HISTORY OF HEMP
8000 BC – Present
Hemp is the ancient, eco-friendly fiber of the future. For over 5,000 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.
Civilization, agriculture and hemp textile industries begin in Europe and Asia.
Cannabis called a “superior” herb in the world’s first medical text, Shen Nung’s Pen Ts’ao, in China.
Cannabis-using Scythians sweep through Europe and Asia, settle down everywhere, and invent the scythe.
Gautama Buddah survives by eating hempseed.
Herodotus records Scythians and Thracians as consuming cannabis and making fine linens of hemp.
Carthage and Rome struggle for political and commercial power over hemp and spice trade routes in Mediterranean.
Paper made from hemp and mulberry is invented in China.
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.
First botanical drawing of hemp in Constantinopolitanus
Germans, Franks, Vikings, etc. all use hemp fibre.
The English word ‘hempe’ first listed in a dictionary.
Moslems use hemp to start Europe’s first paper mill. Most paper is made from hemp for the next 700 years.
Hempen sails, caulking and rigging ignite age of discovery and help Columbus and his ships reach America.
Hemp agriculture crosses the continent overland to Chile.
King Phillip of Spain orders hemp grown throughout his empire, from modern-day Argentina to Oregon.
Dutch achieve Golden Age through hemp commerce. Explorers find ‘wilde hempe’ in North America.
Virginia colony makes hemp cultivation mandatory, followed by most other colonies. Europe pays hemp bounties.
Hemp used as money throughout American colonies.
American ‘Declaration of Independence’ drafted on hemp paper.
President Washington sets duties on hemp to encourage domestic industry; Jefferson calls hemp “a necessity”, and urges farmers to grow hemp instead of tobacco.
Certain premiums offered to encourage the cultivation of hemp in Upper and Lower Canada.
Australia survives two prolonged famines by eating virtually nothing but hemp seed for protein and hemp leaves for roughage.
Petrochemical age begins. Toxic sulfite and chlorine processes make paper from trees, steamships replace sails, tropical fibres introduced.
New machines invented to break hemp, process the fibre, 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.
Compressed agricultural fibreboard invented in Sweden.
Marijuana Tax Act forbids hemp farming in the US. -Dupont files patent for nylon.
Canada prohibits production of hemp under Opium And Narcotics Control Act.
Henry Ford makes car fabricated and fueled by hemp.
Hemp For Victory program urges farmers to grow hemp.
Hemp farming again banned.
The Canadian Narcotics Control Act(CNCA) allowed Cannabis to be grown, at the discretion ofthe Health Minister, for research purposes only.
Australia licences hemp farming.
England eases restriction on hemp farming. News media declare hemp clothes and cannabis leaf logo hottest new fashion.
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.
The Canadian federal government passed Bill C8 stating that mature hemp stalks are exemptfrom the list of controlled substances.
The Canadian government legalizes the commercial growth of industrial hemp.