How Was Hemp Oil Discovered?

How Hemp Oil Was Discovered

Cannabis is as old as time, and is one of the oldest medicinal plants. Today, we’ll be looking at the origin of hemp oil, including it’s true historic origin as well as its modern day scientific emergence.

Use in Ancient and Recent History Medicine

Hemp oil dates back to 2737 BC, with Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung using cannabis tea to help treat various ailments. Many of the issues are ones we still use hemp oil for today – like memory, focus, chronic illnesses, inflammation, and pain!

The first-ever published study on hemp oil was written by William B. O’Shaughnessy in 1839. The Irish doctor and researcher looked into cannabis’ therapeutic effects and potential medical applications. In the late 1800s and very early 1900s, it’s believed that Queen Victoria used hemp oil for her menstrual cramp pains.

Early Scientific Research on Hemp Oil

Robert S. Cahn, a British chemist, reported the structure of cannabidiol in 1940, and it was the first actual discovery of an individual cannabinoid. In 1942, American chemist Roger Adams successfully isolated hemp oil. His research later went on to discover THC, as well! Adams may not have realized it at the moment, but his discoveries of prominent cannabinoids’ structures were monumental. During early research, however, scientific limitations meant that researchers weren’t sure which cannabinoid was causing which effects.

In 1963, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam identified the stereochemistry of hemp oil, which involves how the molecules of hemp oil sit in relation to one another. He later went on to do the same for THC. Using this information about the 3D structure of the cannabinoids, he discovered that THC was responsible for the mind-altering effects.

Dr. Mechoulam performed a study in the 1980s on epileptic patients, giving eight people 300mg of hemp oil daily. Within a few months, half of them had a decreased number of seizures. The other half? Had no seizures at all.

Hemp Oil From the 1980s to Now

Unfortunately, Dr. Mechoulam’s discovery went largely unnoticed because of the American stigmatization of cannabis. Even though hemp oil didn’t have the same effects as THC, any breakthrough research was not popularized. Around a decade later, the endocannabinoid system was discovered. The endocannabinoid system is the part of your body that responds to cannabinoids – both those in cannabis as well as endogenous cannabinoids, or the ones your body naturally makes. With the research on the endocannabinoid system’s receptors, hemp oil became a hot topic again. Throughout the 1990s, eight states legalized medical marijuana: California, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Maine, Hawaii, Nevada, and Colorado.

Hemp Oil: cannajoy’s Favorite Discovery

Once legalized for medicinal purposes, researchers were able to more freely conduct studies on its effects, giving us all of the incredible information we have about cannabis now. Following success stories, including Charlotte Figi, hemp oil became regarded as a great medicinal tool, and is now available without a prescription. While overall cannabis legalization is still contested in many states, Dr. Mechoulam’s discoveries on hemp oil’s non-psychoactive properties have swayed the public, leading to its current use in mainstream supplemental medicine!


Hemp oil is one of cannajoy’s favorite discoveries – for obvious reasons! Over time, we’ve perfected the hemp oil growing and manufacturing processes, which is how we’re able to share our all-natural, organic, and healthy hemp oil with you today. Shop our range of hemp oil options online now, including full-spectrum and broad-spectrum variants of some of our most popular products!

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