A Brief History of Hemp
The history of hemp stretches long and far back as 10,000 years ago. Carbon tests suggest that hemp was used for humanity as far back as 8,000 B.C. Hemp has been one of the most significant crops, with an average height of 10-15 feet. Hemp has a fibrous trunk that supports its weight.
Great Britain’s history indicates that hemp has been used since 800 A.D.(PDF). During the 16th Century, Henry VIII told farmers to grow as many hemp plants as possible to supply hemp fiber materials to the British Naval fleet.
Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa species and is primarily found in the Northern Hemisphere. The hemp plant has a higher level of CBD and has lower concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
How was the Hemp plant used?
Hemp was probably the earliest plant cultivated. Ancient people found this plant useful in various ways. For example, in Great Britain, hemp was used to construct battleships and their components.
Hemp in The East
China appears to have been the first to participate in hemp cultivation to use the plant in papermaking. In 150 BC, China produced the world’s first paper entirely from hemp. History shows that they also used the plant for medicinal purposes. They used the rest of the plant’s parts to prevent belly aches and hair loss.
In the modern day, hemp is used in various recipes due to its different benefits to humans. It is rich in amino acids and fatty acids, which are essential components of a diet.
Hemp has been used to produce oil for foods and is used in pet food. Extensively, hemp maintains healthy skin through creams and lotions that nourish and moisturize the skin. The fatty acids in hemp plants aid in the relief of dry, cracked skin.
Hemp Around The World
In the west, the Hemp plant was cultivated for textile fiber. The first pair of jeans, the oldest known fabric, and even the first American flags were made from hemp. Until the 1870s, hemp was used as fuel in many American households until petroleum was introduced. Hemp has also provided an alternative for plastic products.
Where is Hemp Legal?
Under the 2018 United States farm bill, commodity hemp production was federally legalized. The 2018 Farm Bill does not, by itself, change state hemp or hemp-derived CBD legality.
The Farm Bill leaves the responsibility to legalize hemp up to the states.
In China, hemp appears in cultivation for over 6,000 years. It is believed that the hemp plant made its way to Europe in approximately 1,200 BC. From Europe, hemp spread throughout the ancient world. France, Spain, and Chile have cultivated hemp for at least 700 years to the present day. Russia was a major supplier and grower of hemp for hundreds of years.
The Buddhist texts from the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. documents were composed of a mixture of bark and old hemp rags. Moreover, hemp seeds and flowers were recommended for a difficult delivery, joints aches, looseness, convulsions, sleeplessness, and more.
During the Middle Ages, hemp became a part of enormous social and economic value. Sailing ships relied on hemp rope(PDF), canvas, and oakum due to it being three times stronger than cotton and was resistant to saltwater.
Hemp was grown in North America long before the Europeans arrived. Over the years, hundreds of studies have been conducted on CBD as a profitable substance. However, the ban on growing hemp plants remained after World War II.
The World Health Organization (WHO) published a document on CBD (PDF) that showed that it is safe to consume with minor side effects. Since ancient times, hemp has had many benefits both for humans and animals. It is also interesting to know that the hemp plant’s seeds have a large variety of health benefits. Over time with more studies and scientific research done we can better understand and document the benefits of hemp.
More hemp facts:
- Thomas Jefferson invented a device for processing Hemp fibers
- In 1632, the Virginia Assembly issued a decree that forced all colonial farmers to grow hemp.
- George Washington grew Hemp.
- Hemp has excellent properties for making rope and sailing canvas.
There was an indigenous species known to Native Americans called Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum)