Hemp has been used for centuries around the world for a variety of purposes, from paper and fabrics to medicines. Archaeological records of its use date back to ancient civilizations in North China as early as 10,000 BC. Hemp had many uses, such as oil or fuel, fabrics and building materials. It was imported to Japan and is still used today to dress Buddhist monks and sumo wrestlers.
The first traces of hemp were found in 8000 BC in the Asian regions that are now China and Taiwan. During this time, several states decided to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp, but farmers were always at risk of being penalized by the federal government. Although chemotype I cannabis and hemp (types II, III, IV, V) are cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they represent different groups of cultivars, usually with unique phytochemical compositions and uses. The Department of Agriculture began to strongly promote hemp and began to publish several benefits it offered, making it pointless to grow hemp because it was so expensive that farmers didn't bother. This program focused on growing hemp for use in textiles, such as ropes for the Navy, to boost United States efforts in World War II, recalling its early colonial use.
In order to recover the weakened Portuguese naval fleet after the Restoration of Independence in 1640, King John IV placed renewed emphasis on the cultivation of hemp. Although hemp was an important part of the early history of the United States, attitudes toward cultivation began to change in the early 20th century. The height of hemp promotion came when the United States government released a pro-hemp documentary called Hemp for Victory, encouraging farmers across the Midwest and Southeast to grow hemp to support the war. Before the War of Independence, many of the colonies were required by law to grow hemp and send it back to England, which created an industry surrounding cultivation that ultimately led to it being used as a currency and method for paying taxes. Bear Reel, plant geneticist and head of Development 26 of Charlotte's Web, leader in the CBD market, sat down to shed some light on the history of hemp. He argued that the spread of the name Kannabis was due to its historically more recent use of plants, which began in the south, around Iran, while the varieties of hemp without THC are older and more prehistoric.
While these laws against marijuana are some of the strictest in the world and allow five years in prison for possession of the drug, they exempt hemp producers. A new infrastructure is being created to help farmers harvest and process their crops, while new people discover hemp and CBD every day. Hemp has been used throughout history for a variety of purposes and is still used today for clothing and medicinal purposes. With new infrastructure being created to help farmers harvest and process their crops, more people are discovering hemp's potential every day.