Though you can't smoke and get 'high' from hemp like you can with Marijuana, hemp was banned from the US as a farm crop over the last 50 years because of its "pot" association. A lot of people would argue that the underlying cause was from competition & propaganda in the paper industry, but whatever the reason, we find it quite silly since it is such a beautiful & powerful resource in so many ways. Fortunately, the past is now behind us and with its recent re-legalization, we look forward to utilizing more of hemp along with spreading awareness about its many many benefits, which you'll see below.
History of Hemp
• The Columbia History of the World (1996) states that the weaving of hemp fiber began over 10,000 years ago! Carbon tests have suggested that the use of wild hemp dates as far back as 8000 B.C.
• 17th Century America, farmers in Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut were ordered by law to grow Indian hemp. By the early 18th century, a person could be sentenced to jail if they weren’t growing hemp on their land! Hemp was considered to be legal tender.
• For over 200 years in colonial America, hemp was currency that one could use to pay their taxes with.
• The 1850 U.S. census documented approximately 8,400 hemp plantations of at least 2000 acres.
• Viewing hemp as a threat, a smear campaign against hemp was started by competing wood industries, associating hemp with marijuana. Propaganda films like “Reefer Madness” assured hemp’s demise.
• George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.
• The first American Flag sewn by Betsy Ross is made out of hemp. First denim Jeans is also made from hemp.
• The word "canvas" originated from the Latin word "Cannabis." Hence most things made from canvas such as sails and paint canvas' were too historically made from hemp.
Environmental Benefits of Hemp
• Hemp completes a crop cycle within 4 months and produces 4 times the amount of pulp to make paper than trees within a 20 year period. In other words, hemp stops deforestation!
• Hemp produces 250% more fiber per acre than conventional cotton and uses less water to grow therefore extremely environmentally efficient, renewable and friendly.
• Hemp compounds can be transformed into a biodegradable plastic unlike petroleum-based synthetic plastics which takes 450 to even 1000 years to biodegrade. This significantly reduces plastic waste that collects endlessly in our ocean water.
• Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world. It is estimated that each year cotton producers use as much as 25 percent of the world’s insecticides and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticides. Hemp can replace a lot of uses for cotton and requires no pesticides or insecticides to grow.
• Hemp requires about 50 percent less water per season than conventional cotton, which can grow with little irrigation.
• Hemp not only absorb carbon dioxide--and lots of it--but it also puts much of it into the soil. This not only removes it from the atmosphere, but it enhances the soil as well.
Amazing Textile Traits of Hemp
• With developing technology, hemp has become super soft, especially when blended with other fibers such as cotton.
• Hemp is one of the strongest & most durable of all natural textile fibers outlasting cotton by many years.
• Hemp is naturally antimicrobial & resistant to Ultra-Violet light, which keeps it resistant to mildew. No more stinky mildew smell should u leave it extra long in the washer.
• Each time hemp is washed it constantly reveals new surfaces, usually becoming softer with use. Given reasonable care it will render a lifetime of service.
• It is also one of the only fabrics that are stronger wet than dry, so it does not become tender through washing.
• Beyond what the eyes can see, like most natural materials, hemp emits a radiation that is harmonious to the natural environment like our human bodies.
Other Popular Uses of Hemp