History of CBD and Cannabis: Cuba
Located in the Caribbean sea, Cuba has always been known for its more conservative bent towards the persistent issues of drug trafficking, nonviolent drug use, and legalization efforts.
In 2017, Cuba’s secretary of the National Drug Commission expressed huge concerns over the growing global trend of mass decriminalization and legalization. Antonio Ibarra stated gravely that Cuba had seized three times the amount of cannabis from traffickers compared to seizures in the same period the year previous.
Right now, Cuba occupies a delicate political position, especially since droves of Caribbean nations and territories have legalized cannabis. Cuba is committed to cooperating with United States governmental agencies in order to stem the flow of illicit cannabis into the island.
Cannabis, CBD, and Cuba
In the late eighteenth century, hemp was first introduced to Cuba to be used as a textile crop. At the time, hemp was known for its ability to form strong composites, wartime materials, breathable fabrics, and nutritious foods.
At first, many agriculturalists turned to hemp production since the plant could grow easily and quickly in many of the more humid parts of Cuba. However, farmers soon realized that sugar cane was much more lucrative since it was in higher global demand at the time. As such, Cuba never became a global producer of hemp products.
It’s believed that most Cuban cannabis originated from Mexico and mixed with local hemp strains. In the mid fifties, a surge of funding in educational institutions allowed for the island to explore the medical benefits of cannabis.
However, pressure from the United States soon killed any and all cannabis research initiatives world wide. For many decades, cannabis was treated as a highly dangerous, addictive substance that could be compared to meth, heroin, and cocaine.
Even today, Cuban officials still hold very hostile views towards cannabis legalization and decriminalization. The government has formed a bilateral task force with the Trump administration in order to put all cannabis bills on indefinite stasis.
Additionally, legalization efforts throughout the world have made Cuba much more hostile towards cannabis. Cannabis is still seen as an unmitigated force for social, societal, and economic degradation.
Even substances like hemp derived CBD have met widespread resistance throughout law enforcement. It’s not uncommon for enforcers to conduct raids on vendors that are marketing CBD-based treatments with absolutely zero THC content. This is because the current Cuban policy defines marijuana as any plant deriving from the cannabis genus, regardless of the intoxicating or addictive effect it could have on the user.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see Cuban officials shift their very committed stances any time soon. Widespread conservative influence and financial backing from the United States has gone a long way towards reducing the viability of a legal cannabis market.