When we talk about hemp in this post, we’re not referring to the special kind of smoked hemp that most of us are familiar with. Although both types of hemp belong to the same group of plants known as Cannabis, this type of hemp does not get you high, but it is no less useful for that!
Industrial hemp is one of the most versatile plants known to man, and for that reason it has been cultivated for thousands of years. Hemp is used for a myriad of things, from the textile, paper and construction industries to making renewable fuels. Let’s see the following 10 curious facts about hemp.
D.IVERSE USES OF HEMP
1. Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants, and one of the first to be converted into fiber for fabric production thousands of years ago. Hemp cultivation is believed to have originated in China 5,000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians also cultivated industrial hemp.
2. Until the early 19th century, when machinery made it easier to harvest cotton for industrial use, almost all textiles, clothing, and footwear were made from hemp. Around the same time, most American textbooks were made from hemp.
3. One of the first paper mills in the US belonged to founding father Benjamin Franklin. And in it he processed hemp for the production of paper. The War of 1812, between the United States and the United Kingdom, was actually a war over hemp.
4. At one point, the cultivation of hemp in the United States was required by law. In Virginia, in the early and mid-18th century, you could go to jail if you didn’t grow hemp. For the first two hundred years of American history, hemp could be taxed.
5. The first popular car, Henry Ford’s famous Model-T, ran on gasoline made from hemp, and the car itself was made mostly of hemp. Henry Ford also owned huge fields of hemp. The Model-T was also known as the “car grown on the land.” Most of the parts that were made of hemp, such as the panels, were stronger than steel.
6. For thousands of years, hemp played an important role in discovery, transportation, and naval battles, as almost all ropes and sails on ships were made from hemp.
7. Many early paintings, including those by classical masters like Van Gogh or Rembrandt, were painted on hemp canvas.
AHEMP SEED OIL
8. Until 1937, most American paints and varnishes were made with hemp seed oil.
9. At the turn of the 20th century, the US government predicted that, within a few decades, all paper would be made from hemp, and trees would no longer have to be cut down. The United States has plans to institute hemp cultivation programs since studies showed that hemp would produce 4 times more paper compared to trees.
10. Most early books, charts, maps, and flags, as well as the United States Constitution and drafts of the Declaration of Independence, were made of hemp.