By now, many of us have heard of CBD, Hemp, Cannabinoids, and/or Cannabis. Confused a little. No worries. Let’s take a journey through history and what Hemp is.
Hemp is a variety of Cannabis plant species. Cannabis is an annual herbaceous flowering plant that is indigenous to Eastern Asia. The plant has a long stem with narrow leaves. Cannabis has three strains: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid.
Cannabis indica is the one that most of us are familiar with and goes by the name of marijuana. This strain of cannabis is high in THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). The THC levels in this cannabis contributes to the psychedelic state of mind that many experience with this strain. When grown, it’s characteristics differ from the other strains in appearance. Indica is a short and bushy plant with broad dark green leaves, and is grown in southern areas due to the need for hot humid weather.
Cannabis sativa is the one that is referred to as Hemp or CBD. Sativa has high levels of Cannabinoids (CBD) which are extracted to create CBD oil. While sativa may still have some THC, the levels are low, less than 0.3%. Sativa has skinny light green leaves and is tall and slim, and grown in northern areas. Our company's products use Cannabis sativa.
Cannabis Hybrid is exactly what you are thinking. This strain is a combination of both sativa and indica which have counteracting properties. By creating a hybrid, the plant is able to optimize each strains' strong suits and counteract the “negative” effects of the other.
Now that we have discussed what cannabis is, we are going to take a dive into history. Going forward, the word hemp will be used in place of cannabis. Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants with archeological findings dating back to 8,000 BCE. These discoveries were found in modern day China and Taiwan. They have found that hemp was used in the making of pottery, food, and medicinals. The history of hemp doesn’t stop there. Let’s journey through time and see other times cannabis has made an appearance.
2,000 BCE - 800 BCE: In India, hemp was regarded as sacred to the Hindu religion and referred to as “Sacred Grass”.
600 BCE: Hemp rope was found in southern Russia
500 BCE: In Berlin, Germany, archaeologists found a jar of hemp seeds and leaves.
200 BCE: Hemp rope was found in Greece
100 BCE: Hemp based paper was found in China and more rope was found in Britain
570: A French Queen was buried in clothing made of hemp
700s: First hemp paper mills appear in China and the Middle East
850: Vikings use hemp and spread it use throughout Iceland
900: Arabs adopted the technology used to make hemp based paper
1533: King Henry VIII of England, institutes a fine on farmers for not raising hemp
1549: Cannabis is introduced to Brazil, South America
1616: Jamestown grows hemp to produce ropes, sails, and clothing
1700s: Early laws required several colonies to grow hemp
1776: Early drafts of the Declaration of Independence is written on hemp paper
1840: Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps
1916: USDA publishes a reporting showing hemp produces 4x more paper per acre than trees
1937: The Marijuana Tax Act placed a tax on all cannabis sales to heavily discourage production
1938: Popular Mechanics writes how hemp could be used in 25,000 different products
1942: Henry Ford builds a prototype car made of hemp fiber, which is said to be ten times stronger than steel
1942: USDA initiates the “Hemp for Victory” program leading to more than 150,000 acres of hemp production
1957: Farmers in Wisconsin plant the last commercial hemp fields
1970: The Controlled Substances Act reclassified hemp as an illegal Schedule I drug
1998: U.S. begins import of food-grade hemp seed and oil
2004: Ninth Circuit Court decision in Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA permanently protects sales of hemp foods and body care products in the U.S.
2007: Two North Dakota farmers granted first hemp license in over 50 years
2014: President Obama signed the Farm Bill allowing research institutions to start piloting hemp farming
2015: The House and Senate introduced the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (H.R. 525 and S. 134). This is the first of several attempts to fully legalize hemp.
2016: Colorado farm earned the Organic Certification from USDA for hemp crops
2018: Amendment to the Agricultural Improvement of 2018 (Farm Bill) legalized hemp after failed attempts signed into law December 20, 2018 by U.S. President Trump. This amendment removed the hemp plant, along with any of its seeds and derivatives, from the Controlled Substances Act.
As we cruised through history, we can see that hemp has served many purposes. While at the grocery store, you may see hemp seeds which can be used in place of nuts, it can be used in oil form, or it can be ground into a flour. The fibers and stalks can be used in producing clothing, construction materials, paper, biofuel, plastic composites, and more.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of this plant called Cannabis. It may be a humble plant but it has different faces, shall we say. While Cannabis sativa has been legalized on a Federal level, some states have not legalized it in their states. So please research your state laws prior to purchasing or using hemp.
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