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  • Facts about hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.)

    Facts about hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.)
    When we talk about hemp in this post, we are not referring to the particular type of smokable hemp that most of us know and love. Although the two types of hemp belong to the same group of plants known as cannabis, the other type of hemp does not make "high", but that does not make it less useful!

    Industrial hemp is known as one of the most versatile plants and it is for this reason that humans have cultivated it for many thousands of years. Hemp is used for a variety of things, from textile and paper production to the construction or manufacture of renewable fuels. Let's take a look at 10 curious facts about hemp.


    1. Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants spun into usable fiber for textile production many thousands of years ago. It is generally believed that hemp farming originated in China 5000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians are said to have cultivated the industrial hemp.

    2. By the beginning of the 19th century, when the machine made it easier to harvest cotton for industrial use, almost all textiles, clothing, shoes and fabrics were made from hemp. At the same time, most textbooks in the US were made of hemp.

    3. One of the first paper mills in the US was owned by founding father Benjamin Franklin. His mill processed hemp for paper production. The war of 1812, a war between the United States and the United Kingdom was actually fought over hemp.

    4. At some point it was required by law in America that people grow hemp. In Virginia, in the early and mid-18th centuries, you could actually go to jail if you did not grow hemp. For about two hundred years in the early days of the United States, you could pay your taxes with the hemp you grew.

    5. The first popular automobile, Henry's Ford's famous Model T run on hemp gasoline, and the car itself was mostly made from hemp. Henry Ford also owned huge hemp fields. The Model-T was sometimes referred to as a "car grown from the ground". Most parts of the Model-T, including its plates made of hemp, were stronger than steel.

    6. For thousands of years, hemp played an important role in naval discovery, transportation and war, as almost all the rope and sails of most ships were made of hemp.

    7. Most of the early paintings, including those by the classic masters such as Van Gogh or Rembrandt, had been painted on hemp linen. The word "canvas" comes from the middle English word "canevas", which is a variation of the Latin word cannabis.


    8. By 1937, most of the paints and varnishes in America had been made from hemp seed oil.

    9. The US government predicted in the early 20th century that all papers would be made from hemp within just a few decades, and there would be no need to cut trees longer. The US had plans for hemp programs in place, as studies showed that hemp would deliver 4x as much for paper production as trees.

    10. Most early books, maps, maps, and flags, as well as the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence were made of hemp.