Cannabis, family Cannabaceae; species: Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalia, and Cannabis sativa L., has been found on every continent in this hemisphere, it was used long before its first recorded uses. Its safe to believe, that no historian knows which peoples were first to experience her treasures.
"Hemp" and "Marijuana" often refer to the same plant. This is NOT true. Though of the same species, they are totally different in growth pattern, look and even use.
Hemp plants grow up to 20 feet tall, and are thin. Marijuana plants grow in a more "bushy" pattern, and not so tall as hemp.
About 3,500 years ago, Chinese healers needed an anesthetic. Noticing that some animals became lethargic after eating from the hemp plant, they started to study it. Over the centuries, they were able to breed the "Mother" hemp plant into a more powerful aesthetic - Marijuana.
Marijuana has a high psychoactive resin (THC) content, while hemp has an extremely low (nearly nonexistent) psychoactive resin (THC) content.
Both hemp and marijuana have well over 750 active components that are being used for various nutritional & medical benefits.
Marijuana is used worldwide as an anesthetic and is highly psychoactive.
Hemp is used world wide as a nutritional supplement, as food, as medicine, for fiber used in making rope, clothing and sails, as animal feed, as oil for lamps, lubrication and fuel. Hemp, in fact, has thousands of both industrial and medical uses. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the active ingredient in hemp that has been found to be the most useful for health benefits.
Here is what Wikipedia says about
The medical/health benefits of hemp is of such tremendous possibility, that even the world wide medical communities are publishing more and more reports, studies, researches and findings, promoting the use of hemp.
Cannabis use has existed for over ten thousand years, and is one of the oldest crops used for cultivation. It was cultivated in China as early as 4000 BC. Most cultures viewed hemp as a gift, or treasure, from the Divine Sprit, to be used during ceremonies, at which time it was either burned as incense, ingested for deep meditative and heighten awareness, smoked for pleasure, or worn for clothing.
Hemp has been mentioned in many important documents over its recorded history. The Zend-Avesta, a sacred book used by the peoples of India dating back to 600 BC, spoke of hemp.
The Chinese emperor and herbalist, Chen-Nung, wrote about hemps medicinal uses 5000 years ago. His pharmacoepia recorded its effects on malaria, female disorders, and many other illnesses, hemp was referred to as, Ma-fen hemp fruit.
The Anatomy of Melancholy, published in 1621 recommended hemp for depression. The New English Dispensatory of 1764 suggested applying hemp roots to the skin for inflammation.
In Africa hemp was used for dysentery, fevers, to treat snake bites, and women smoke it before childbirth. During the seventeenth century peasants believed in the magical power of hemp, and practiced their traditions. On Saint Johns Eve, farmers would pick flowers from their hemp plants and feed them to their livestock to protect the animals from evil and sickness.
A western physician by the name of W.B. OShaughnessey published in 1839 of the benefits of cannabis for the treatment of rabies, rheumatism, epilepsy, and tetanus. He also reported that a tincture of hemp and alcohol taken orally was found an effective analgesic.
Henry VIII required the cultivation of one quarter acre of hemp for every sixty acres of land under tillage, for maritime purposes in England.
The British began cultivating hemp in its Canadian colonies in 1606, cultivation began for Virginia in 1611. The Pilgrims introduced cultivation to New England as early as 1632, they learned about the cultivation of hemp from the Native Americans people.
Hemp was already in the new world when the first European colonist arrived, thought to have been introduced from China by explorers, migrating birds from across the Bering Strait, or possibly drifting shipwrecks.
The colonists were not eager to grow hemp, but England wanted hemp, and cultivation was deemed mandatory. The Puritans at Jamestown grew hemp, as part of their contract with the Virginia Company. Jean Talon at the order of France Quebec colony minister, confiscated all thread the colonist possessed and forced them to buy it back from him with hemp.
Talon supplied the seeds to farmers, which had to be reimbursed after hemp crops were harvested. Mandatory cultivation of hemp continued throughout the New World. The General Court in 1637 at Hartford Connecticut, and the Massachusetts courts in 1639 ordered all families to plant one teaspoon of hemp seed. That we might in time have supply of linen cloth among ourselves. Several colonies passed legal tender laws, hemp was so valued it was used to pay taxes.
Until 1776 many colonies passed laws to encourage farmers to produce hemp. Virginia designed laws to compel farmers, fining those who did not comply. Lobbyist were hired to promote, and educate the public about the importance of hemp. Books were published that wanted to establish hemp as Americas trademark product.
Colonies under the crown were banned from spinning and weaving hemp, this fostered dependence to England, which was demanding raw materials from the colonies as a way to increase its labor forces. The exported fibers were then bought back as finished products from England.
As the market was flooded with hemp, immigrant weavers from Ireland arrived in Massachusetts, setting up shop and passing their skills to the peasantry. What may have seem a small movement, grew into self-sufficiency from the British Crown, to the extent of a boycott of English fabric products. These were some of the conditions which lead into the War of Independence from the British. The American paper industry was born of hemp, linen, and cotton rags which provided writing materials throughout the war, essential for communication.
In 1777, Edward Antil wrote in his introduction of Observations on the Raising and Dressing of Hemp, hemp is one of the most profitable productions the earth furnishes in northern climates; as it employs a great number of poor people in a very advantageous manner, if its manufacture is carried on properly: It becomes worthy of the serious attention of every trading man, who truly loves his country.
In preparation of war, mandatory cultivation laws were passed, and colonist increased their production of hemp for paper and clothes. Colonist were convinced to take up arms, as they read pamphlets published on hemp paper. Thomas Paine in 1776 encouraged colonist to fight for freedom with Common Sense he writes in almost every article of defense we abound. Hemp flourishes even to rankness, so that we need not want cordage.
The founding fathers of this nation, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were both promoters of hemp, as noted in their farm diaries. Throughout Washingtons farm diary he spoke about the quality of seeds, always taking care to sow seeds in best areas on his farm. He documented the importances of cultivating seeds at the proper time taking care to pull the male plants from the females.
In 1790s Washington began cultivating Indian hemp which he said produced the best quality of plant, and noted its superior quality to common hemp mostly grown during that time. Both Washington and Jefferson disliked tobacco, and on occasion they would exchange gifts of smoking mixtures of their hemp.
Jefferson was also a promoter of hemp, and during his tenure as Governor of Virginia he kept reserves of hemp. In May of 1781 used hemp as currency when money from the government was in short supply.
Jefferson believed hemp to be a superior crop to tobacco, which he said exhausted the soil, used too much manure and provided no nourishment for cattle. Hemp, on the other hand, was of the first necessity to commerce and marine, in other words to the wealth and protection of the country. Around 1815 Jefferson received the first US patent for his hemp breaking machine, which reportedly did the work of ten men.
Kentucky was a large supplier of hemp, primarily because the soil would not sustain a grain crop. In 1792 its legislature levied a tax of twenty dollars per ton on imported hemp. This worked to Kentuckys advantage and by 1850 domestic hemp crops increased and the amount of imported hemp dramatically decreased.
The belief that hemp was one of the most important crops to the common wealth, continued throughout the 19th century. As production increased, more states like Illinois, California, and Nebraska began to grow hemp. With more domestic hemp available, creative ideas for hemp use increased. In 1841, Congress ordered the Navy to buy domestic hemp, and in 1843 they appropriated fifty thousand dollars to purchase American hemp.
Hemp Production was a hard and tedious process. In 1861 G.F. Schaffer of New York patented the Hemp Dresser, used to prepare hemp for manufacturing. After Schaffer invention, many improvements to his machine followed.
By the early 20th century, industrialization lead to inventions of machines that would do the work of many. One of the most important inventions to the hemp industry was the Decorticator machine. It was hailed as the invention to revolutionize the hemp industry. An article from Popular Mechanics magazine (dated February 1938) spoke of hemp as a cash crop soon to be worth a billion dollars.
Unfortunately, its praises came one year to late. The passage of the Marihuana Tax Act HR 6385 was enacted, which required a $100 transfer tax on the sale of marihuana.
The underhanded manner in which this tax was enacted led to charges of Government/Corporation corruption and collusion. Those who gained the most were Hearst, who owned large timber holdings which feed the paper industry. DuPont, who dominated the petrochemical market, which manufactured plastics, paints, and other products of fossil fuels and the Secretary of the Treasury, and owner of Gulf oil, Andrew Mellon who pushed legislation through congress giving tax breaks to oil companies.
The Conspiracy was against hemp as it threaten vested financial and industrial interest especially those in the paper and petrochemical industries. The U.S. Government used all forms of propaganda to convince the citizens that hemp was worthless and dangerous.
10,000-year History of Marijuana & Hemp use in the World
BC Use of hemp cord in pottery
identified at ancient village site dating back over 10,000
years, located in the area of modern day Taiwan. Finding hemp
use and cultivation in this date range puts it as one of the
first and oldest known human agriculture crops. As explained
by Richard Hamilton in the 2009 Scientific American article
on sustainable agriculture "Modern humans emerged some
250,000 years ago, yet agriculture is a fairly recent invention,
only about 10,000 years old ... Agriculture is not natural;
it is a human invention. It is also the basis of modern civilization."
This point was also touched on by Carl Sagan in 1977 when
he proposed the possibility that marijuana may have actually
been world's first agricultural crop, leading to the development
of civilization itself (see 1977, below).
This process would use only 1/7 to 1/4 as much polluting sulfur-based acid chemicals to break down the glue-like lignin that binds the fibers of the pulp, or even none at all using soda ash. The problem of dioxin contamination of rivers is avoided in the hemp paper making process, which does not need to use chlorine bleach (as the wood pulp paper making process requires) but instead safely substitutes hydrogen peroxide in the bleaching process.
If the new (1916) hemp pulp paper process were legal today, it would soon replace about 70% of all wood pulp paper, including copy paper, corrugated boxes and paper bags. However, mass production of cheap news print from hemp had not developed in any country, and hemp was a relatively easy target because factories already had made large investments in equipment to handle cotton, wool, and linen, but there were relatively small investments in hemp production.
In the U.S. Cannabis begins to be prohibited for nonmedical
use. Prohibition first begins in California (1915), followed
by Texas (1919), Louisiana (1924), and New York (1927).1919
The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banned the manufacture,
sale, and transportation of alcohol and positioned marijuana
as an attractive alternative leading to an increase in use
of the substance.
The History, The Reality and Barnum & Baily
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