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History Of The Hemp Plant 101

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

The Hemp Plant is one of the oldest cultivated crops and has proven to be an industrial and medical wonderment.

CBD Hemp Plant Cultivation

Even though the plant has been a controversial topic in this last decade, recent legal changes in regards to its production, manufacturing, and usage lead to the belief that this crop will become once again, a staple crop like corn and soybeans are now, as it is taking its place in the agricultural industry.

The hemp plant was grown for its durable hemp fiber, and desirable for the fabric, paper, and rope it produced as well as other items that were useful. It was also grown for medical and religious purposes.

It has been grown and farmed for centuries, and made its way across the oceans, as it was traded via the "Silk Road" apace with ancient religious rights among Vikings and colonists on sea voyages. It is believed to have come to the United States Of America through European explorers. However, hemp was already being cultivated in the new world when pioneers arrived.

Before the cultivation of hemp was criminalized in the US, this versatile and sustainable crop played a major role in the building of this nation.

According to historians, the first recorded use of hemp in The Americas colonial years is when, in Virginia, it was mandated that all farmers grow and sow hemp plants. Shortly after, Connecticut and Massachusetts followed with similar mandates. This started a hemp cultivation boom throughout the American colonies and produced in such abundance it was exported to England where they used it for books, clothing, ship, shoes and many other things. Hemp was also a legal tender that could be used to pay taxes.

Hemp remained a staple crop after the United States earned its independence from Great Britain. It is well documented that colonists such as George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson all grew hemp. It is also said that the first two drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper.

The hemp dominance took a significant downward spiral in the early 1900 hundreds when the US government passed a Marijuana Tax Act in an effort to regulate the psychoactive properties on cannabis. In what is summed up as a smeared campaign, opponents of "Marijuana" spread propaganda about Marijuana and through guilt by association tactics, hemp's reputation was affected. Because of its familiar relationship to Marijuana and the lack of knowledge about the differences between the two, the growth of all cannabis was restricted or prohibited. Individual states and the federal government began to criminalize all cannabis.

While the growth of hemp was not prohibited by the new laws, the government handed over the regulations of licensing hemp production to the Department of Revenue and added a 100$ transfer tax on sales which essentially wiped out domestic hemp.

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Hemp For Victory

As we know, we experience mass military recruitment when there is conflict. Believe it or not, American hemp farmers were "recruited" during World War II. Japan blocked all shipments of the American supply of Indian jute and Filipino hemp. As a result, the US military was running low on materials. The soldiers needed parachutes, ropes and other products that could only be provided by hemp. The strength and durability of the hemp were imperative to the US troops. The US Government formed the War Hemp Industries to build hemp fiber processing mills, lifted hemp restrictions and encouraged farmers to grow hemp to contribute to the war efforts. This was the era of "Hemp For Victory".

After the war, however, hemp restriction returned and a declining hemp industry followed.

Modern CBD Hemp History

Today, America is experiencing another revolution. In 2014, the Agricultural Act 2014 was signed into law by the President. Section 7606 of the Act defines industrial hemp as distinct from Marijuana. This enables and authorizes institutions of higher learning and State Departments of Agriculture to conduct research programs. This was a major step forward which lead to the eventual legalization of the cultivation, sale, and use of CBD hemp products.

In 2018, the Hemp and CBD prohibition ended as the President signed the 2018 Farm Bill. It is not a new legislature, but important for numerous industries. Most importantly, the hemp industry. Since this victory, many states have put production laws in place or begun their research into this miraculous plant to discover the benefits of hemp CBD.

Want to learn more about CBD Hemp? Come check out our CBD Guide 101: Everything You Need To Know About CBD Hemp

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