Cofounder and director of Project CBD, an educational nonprofit that reports on cannabis science and therapeutics, Martin A. Lee is also the author of Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana—Medical, Recreational and Scientific (2012) and Acid Dreams: A Social History of LSD—the CIA, the Sixties and Beyond (1985).
How did you get interested in CBD?
I heard about it as a journalist attending and covering science conferences. I started writing about cannabis—the medical marijuana phenomenon—when I moved to California. I was drawn into it mainly from a civil rights/social justice perspective. Why are people still being busted if this is legal and for medical use?
It was a whole universe that opened up, which I had no idea about at all. So I started to focus on cannabis science and therapeutics, rather than just the raids by the police and that kind of thing, which was what initially drew me into writing about cannabis. It kind of changed course.
But what specifically sparked your interest in cannabidiol?
I would hear about CBD from scientists at these conferences. Steep Hill, the first lab that emerged to service the medical marijuana community, was able to identify both THC and CBD levels in the various