey it had to go through to become what it is today.


The first person who was successful in extracting CBD from the Cannabis sativa plant was a chemist who graduated from Harvard university, Roger Adams. However, when Adams first managed this in 1940 he wasn’t aware that he succeeded in extracting a chemical compound and didn’t even know what he had done. Years later, Adams and other scientists realized what he had done and started researching the possible benefits of CBD.

Most people consider CBD oil a modern discovery, but CBD history stretches back to the 1940s.

Most people consider CBD oil a modern discovery, but CBD history stretches back to the 1940s.

Modern CBD history begins in 1946, when Dr. Walter S. Loewe conducted the first CBD test on lab animals. These tests gave proof that CBD doesn’t cause an altered mental state. That same year Dr. Raphael Mechoulam identified CBD’s three dimensional structure and that’s why he’s often credited as the scientist who discovered CBD. Further research continued in the 1960s on primates and finally, the first CBD oil meant for therapeutic use was released by the British Pharmacopoeia.

In the next few decades, the research continued. In 1980, Dr. Mechoulam made another breakthrough in CBD history when he ran a study which showed cannabidiol could be a key factor in treating epilepsy.


Today, the stigma surrounding CBD is starting to disappear as people are finally beginning to see its true potential.

Although CBD supplements and products are legal in all 50 states, there are cases in which it isn’t legal. The main factors in regards to its legality depends on a number of important factors determined by each specific state. The one crucial factor across all states is in relation to where the CBD is derived from, marijuana or hemp.

Even though CBD supplements made from industrial hemp are legal in all 50 states, there have still been some legal challenges. Major progress happened in 2014 when Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin passed laws legalizing CBD for medical purposes. It’s also legal as a supplement in the UK and many other countries around the world.

Today, CBD is used to relieve symptoms of numerous conditions, from anxiety and mental illness to chronic pain.

When it comes to healing, people use products such as CBD oil, CBD water and various CBD lotions to try and treat pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, stress and other illnesses. It’s commonly used by athletes to help relieve their bodies after workouts and performances, by people suffering from mental illnesses to calm their symptoms down and many others. Some people even replace classic painkillers and other medication with CBD products, claiming that they have a better effect and treat their symptoms quicker with little to no side effects.


Nobody can know for sure what the future will bring but we can always be optimistic.

Since more and more people are seeing the benefits of CBD and hemp, it looks increasingly likely that hemp will be fully legalized in the U.S. soon. Scientists are still researching CBD and conducting experiments that reveal its beneficial uses. For now, it’s been discovered that CBD may be beneficial for treating arthritis, insomnia, epileptic seizures, diabetes and many other illnesses.

There are many organizations that are lobbying for the total legalization of hemp and they just might succeed.




The market is getting saturated with many different CBD brands. We’ve compared the top brands to help you with your decision. Check it out.

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Teaching Kids About Hemp With Callie Cannabis & Friends (VIDEO)

Two innovative parenting guides make teaching kids about hemp and cannabis simple. Watch our interview with Juliette Benz and Kris Morwood, the co-authors behind Callie Cannabis and Hana Hemp, two books that include everything from hemp history to safety tips.

Two innovative parenting guides make teaching kids about hemp and cannabis simple.

Juliette Benz and Kris Morwood created Callie Cannabis and Hana Hemp to help with this complicated topic. Blair Barbour, an internationally recognized artist, joined the team on “Hana Hemp.” Each book focuses on a different aspect of the cannabis plant from a child-friendly perspective.

We met Benz and Morwood at the NoCo Hemp Expo where they offered a hemp arts and crafts area. Young visitors and the young at heart had a blast making bracelets and other simple jewelry from hemp.

These books are designed to replace years of fear, stigma and misinformation about cannabis. “Callie Cannabis” helps parents explain the overall benefits of cannabis and how it can be used. “Hana Hemp” focuses on teaching kids about hemp and its ancient history. The books gently address the war on drugs by helping kids understand why some people still fear cannabis. Callie also offers some safety tips for keeping cannabis and hemp edibles in the home but out of reach of kids.

Hana Hemp and her friend Callie Cannabis help parents teaching kids about hemp and cannabis.

Hana Hemp and her friend Callie Cannabis help parents teach kids about hemp and cannabis. In this illustration, Hana Hemp inspects a hemp plant. (Callie and Friends)

Morris Beagle, co-founder of the NoCo Hemp Expo, is also a fan of Callie and Hana.

“Kids need to be taught the truth about cannabis/hemp from an early age,” Beagle said. “The truth is cannabis is the best plant ever.”

Don’t miss our other coverage of NoCo Hemp Expo, including a jetpack launch!

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Eradicating Cannabis In Kansas: A Lost History Of Hemp Uncovered

Many people don’t know that hemp was studied at great length in agriculturally-based states like Kansas. What better location to research crops than one of the largest remaining prairie ecosystems in the world?

Many people know government agencies and private companies influenced the prohibition of cannabis and industrial hemp.

However, something many do not know is that hemp was studied at great length in agriculturally-based states like Kansas. What better location to research crops than one of the largest remaining prairie ecosystems in the world?

Ironically, since Kansas was one of the last places to end hemp prohibition, what ultimately matters most was who funded and guided those studies that helped make it illegal in the first place. Historical information I recently uncovered shows that institutional proof exists about the importance of industrial hemp in Kansas, and why its reintroduction is crucial for numerous reasons.

Farmers care deeply about the environment and decisions are based on markets, therefore understanding these lessons of our past are more important now than ever.

For decades, America’s Heartland was a large contributor to the hemp industry. In fact, according to a state agriculture report, Kansas even ranked first in the U.S. for bushels per acre in 1863. But then, during the beginning of the war on drugs, hemp was banned along with psychoactive cannabis, a.k.a. marijuana.

cannabis in Kansas, a historic image

An illustration of a hemp grower in Kansas harvesting a crop, circa 1901.

Despite prohibition, hemp simply refused to disappear from the Kansas landscape. When I was young, my father told me he participated in a project studying eradication methods of wild hemp in Riley County while earning his biology degree at Kansas State University during the 1970s. After searching for the report on and off for years, I finally found the work my father participated in, along with two others in September of 2017.


While citations can be found on the internet, full versions are restricted except by going through thousand-dollar paywalls requiring login information. After a challenging process, complete with archivists looking through original documents in a vault and sending them electronically, within a couple weeks I had one of the only (if not the first) digitized copies of “Identifying and Controlling Wild Hemp (Marijuana).”

What I found was that these reports helped legitimize the “war on drugs,” which forced millions of people into incarceration, in addition to justifying the use of taxpayer dollars for entering farmers’ lands to eradicate a plant. These efforts however, were not based on thoroughly-vetted evidence. When looking closely, the research projects benefitted competing industries because they were directly funded by chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers. The authors also gave acknowledgements to the state’s Marijuana Control Steering Committee.

Plus these studies originated from and referenced medical research, even though the intended purpose was agriculture-based. Much of the wording reflected what the aforementioned influencers wanted to categorize the plants as a single, weed-causing infestation that had to be eliminated (since embracing it would decrease their profits and those of other industries like cotton and wood paper).

These conflicts of interest in our country’s hemp history can no longer be ignored by environmentally-conscious farming communities. One of the most important and damaging of all findings claims a farmer could either practice deep plowing, which we know now is economically inefficient, and damaging to soil health. The only other option required farmers to use tons of chemicals “without disturbance of the soil profile.” The work also documented and even encouraged methods of eradicating “wild hemp” including harmful chemicals my father used that are known to cause fertility issues and even cancer, such as 2-4-D.

A final and crucial finding admits the varieties of cannabis that grow throughout Kansas are not only low in potency, but they do not fluctuate in cannabinoid content. This means authorities knew at the time of its ratification there was not an objective or scientific justification to outlaw hemp based on the sole argument that it was thought to be a drug — because of its agricultural origins, you simply could not use this hemp to get high.

An industrial hemp plant grows tall in a densely planted farmers’ field.


Thanks to modern genetics, it is becoming more commonly accepted that cannabis cultivated for medicinal or recreational purposes cannot be grown anywhere near industrial hemp, since cross-pollination is proven to always result in decreased potency. Variations between fiber and ‘drug’ types come in many forms, ranging from physical appearance and time of harvest, to expression of certain traits.

Taking into account limitations and biases during the early years of cannabis research, this data allows us to rediscover the importance of scientific integrity. Together we have the collective responsibility to identify and accept inconsistencies we find, and prevent the suppression of information that does not result in beneficial policies for our citizens or environment.

Farmers know industrial hemp grows well in many climates and requires fewer overall resources compared to other commodities like corn and soybean. Even as a rotational option to improve successive yields of other crops, hemp is proven to help in multiple aspects. Its cultivation promotes ways of regenerative and sustainable agriculture that are desperately needed, especially in places like Kansas after decades of depleting resources for irrigating water-intensive crops. Simultaneously, our soil and ecosystems need remediation from the damage of conventional farming practices.

Through embracing modern science to reduce harm and improve our environment, farmers are in a unique position to right the wrongs of the past. They can lead the way against unfounded restrictions, like the laws restricting hemp growing, that hold back progress for us all.

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