Did you know the unicorn is the national animal of Scotland?1 Another fun fact: Pringles aren’t actually potato chips.2 Some facts sound almost too astonishing to be true, but the saying “truth is stranger than fiction” was developed for that reason. Here are 10 facts about cannabis and hemp products that may surprise you:
1. Farmers Were Fined for Not Growing Hemp
Hemp was first introduced to Europe between 500 to 1000 AD. Not long after, industrial hemp became quite popular, being used primarily for the production of paper. King Henry VIII, in 1533, fined farmers if they did not grow hemp.3
2. George Washington Grew Cannabis
George Washington was no stranger to growing cannabis. In the 1760s it is noted he considered whether hemp would be a more lucrative cash crop than tobacco.4 He is also quoted saying “Make the most of the hemp seed. Sow it everywhere.”3
3. CBD Comes From Both Marijuana and Hemp
While a lot of CBD comes from hemp plants cultivated for high concentrations of the compound, certain marijuana plants also contain high levels of CBD. The only thing that legally distinguishes hemp and marijuana is the percentage of THC the plant contains.
4. CBD and THC Are Not the Only Cannabinoids in Cannabis
While CBD and THC are the most popular cannabinoids, there are many more. In fact, over 100 cannabinoids have been identified.5 Some are even used in CBD tinctures, like this CBG/CBD oil.
5. Cannabis Has Been Used Medicinally Since Ancient Times
Although the scientific method is just beginning to understand the mechanisms for the potential medicinal effects of cannabis, ancient cultures used it for medicinal purposes. In 2737 BCE, the Traditional Medicine Book of the Chinese emperor Shen Neng documents hemp to treat conditions such as malaria, rheumatism, and gout.6
6. Pets Can Benefit From CBD Products
The potential CBD benefits humans receive are due to the compound’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system. This system is found throughout the animal kingdom, meaning pets can use CBD hemp oils. Some are formulated specifically for animals like this CBD oil for dogs, cats, and horses.
7. Cannabis Has Been Used in Hindu Culture for Spiritual Purposes
Dating as far back as 2000 BC, Hindus have used a cannabis drink called bhang for medicinal, spiritual, and therapeutic properties. Shiva, the Hindu god of transformation is believed to have used bhang to harness his divine powers. In the Hindu text Atharvaveda, cannabis is listed as one of the five most sacred plants on this planet.7
8. The First Paper Was Made From Hemp
The first paper was made in the early second century AD by a Chinese court official, Ts’ai Lun. It was crafted from a mixture of hemp fibers and mulberry tree bark. China managed to keep its invention a secret for centuries.8
9. Hemp Oil Benefits Might Be Stronger With the Full Spectrum
The “entourage effect” has been hypothesized for a long time.The effect is believed to be caused by the full spectrum of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes of cannabis working together synergistically. Every compound found in hemp, when taken together, provides a greater total benefit than the sum of the individual benefits from each part.9
10. Hemp Used to Function as Currency
During part of the colonial period, hemp was approved for use as a general currency for some of the American colonies. Taxes could even be paid in stacks of hemp.10
The Future Has Yet to Be Written
As technology advances and more research is being done into CBD and cannabis, mysteries are being unraveled and new applications of cannabinoids are being explored. While the facts discussed here may be surprising, who knows what surprises will be discovered in the coming years?
9Ben-Shabat S, Fride E, Sheskin T, Tamiri T, Rhee MH, Vogel Z, Bisogno T, De Petrocellis L, Di Marzo V, Mechoulam R. An entourage effect: inactive endogenous fatty acid glycerol esters enhance 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol cannabinoid activity. Eur J Pharmacol. 1998 Jul 17;353(1):23-31. doi: 10.1016/s0014-2999(98)00392-6. PMID: 9721036.