We mentioned back in July that two American scientists isolated and identified CBD in 1940, but after that no one showed any interest for the best part of a quarter of a century. In 1963 the Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam and his team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem looked again at the chemical composition of cannabis.
They were fascinated by what they saw in early studies, and they began using a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (in essence, an enormous electromagnet) to determine the exact structure of, firstly, cannabis, and then, CBD.
There was a lot of international co-operation; the Americans made the fine details of their research freely available to their Israeli colleagues. The work was too expensive for the university to carry out on its own, so it approached their government. The Israeli government funded an innovative programme, called Breath of Life for “cannabis-based altruistic medicine.” Several commercial operations – particularly in the USA – began to fund their own scientific research about a decade ago, but without that government policy and the cash, it is highly unlikely that CBD would be as widely recognised for its medicinal properties as it is today.