A Brief History of Cannabis in America

Why CBD & Cannabinoids Work for your Patients

Cannabis in America. Few topics gather so much interest from so many diverse groups.

Before we start let’s start with a quick definition of Cannabis. There is a lot of confusion and misuse of the term. Cannabis, (genus Cannabis), is a genus of medicinal, recreational, and fiber plants belonging to the family Cannabaceae.

Humans, being incredibly skillful, have used selective breeding to maximize the cannabis plant for two distinct purposes:

1. Hemp has been bred for maximize fiber for clothing, rope, animal feed, shelter.

2. Marijuana has been bred to maximize the psychedelic THC content and get “high” for relaxation and religious festivals.

Hemp and Marijuana are simply two breeds of Cannabis, just as Labradors and German Shepherds are breeds of Canine while broccoli and cauliflower are breeds of Brassica Oleracea.

In this article, Stirling Professional will be focusing on the Industrial Hemp Plant – which was legalized for production with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Legalization of Marijuana is a different topic for a different time.

Hemp in Early America

The views of the hemp plant are changing quickly in America. The views are actually reverting back to how our founding fathers thought of cannabis.

“Wait a minute – That is sacrilegious” some may say “What do our founding fathers have to do with Cannabis?”  The short answer is…. our founding fathers loved Hemp.

How do we know this? Here are a couple quotes:

1. Make the most of the Indian Hemp and sow it everywhere – George Washington[1]

2. Growing hemp is of utmost importance to the nation – Thomas Jefferson[2]

3. We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption – John Adams[3]

The founding Fathers knew that Hemp production and its many uses as cloth for sails, rope for ships, and fiber for shoes would make America stronger through its use in peace and in war.

So – what happened to Americans perception of hemp/cannabis between the founding of our nation and now?


After the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Mexican immigrants flooded into the U.S., introducing to American culture the recreational use of marijuana. The drug became associated with the immigrants, and the fear and prejudice about the Spanish-speaking newcomers became associated with marijuana. Anti-drug campaigners warned against the encroaching “Marijuana Menace,” and terrible crimes were attributed to marijuana and the Mexicans who used it.[4]

The panic over cannabis use went nationwide, and as a result congress passed the Marihuana (sic) Tax Act of 1937 – which effectively made possession or transfer of all cannabis (marijuana & Hemp) illegal throughout the United States under federal law, excluding medical and industrial uses, through imposition of an excise tax on all sales of hemp. This is a case where legislatures did not consider the differences between hemp and marijuana.

Interestingly enough, after the Philippines fell to Japanese forces in 1942, the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Army urged farmers to grow hemp fiber.  US Govt issued cultivation tax stamps to farmers. Without any change in the Marihuana Tax Act, over 400,000 acres of hemp were cultivated between 1942 and 1945. The last commercial hemp fields were planted in Wisconsin in 1957.[5]

After 50 years of State and Federal Criminality, in 1996 California became the first state to permit legal access to and use of botanical cannabis for medicinal purposes under physician supervision with the enactment of the Compassionate Use Act.

Early Legalization & The Endocannabinoid System (ECS):

Now we know what that the definition of hemp is – and we know that it was made federally legal in 2018, the next question is – so what? What does this matter to my practice?

To answer that question – Let me explain the endocannabinoid system. Discovered in 1992 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Dr. Lumir Hanus along with American researcher Dr. William Devane discovered the endocannabinoid anandamide. The discovery of these receptors resulted in the uncovering of naturally occurring neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids.

Your body actually has cannabinoid receptors, and a complete functional system, that has cannabinoids as its’ main component – just like blood is the main component in your circulatory system.

Endocannabinoids (eCBs) and their receptors are found throughout the human body: nervous system, internal organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. The ECS system has a homeostatic role, having been characterized as “eat, sleep, relax, forget, and protect.

University studies have been conducted quantifying cannabinoid effects on pain conditions including neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and mixed chronic pain. Fifteen of the 18 included trials demonstrated a significant analgesic effect of cannabinoids compared with placebo. Cannabinoid use was generally well tolerated; adverse effects most reported were mild to moderate in severity. Overall, evidence suggests that cannabinoids are safe and moderately effective in neuropathic pain with preliminary evidence of efficacy in fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.[6]

The U.S. Govt Patent on CBD

Just a few years after the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, the U.S. Govt poured millions of dollars on research on cannabinoids – resulting in a U.S. patent. Yes…the US Govt. holds a patent on cannabinoids. Patent #6630507[7] was issued to the United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services.

What does that patent say? Directly quoted from the US Patent Office “Cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.” [8]

So – it says some amazing things. Please be clear that I am not making these claims (nor should any Chiropractor), I am simply referring to the US Patent office website.

Also note the patent was issued in 2002, while the entire cannabis family was still considered a Schedule 1 Drug – meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.[9]


The history of cannabis in America is fascinating, and it is far from over. Currently, hemp derived CBD / cannabinoids are Federally legal in all states, as long it has less than .3% THC (Delta 9) by weight.

In addition, many states have approved medical or recreational marijuana (see below). [10]

It will be interesting to see how the Federal Govt. reacts in the near future, but we do know one thing, it will be fun to watch.

About Stirling Professional CBD

Stirling Professional is a trusted brand developed solely for Chiropractors and Professional Offices. Now in over 100 Chiropractic offices nationwide. Since 2014, Stirling has grown, extracted, and produced the purest CBD available.

We have an industry-leading lineup of sleep solutions, 2500mg CBD Lotions, and THC & THC Free Capsules. We commit to running an efficient organization – and we bring AFFORDABLE solutions to your patients.

Compare our products, quality, and pricing against anyone, and you will quickly notice the Stirling Professional difference.

Joe Kryszak – MBA



(800) 201-2840 (ext 2)

[1] https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/farming/washingtons-crops/george-washington-grew-hemp/

[2] https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/hemp

[3] https://libquotes.com/john-adams/quote/lbk7u8g

[4] https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dope/etc/cron.html#:~:text=After%20the%20Mexican%20    Revolution%20of,newcomers%20became%20associated%20with%20marijuana

[5] “David P. West:Hemp and Marijuana:Myths & Realities”. Naihc.org. Retrieved March 9, 2011.

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312634/

[7] https://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

[8] https://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

[9] chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Marijuana-Cannabis-2020_0.pdf

[10] https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/cannabis-legalization-states-map-831885e

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