Cannabis sativa, or ‘cultivated cannabis’ has been used by man throughout recorded history as a foodstuff, fuel, fibre and for its pharmaceutical and psychoactive properties. Hemp is among the oldest industries, going back more than 12,000 years to the beginning of pottery. Hemp is often said to be the first ever plant cultivated by man. It has many uses, which is why it is still popular today and moving up in the world of health foods. ?
Russo’s review on the history reports that the use of hemp fibre in China dated back 12,000 years. The age-old use for hemp is paper. As early as 206 B.C., hemp paper was being used in China, and paper was not yet the preferred writing material. Others argue that hemp originates from the Himalayas, from where it was spread by animals and people. The Aryans who invaded India are known to have taken hemp seed with them to sow for fibre throughout the Middle East and Europe.?
?Hemp has been grown for at least the last 12,000 years for fibre (textiles and paper) and food. It has been legal to grow hemp in the UK since the 1990's.
Before the World War II ? it was compulsory for every farmer in the UK to grow Hemp
Because of its importance for sails (the word "canvass" is rooted in "cannabis") and rope for ships, hemp was a required crop in Britain and British colonie?s
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.
Henry Ford experimented with hemp to build car bodies. He wanted to build and fuel cars from farm products.
In 1990' BMW is buying GOOD hemp fibre to build door panels as part of an effort to make cars more recyclable.
Hemp oil once greased machines. Most paints, resins, shellacs, and varnishes used to be made out of linseed (from flax) and hemp oils.
Rudolph Diesel designed his engine to run on hemp oil.
Kimberly Clark (on the Fortune 500) has a mill in France which produces hemp paper preferred for bibles because it lasts a very long time and doesn't yellow.
If you would like to find out more about the History of Hemp, please visit www.hemphistoryweek.com.