What is Hemp? A History of Hemp
The Long and Varied History of Hemp
As passionate hemp enthusiasts, we decided to dig into the history of this unique plant. You could colour us impressed when our research unearthed more than 10,000 discovered uses for hemp over an incredibly long history. From paper and clothes to food and concrete, humans' use of hemp has infiltrated just about every aspect of civilization for eons.
How Far Back Does Hemp Use Go?
Hemp use goes way back, a long way back. Scientists have dated remnants of a hemp rope to 29,000BC, a few thousand years before the last ice age. Archaeologists have also discovered pieces of hemp fabric that are at least 10,000 years old.
Hemp as Food
Hemp seeds are one of the highest quality sources of protein, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. Humans have been chowing down on hemp food products for thousands of years, at least, before the last century they were. You can find these nutrients in
You can use hemp seeds to produce all sorts of foodstuffs, including CBD and hemp oil, hemp seed milk, hemp protein powder, and even hemp cheese. Yum!
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Considering our attitude towards hemp over the last century, you may be surprised to learn that Thomas Jefferson drafted The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution on hemp paper.
Thomas Jefferson and George Washington may have had divergent views on politics in their later years. However, where they didn't differ was in their high regard for hemp. Both U.S. Presidents grew it on their plantations for industrial uses like sail canvas, rope, thread for clothing, and making repairs on fishing nets.
Hemp, Art, and The American Flag
Gainsborough, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh have all created works of art on canvas made from hemp. Betsy Ross would hear of no compromise when making the first United States flag and would only use the finest, strongest fiber available; you guessed it, hemp!
Hemp in Science and Industry
Famous inventors of the last two centuries found uses for hemp during their quest for knowledge.
Benjamin Franklin would only trust a hemp cord to hold his kite aloft and secure during his famous kite experiment.
Henry Ford, the automobile manufacturer, developed the body of an automobile using a hemp-based plastic. When it was complete, Mr. Ford powered the revolutionary vehicle with hemp-based ethanol fuel, proving that Henry Ford was indeed a man ahead of his time.
Hemp and Taxes
A fun fact you probably didn't know is that for nearly two hundred years in America, you could pay your taxes with hemp. By now, you may admit to some surprise over the last century, which has seen hemp go from a versatile and valuable product to one where it has been heavily suppressed and criminalized.
Why Has Hemp Been Suppressed?
You could blame the arrival of cotton, which was considered cheaper, easy to work with, and easy to produce. Hemp's close association with marijuana combined with some unfortunate propaganda was not much help, either.
A campaign by W.R Hearst, who used his newspaper to demonize marijuana and portray cannabis as a dangerous drug, sounded the death knell for hemp. It just goes to show that fake news has been plaguing humankind for much longer than you may have thought.
Fortunately, times and the laws are changing, and hemp is slowly but steadily reclaiming its deserved reputation as a versatile and useful product. Learn more about the current laws on CBD in America and Europe here.