History of Hemp

History of Hemp frm 8000 BC - Present

Hemp is the ancient, eco-friendly fiber of the future. For over 10,000 years, hemp has been used for textiles, paper, building materials, fuel, food and personal care products. Hemp can be grown with little or no toxic chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Today hemp is grown all over the world. The crop is used to make over 25,000 consumer products. From hemp apparel and accessories to housewares and hempseed oil cosmetics, hemp is an eco-shopper's dream.

8000BC  Civilization, agriculture and hemp textile industries begin in Europe and Asia.  Remains of frozen and mummified early humans were dressed in hemp clothing.

3727BC  Cannabis called a "superior" herb in the world's first medical text, Shen Nung's Pen Ts'ao, in China.

1500BC  Cannabis-using Scythians sweep through Europe and Asia, settle down everywhere, and invent the scythe.

500BC    Gautama Buddah survives by eating hempseed.

450BC    Herodotus records Scythians and Thracians as consuming cannabis and making fine linens of hemp.

300BC    Carthage and Rome struggle for political and commercial power over hemp and spice trade routes in Mediterranean.

100BC    Paper made from hemp and mulberry is invented in China.

100AD    Roman surgeon Dioscorides names the plant cannabis sativa and describes various medicinal uses. Pliny tells of industrial uses and writes a manual on farming hemp.

500AD    First botanical drawing of hemp in Constantinopolus

600AD    Germans, Franks, Vikings, etc. all use hemp fiber.

1000AD  The English word 'hempe' first listed in a dictionary.

1150AD  Moslems use hemp to start Europe's first paper mill. Most paper is made from hemp for the next 700 years.

1492AD  Hempen sails, caulking and rigging ignite age of discovery and help Columbus and his ships reach America.

1545       Hemp agriculture crosses the continent overland to Chile.

1564       King Phillip of Spain orders hemp grown throughout his empire, from modern-day Argentina to Oregon.

16th-17th Century  Dutch achieve Golden Age through hemp commerce. Explorers find 'wild hemp' in North America.

1619      Virginia colony makes hemp cultivation mandatory, followed by most other colonies. Europe pays hemp bounties.

1631      Hemp used as money throughout American colonies.

1776     American 'Declaration of Independence' drafted on hemp paper.

1791     President Washington sets duties on hemp to encourage domestic industry; Jefferson calls hemp "a necessity", and urges farmers to grow hemp instead of tobacco.

1801    Certain premiums offered to encourage the cultivation of hemp in Upper and Lower Canada.

1800's  Australia survives two prolonged famines by eating virtually nothing but hemp seed for protein and hemp leaves for roughage.

1850's  Petrochemical age begins. Toxic sulfite and chlorine processes make paper from trees, steamships replace sails, tropical fibers introduced.

1930's  New machines invented to break hemp, process the fiber, and convert pulp or hurds into paper, plastics, etc. - Racist fears of Mexicans, Asians, and African Americans leads to outcry for cannabis to be outlawed.

1935   Compressed agricultural fiberboard invented in Sweden.

1937   Marijuana Tax Act forbids hemp farming in the US. -DuPont files patent for nylon.

1938   Canada prohibits production of hemp under Opium and Narcotics Control Act.

1941   Henry Ford makes car fabricated and fueled by hemp.

1943   Hemp for Victory program urges farmers to grow hemp. US Government subsidizes farmers to grow hemp; over 1 Million acres were in production.

1955   Hemp farming again banned.

1961   The Canadian Narcotics Control Act(CNCA) allowed Cannabis to be grown, at the discretion of the Health Minister, for research purposes only.

1992   Australia licenses hemp farming.

1993   England eases restriction on hemp farming. News media declare hemp clothes and cannabis leaf logo hottest new fashion.

1994  Under the CNCA, one license was granted to a Canadian company, Hempline Inc., to grow hemp experimentally in Canada under the strict supervision of the authorities.

1996  The Canadian federal government passed Bill C8 stating that mature hemp stalks are exempt from the list of controlled substances.

1998  The Canadian government legalizes the commercial growth of industrial hemp.


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