*Hemp has been grown for at least the last 12,000 years for fiber (textiles and paper) and food. It has been effectively prohibited in the United States since the 1950s.
*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.
*When US sources of “Manila hemp” (not true hemp) was cut off by the Japanese in WWII, the US Army and US Department of Agriculture promoted the “Hemp for Victory” campaign to grow hemp in the US.
*Because of its importance for sails (the word “canvass” is rooted in “cannabis”) and rope for ships, hemp was a required crop in the American colonies.
*The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were written on hemp paper.
*The first US flag was made out of hemp.
*Hemp is the oldest cultivated fiber plant.
*Because of the multitude of uses for hemp, the early Colonial American governments mandated its cultivation.
*Until the 19th Century, over 50% of all foodstuffs and 80% of all fibers worldwide were made from hemp.
*The oldest found paper was made from 100% hemp in a Chinese text dating back to 770 AD.
*Hemp fabrics go all the way back to 8,000 BC in ancient Mesopotamia.
*Christopher Columbus’ era ships were fully rigged in hemp, including his fleet.
*In the UK, 800-1800 AD indicates hemp crops were used until their peak around 100 AD before other crops began to be developed.
*In the 16th century, Henry VIII encouraged farmers to plant hemp to help supply the British Navy, not only for sails, but they helped construct battleships.
*Early US governments demanded the cultivation of hemp and you could be jailed if you didn’t grow Indian hemp in Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut in the 18th century.
*Hemp was money. Early American settlers even used hemp fiber as currency and was used to pay taxes for over 200 years.
*By the 1850’s there were almost 8,400 hemp plantations in the US that had at least 2,000 acres of land or more.
*Levi Jeans were originally made from hemp.
*Guttenberg and King James Bibles were printed on hemp paper.
*In WWII, George Bush’s parachute when he jumped out of the bomber was made from hemp.
*Surviving texts from ancient India confirm that cannabis’ psychoactive properties were recognized, and doctors used it for a variety of illnesses and ailments. These included insomnia, headaches, a whole host of gastrointestinal disorders, and pain: cannabis was frequently used to relieve the pain of childbirth.
*The Ancient Greeks used cannabis not only for human medicine, but also for veterinary medicine. The Greeks used cannabis to dress wounds and sores on their horses. In humans, dried leaves of cannabis were used to treat nose bleeds, and cannabis seeds were used to expel tapeworms. The most frequently described use of cannabis in humans was to steep green seeds of cannabis in either water or wine, later taking the seeds out and using the warm extract to treat inflammation and pain resulting from obstruction of the ear.
*In the 5th century BCE Herodotus, a Greek historian, described how the Scythians of the Middle East used cannabis in steam baths”The Medical Use of Cannabis Among the Greeks and Romans by James Butrica.
*Remains of hempen fibers have been found in the earliest archaeological sites in the cradles of Asiatic civilisation: evidence of fiber in China dating from 4000 B.C. and hempen rope and thread from Turkestan from 3000 B.C.. Stone beaters for pounding hemp fiber and impressions of hempen cord bakery into pottery have been found in ancient sites in Taiwan. Hempen fabrics have been found in Turkish sites of the late eighth century B.C., and there is a questionable specimen of Hemp in an Egyptian tomb dated between three and four thousand years ago.