HISTORY OF HEMP

Hemp’s Humble Origins

HEMP ORIGINS IN HUMAN CIVILIZATION

The first traces of hemp were found in 8000 BC in Asia. The oldest remnants discovered to date are hemp cords used in pottery. Hemp seed and oil were used as food in China. Hemp was one of the first agricultural crops considering that human agriculture started 10,000 years ago.

KEY TO HUMAN CIVILIZATION
SPREADING ACROSS CONTINENTS

HEMP SPREADS ACROSS CONTINENTS

Throughout history, hemp continued to spread across civilizations.  Hemp material was found in Asia, Europe, Africa, and later in South America. Several religious documents ranging from Hinduism to ancient Persian religions also mention hemp as a “King of Seeds”. Throughout generations hemp was used for daily essentials such as clothes, ropes and paper.

OUR FOUNDING FATHERS LOVED HEMP

American farmers introduced hemp into their crops as early as 1606.  It was used across multiple different products, such as paper, lamp fuels, and ropes. In the 1700s, farmers were even legally required to grow hemp as a staple crop. George Washington grew hemp on his estate along with many other of the founding fathers.

FOUNDING FATHERS

Hemp Today & Hemp in The Future

The people and our government are realizing hemp’s potential to make a positive impact on our health, economy and environment.

THE COMEBACK FOR HEMP

In 2004 the U.S. allowed the import of dietary hemp products after being illegal for 30 years. Application of hemp started to diversify as artisans and small businesses imported hemp fiber for clothing and textiles in the new century. In 2007, two North Dakota farmers were granted hemp licenses—the first time in over 50 years. The Farm Bill signed into law in 2014 allowed more states and businesses to begin experimenting with hemp with the purpose of restoring this crop to American life. Ultimately, hemp became fully legalized in 2018, through the passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.
hemp comes back
HEMP MOVEMENT GROWS

THE HEMP MOVEMENT GROWS

The interest in products made from hemp especially CBD oil exploded when hemp was made legal.. In 2019 there were licenses given to grow 500,000 acres of hemp across 34 states. Less than half were actually planted and harvested. Farmers turned most of the hemp harvested in 2018 and 2019 into CBD oil or hemp extract. Consumers drove CBD sales to over $1 billion in 2019. Individual states continued to pass laws facilitating hemp growing, the production and sales of CBD supplements.

HEMP FACES NEW CHALLENGES & A PROMISING FUTURE

Even though the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, other challenges remain for the new U.S. hemp industry. USDA regulations suggest the DEA wants to retain control over many aspects of the industry. The CBD industry awaits regulations from the FDA. Banking, credit card processors, and tech companies often refuse to work with hemp companies. Even with these challenges more farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers are interested in hemp than ever before. A new infrastructure is growing to help farmers harvest and process their crops. 14% of Americans use CBD products according to a 2019 Gallup poll. The future looks bright for this beneficial multipurpose crop.

HEMP TIMELINE

Hemp World Timeline

THE ORIGINS OF HEMP

8,000 BCE

Archaeologists found traces of hemp in modern day China and Taiwan. People used hemp for pottery, food (seed & oil) and natural medicine.

2,000 BCE – 800 BCE

Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms) as “Sacred Grass”, one of the five sacred plants of India

600 BCE

Hemp rope found in southern Russia

500 BCE

Archaeologists found a jar of hemp seed and leaves in Berlin, Germany. Use of hemp continues to spread across northern Europe

200 BCE

Hemp rope found in Greece

100 BCE

China made paper from Hemp. Hemp rope also found in Britain.

570

A French Queen was buried in hemp clothing.

700s BCE

First hemp paper mills appear in China and the Middle East, first people-powered then using animals or water.

850

Vikings use hemp and spread it to Iceland

900

Arabs adopt technology to make hemp paper

1533

King Henry VIII, king of England, fines farmers if they do not raise hemp

1549

Cannabis introduced in South America (Brazil)

1616

Jamestown, first permanent English settlement in the Americas, grows hemp to make ropes, sails, and clothing

1700s

Early laws require American farmers in several colonies to grow hemp

1776

U.S. Founders write early drafts of The Declaration of Independence on hemp paper

1840

Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps.

THE 20TH CENTURY & BEYOND

1916

USDA publishes findings showing hemp produces 4X more paper per acre than trees

1937

The Marijuana Tax Act placed a tax on all cannabis sales (including hemp), heavily discouraging production of hemp

1938

Popular Mechanics writes an article about how hemp could be used in 25,000 different products.

1942

Henry Ford builds an experimental car body made with hemp fiber, which is ten times stronger than steel

1942

USDA initiates the “Hemp for Victory” program – this leads to more than 150,000 acres of hemp production

1957

Farmers plant the last commercial hemp fields in the U.S. in Wisconsin

1970

The Controlled Substances Act classified hemp as an illegal Schedule I drug. Strict regulations imposed on the cultivation of industrial hemp as well as marijuana

1998

The U.S. begins to import food-grade hemp seed and oil.

2004

Ninth Circuit Court decision in Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA permanently protects sales of hemp foods and body care products in the U.S.

2007

The first hemp licenses in over 50 years granted to two North Dakota farmers.

2014

President Obama signed the Farm Bill, which allowed research institutions to start piloting hemp farming.

2015

The Industrial Hemp Farming Act (H.R. 525 and S. 134) introduced in the House and Senate. This act is the first of several attempts to fully legalize hemp.

2016

A Colorado farm has earned the Organic certification from USDA for its hemp

2018

After failed attempts to pass hemp-specific laws, an amendment to the Farm bill legalized hemp and in the U.S. Pres. Trump signs the bill into law on Dec 20, 2018. This amendment removed the hemp plant, along with any of its seeds and derivatives from the Controlled Substances Act. A huge win for the hemp industry!

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