History Of Hemp

The History of Hemp is well documented and goes back as far as 8000BC.

Every major civilization has recognized hemp as the most versatile plant in the world due to its many uses, intrinsic strength and durability.

Hemp itself has been around for a millennium, in fact the weaving of hemp fiber began over 10,000 years ago. The first American Flag was made from Hemp fiber.

16th Century – Henry VIII encourages farmers to grow hemp to provide material for the British Naval Fleet. Hemp paper was used for maps, logs and bibles used by the sailors.

17th Century – Farmers in Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut were ordered by law to grow hemp.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson birth grew Hemp and Benjamin Franklin made Hemp paper and printed the Declaration of Independence on Hemp paper.

18th Century – People could face prison for not growing hemp on their land!
Hemp was used as Legal Tender in the 1800s.

1850 – US Census – Approximately 8,400 hemp plantations listed, and 2000 acres cultivated.

Around this time a machine was developed to process hemp faster and cleaner and was able to achieve 1000 pounds of hemp per hour.

You could be sent to prison for refusing to grow Hemp.


history of hemp, hemp historyViewing Hemp as a threat, a smear campaign, started by competing industries, associated Hemp with Marijuana.

Propaganda films like ‘Reefer Madness’ sealed the demise of Hemp.

1937 – Marijuana Tax Act passed – the growing of Hemp was banned.

World War II – After the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the importation of Manila Hemp form the Philippines was stopped, farmers were asked to grow Hemp again.

War Hemp Industries was formed to subsidize Hemp farming. One million acres of Hemp was grown as part of this program.

The war ended, and all the hemp plants were shut down yet again.

1937 until late 1960s – US Government recognized that Industrial Hemp and Marijuana were very distinct from each other.

Controlled Substances Act was passed. Hemp was no longer recognized as distinct from Marijuana.