The History of Hemp and Marijuana Throughout Humankind

History of Hemp -

The History of Hemp and Marijuana Throughout Humankind

The History of Hemp and Marijuana Throughout Humankind

The History of Hemp and Marijuana Throughout Humankind

Hemp and marijuana are ancient plants that have been with us for a long time. Click here to learn about the history of hemp and weed through the years.

Keyword(s): history of hemp

 

It may be 2019, but marijuana is still one of those things that is commonly misunderstood. Truth be told, most Americans know even less about marijuana’s first cousin, hemp.

And yet with all the gross misconceptions and lack of knowledge about marijuana and hemp, these plants continue to polarize America. While the federal government still lists marijuana as an illegal substance, and most states are struggling with decriminalizing its recreational use, millions of new marijuana users continue to boost the multi-billion dollar industry.

So in an effort to promote understanding, allow us to give you a brief history of marijuana and a brief history of hemp. Keep reading so you can equip yourself with more working knowledge of the plants and become a better advocate of cannabis.

The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp

While frequently thought to be the same thing, marijuana and hemp are actually different. Although both plants come from the cannabis family, they are two different species.

What separates marijuana from hemp boils down to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that contains the high. Marijuana has a THC concentration anywhere from 15% to 40%, while hemp contains a concentration of 0.3% or less.

The History of Marijuana

When ancient civilizations discovered the marijuana plant and began to harvest it, they generally used it for medicinal purposes.  It is believed that as early as 500 BC, cultures in Asia used marijuana as an herbal remedy.

Americans saw the medicinal value of marijuana in the late 1800s. Doctors and pharmacists routinely sold it in their offices and pharmacies to treat stomach problems and other illnesses.

Now in terms of recreational use in America, people didn’t really use it for fun until the early 1900s. Due to the Depression, alcohol prohibition, and the fear of what people due while intoxicated, the federal government passed the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

Effectively, this tax made marijuana and hemp illegal. Richard Nixon solidified this by harshly classifying this form of cannabis as we know it as a Schedule One Drug (it’s viewed on the federal level as if it were as bad as ecstasy, LSD, or heroin).  

The History of Hemp

Not as widely known as marijuana, hemp is a type of cannabis that has been the foundation for one of the world’s oldest agriculture industries, dating back over 10,000 years. As a matter of fact, there is a bit of hemp fabric in a relic dating back to around 8,000 BC.

In the early 1600s here in the United States—or the British Colonies at the time—farmers were required to grow hemp in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

And to fast forward a tad, notable hemp farmers were none other than Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. That’s right. Two of our nation’s Founding Fathers were growing cannabis.

Farmers would continue to legally grow hemp in this country until again the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. However, as of December 2018, hemp was legalized with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Why Marijuana and Hemp Are Important

If someone ever asks you the benefits of marijuana and hemp, you should be able to say something more than the fun high it gives you. Remember, marijuana has several therapeutic properties that have been proven to treat symptoms of several diseases, such as cancer.

Hemp, on the other hand, has been used as a textile for centuries. The plant makes for amazing material for clothing. Also, hemp can be used in lotions, body washes, coffee, and a host of other amazing products.

For more information on the history of marijuana or the history of hemp, don’t hesitate to contact us.


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