History of CBD and Cannabis: Chile
With the highest per capita cannabis use in Latin America, Chile has had a long history with local consumption, trade, and marijuana cultivation throughout the country.
Even though cannabis is considered illegal for public consumption and production, private use at home is technically allowed.
Cannabis, CBD, and Chile
As early as 1545, hemp production became one of the primary agricultural economies throughout the Quillota Valley in Chile. At the time, hemp was primarily used to support army and naval efforts, since the fibrous plant could be fashioned into long lasting composites.
Additionally, hemp was used as a nutritious food source and some evidence suggests that it played a large role in traditional healing ceremonies.
Chile had the unique ability to produce a huge volume of hemp, as opposed to the competing nations of Peru, Mexico, and Colombia. Due to the humid climate and rich coastal access, Chile could mass produce hemp that could be shipped worldwide to fulfill a number of purposes.
Cannabis use started to become widespread among Chilean youth in the forties. During that time period, American sailors visited Chile to explore brothels in large port towns. They would frequently smoke marijuana while traveling in the area, which caused the activity to become popular among many towns.
Marijuana use only expanded in the sixties and seventies as hippies traveled to parts of South America en masse. This caused the Ministry of Education to conduct studies about the prevalence of marijuana use; around this time, it was estimated that nearly 60 percent of Chilean high schoolers had used cannabis at least once.
American efforts to slow down illicit international drug trade slightly stemmed the flow of cannabis throughout Chile. Although cannabis use was still very widespread, rates among youths under the age of eighteen has diminished sharply throughout the nineties.
In the early 2000s, reports by the University of London have concluded that around 40 percent of Chileans have tried cannabis while only 48.2 percent support its full legalization. However, less than 6 percent of residents believe that marijuana poses any serious health risks, which is a significantly diminished amount from any other Latin American country.
The government is currently working on passing broad legalization and decriminalization acts. Now, consumers are able to buy CBD oil from any licensed vendor.
Additionally, a 2015 bill now allows for medical patients with qualifying conditions to grow up to six plants in their own home. The bill is one of the most lax in Latin America, especially since it includes provisions for spiritual use.