Meet Martin A. Lee, the author and activist behind the CBD revolution.
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Martin A Lee helped introduce CBD to the medical cannabis world. Now he’s telling the history behind the substance.
Lee: ‘It has really changed the whole conversation about medical cannabis. Where, previous to the advent of CBD, or the reappearance of CBD, really, the discussion was about, ‘Is this for real? Does this really work, this medical cannabis? Isn’t it just people wanting to get high and using it as an excuse?’ Well, once CBD is part of that, you can’t—that conversation changes, because no one’s using CBD to get high.’
Martin A. Lee is a California-based author and activist In 2012, his book ‘Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana’ was published. Lee is also the co-founder and director of Project CBD, a nonprofit established in 2010 that promotes research into the medical uses of CBD and components of cannabis plant.
‘We were the first group, actually, to advocate to the medical marijuana community in California about CBD. We were involved in introducing CBD, both physically, the plants, and in terms of education to emphasise that there are other options besides the THC orientation—the ‘get high’ orientation—for medical cannabis. We were instrumental in introducing CBD into the medical marijuana world in California 10 years ago, and it spread from there.’
CBD can now be found just about everywhere, from CBD-infused vanilla lattes to CBD- infused cheeseburgers. But that wasn’t always the case.
‘It was really only scientists talking to each other, describing what happens when pure CBD, single molecule CBD was given to mice. And the reports were jaw dropping, the implications. And the immediate thought was, well, wow. If people could have this, this could really be something. As that began to catch hold, word spread outside of California. There were some reports very early on that it was good for epilepsy, particularly for children.’
Lee says that in 2013 the potential benefits of CBD really entered the national spotlight with the CNN special ‘Weed', which focused exclusively on CBD and significantly changed public discourse
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