Hemp: A History Lesson
Jul 6th 2020
You may not realize it but hemp-derived products are not new at all. It’s just that, in the recent years, we have witnessed its revival—and, stylishly at it—with CBD oil making a welcomed consistent appearance in the health, wellness, and skincare world. People have come to discover hemp benefits and the many ways it can be added into our daily lives.Hemp has been around and has been used for centuries. To help us understand deeper how this fascinating variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species wound up in the mainstream today, we’re tracing back its historical roots:
- 10,000 BCE: Believed to be when hemp cultivation dates back to according to The Colombia History of the World.
- Ancient Chinese used hemp oil and seed for their healthy compounds.
- 8,000 BCE: The Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry, which is a bit of hemp fabric dating back, was from this period.
- 4,000 BCE: China and Turkestan began using hemp for clothing.
- Italian sailing ships used rope made of hemp. However, hemp ropes were found to be susceptible to rot when exposed to seawater.
- Roman Emperor Nero’s army physician included hemp in his medical inventory.
- 77 CE: Written evidence of Romans using hemp for various forms of relief was associated with this period.
- King Henry VIII fined farmers who did not grow hemp for industrial use.
- 1600s: Property owners in North America had to grow hemp.
- For about 200 years, hemp was considered just like currency when paying taxes.
- 1607: Jamestown settlers observed Powhatan Native Americans growing hemp.
- Many of America’s founding fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp.
- The first drafts of the declaration of independence were drafted on hemp paper.
- 1861: “Battle of the Hemp Bales” in Lexington, Missouri where Confederate troops overcame the Yankees by soaking hemp bales and using them as rolling protection as they surrounded the northern camp.
- 1920-2030: Hemp was widely grown and utilized in the US until the “lumber barons” of the paper and fiber industries began to view hemp as a threat. There were false propagandas that classified hemp with “Marihuana” which was gaining its own reputation through Reefer Madness, a film that demonized marijuana and portrayed cannabis users as crazed murderous villains.
- 1937: Hemp production was banned throughout the United States with the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act.
- 1941: Carmaker Henry Ford made a concept car out of hemp resin and demonstrated its strength with a sledgehammer.
- 1942-1945: In the midst of WWII, the US briefly reversed its stance on hemp and the Department of Agriculture called on farmers to produce more of the crop to help with the war effort. Over 400,000 acres were planted.
- 1970: The growth was squelched again with the passage of The Controlled Substances Act which listed hemp as a “schedule 1 drug” which, once again, restricted the growth, use, and sale of the crop.
- 2007: Hemp was finally lawfully able to be grown in the US.
- 2014: Congress passed the Farm Bill allowing for the production of hemp for research through a partnership with universities and farmers.
- 2018: With the passage of the Farm Bill, restrictions have been fully lifted on the growth and sale of hemp in the United States and it’s been easier for consumers to access trusted products.
So is Hemp-Derived CBD Legal Today?
With the Farm Act/Farm Bill enacted into law in 2018, hemp-derived products can now be used in all states so long as hemp is sold and grown based on the provisions of the Act. In other words, when CBD is hemp-derived, it is legal in all 50 US states. This is because hemp-derived products are low in THC (less than 0.3%), which is the compound known to bring “high”.
Continuing the Legacy of Hemp
Hemp has gone a long way from being used as ancient day ropes or as improvised defense equipment during battles. Nature, through hemp, has undeniably granted humans a timeless gift. Today, it’s heartwarming to still see items made out of hemps like clothing, bags, and paper.
With further research and innovation, we are now able to experience hemp through products like hemp-derived CBD oil. All of these historical events paved the way for well-meaning hemp companies like Complete Hemp to making premium hemp products more accessible to consumers who need it the most.