FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $75.00

Shop
Learn
Magazine
© 2019 The Uplifters' Prima, PBC

The History of Hemp

The Magazine: The History of Hemp

It’s the single plant that can feed us, clothe us, house us, heal us, protect the environment and support human health. With over 60,000 uses, hemp has the ability to support humankind on almost every level. So why is a plant that’s so multidimensional so misunderstood? Here, a look at the fascinating — and oftentimes rocky — history of hemp:

8000 BC

The first traces of hemp are found in Asia. Soon after, hemp is found in Europe, Africa and South America, with hemp seeds and oil used for pottery and food.

2000 BC-800 BC

Hemp is considered a gift, referred to in Hindu religious documents as “sacred grass,” one of the five sacred plants of India.

600-200 BC

The use of hemp continues across northern Europe, with hemp rope found in southern Russia and Greece and hemp seeds and leaves found in Germany.

100 BC

China begins to use hemp to make paper.

1533

The King of England, King Henry VII, prioritizes hemp by fining farmers if they don’t grow it.

1606

North America discovers hemp as a key ingredient to make clothes, shoes, ropes, paper and food.

1700s

American farmers are required by law to grow hemp as a staple crop, with many of America’s founding fathers advocating for its benefits.

1776

Some believe that Thomas Jefferson wrote the draft of the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.

1840

Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps.

1916

USDA publishes findings that show hemp produces 4 times more paper per acre than trees.

Early 1900’s

Hemp becomes an excuse to search and deport Mexican immigrants. As a result, the word “marijuana” replaced “cannabis” as a way to directly associate the plant with the Mexican population.

1929

Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the United State’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics, who was previously on record stating that cannabis use was “not a big deal,” changes his position when the ban on alcohol is lifted and tells the public that cannabis is a “devil drug” that “turned men into wild beasts that would attack women.” Anslinger contacts thirty scientists requesting evidence that cannabis is dangerous, and twenty-nine say they can’t find any valid proof. Only one expert agrees with him.

1937

Many prominent American businessmen, including Anslinger, decide that hemp poses a threat to their businesses and work together to make hemp illegal. Anslinger joins forces with William Randolph Hearst, Andrew Mellon, and the DuPont family to draft the Marihuana Tax Act to make hemp illegal.

1942

The U.S government realizes they need hemp for the war effort and the United States reverses its stance on hemp, encouraging its production.

1942

Henry Ford builds an experimental car body made from hemp fiber, which is ten times stronger than steel.

1942-1945

The U.S. government releases a pro-hemp documentary called Hemp for Victory, encouraging farmers to grow hemp to support the war. The U.S. Department of Agriculture promotes hemp and publishes articles sharing its benefits, leading to over 400,000 acres of hemp planted throughout the Midwest and Southeast.

1957

The last U.S. commercial hemp fields are planted in Wisconsin.

1970

The United States returns to its original anti-hemp position and bans hemp with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, classifying hemp as a Schedule 1 drug and grouping the plant with heroin, LSD and marijuana. This results in many countries doing the same, preventing research and production.

1985

The U.S. Government approves a synthetic form of cannabis for the pharmaceutical industry. Marinol, made with a synthetic form of THC, is approved by the government as a legal drug to treat nausea and vomiting in cancer, HIV/AIDS, and anorexia patients. To this day, Marinol brings in more than $150 million in annual sales for the pharmaceutical industry in the United States.

1998

The U.S. begins to import food-grade hemp seeds and oil for use

1999

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services successfully files a patent (Patent 6630507B1) called “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants,” stating that cannabinoids found in hemp have antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, making them “useful in the treatment of inflammatory, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases.” The patent is still live today.

2004

A court case between the Hemp Industries Association and the DEA permanently protects the sales of hemp-based food and personal care products in the U.S.

2007

The first hemp licenses in over 50 years are granted to two farmers in North Dakota.

2014

President Obama signs the Farm Bill into law, allowing research institutions to start piloting hemp farming programs. The Farm Bill legally separates hemp from marijuana and legalizes industrial hemp, defining industrial hemp as “cannabis sativa L. plants with less than 0.3 percent concentration of THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid).”

2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves Epidiolex, a cannabidiol (CBD) oral medication for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, in patients two years of age and older.

The 2018 Farm Bill removes hemp and its derivatives from the Controlled Substances Act, further clarifying the legality of hemp, which includes hemp and all of its constituents, meaning all parts of the plant are legal and safe for use.

We are just beginning to unlock hemp’s potential. Though we can’t go back in time and rewrite hemp’s history, we can take action now to ensure a better future for one of the most therapeutic and versatile natural resources on earth.

Related Products

The Daily

Hemp Wellness Blend for Balance*
$45.00
(18 reviews)

Night Magic

Botanical Skin Treatment for Radiance & Balance
$88.00
(15 reviews)

Skin Therapy

Ultra-rich Butter for Soothing Hydration
$38.00
(13 reviews)

The Goods

Cart is empty.