Hemp is woven into fabric and grows in popularity over time
on a global
scale to eventually provide over 80% of all textiles and fabrics, including
over 50% of the fabric called linen.
Cannabis, as hemp fabric and cordage, medicine, and food, has
been incorporated into virtually all cultures of the Middle East, Asia
Minor, India, China, Japan, and Africa.
Nomadic tribes from the East migrate into the Mediterranean
regions and eventually Europe, introducing hemp along the way.
1000 B.C. to 1883A.D.
Hemp is the world's largest agricultural crop,
providing materials to support civilization's most important industries,
including fiber for fabric and rope, lamp oil for lighting, paper, medicine
and food for both humans and domesticated animals.
1000 B.C. to 1900 A.D.
Hemp Extracts are the #1, #2, and #3 most important
and most frequently used medicine for two-thirds of the world's population.
500 B.C. to 1900 A.D.
Ninety percent of the sailcloth and rigging lines
used for all sea-going vessels is made from hemp. ( including the U.S.
ship 'Constitution', better known as 'Old Ironsides'.)
Chinese discover how to make paper from hemp.
Gutenberg Bible is printed on hemp paper.
King Philip of Spain mandated the cultivation of hemp for food,
fiber and medicine throughout the Spanish territory in Central and South
Rembrandt paints on hemp canvas.
King James Bible is printed on hemp paper.
America's first hemp law is enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia,
ordering all farmers to grow hemp.
'Must grow' hemp laws are enacted throughout Massachusetts.
1631 to early 1800's
Hemp is 'legal tender' and taxes may be paid with
hemp throughout most of the Americas.
1632 to mid `1700's
'Must grow' hemp laws enacted in Connecticut and
the Chesapeake Colonies.
Gainesborough paints on hemp canvas.
1740 - 1940
Russia is the world's largest and 'best quality' producer
of hemp, supplying 80% of Western hemp rope.
Benjamin Franklin starts one of America's first hemp-rag paper
1763 - 1767
Farmers who do not grow hemp can be arrested and jailed in
The patriotic populace organizes spinning bees to turn hemp fiber
into clothing for General Washington's Continental Army.
First and second drafts of the Declaration of Independence are written
on hemp paper.
The Stars and Stripes is endorsed as the Capitol Flag of the U.S.A.
and made of hemp fabric.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grow hemp on their plantations.
Van Gogh paints on hemp canvas.
Australians survive two prolonged famines by using hemp seed for protein
and leaves for roughage.
Hemp seed oil, long the most popular lighting oil in the world, falls
to second place in popularity as whale oil becomes widely accessible.
The use of hemp extracts as a recreational stimulant spreads through
Western culture and romantic writers expound on individual freedom and
human dignity, extolling cannabis use. Their works include: The Count of
Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Alice in Wonderland, and Through the
America goes to war with Great Britain over free-trade access to
1837 - 1901
Queen Victoria uses cannabis resins to treat menstrual cramps,
sparking enormous interest in the uses of cannabis as a medicine in the
English- speaking world.
Abraham Lincoln uses hemp-seed oil to fuel his household lamps.
writes ( as a general statement on government function and legislation
): "Prohibition... goes beyond the bounds of reason in
that it attempts to control a man's appetite by making a crime out of things
that are not crimes... A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles
upon which our government was founded."
1842 - 1890
Extracts and derivatives of the hemp plant are the second
and third most prescribed medicines in the U.S.A. Eli Lilly, Parke-Davis,
Squibb, Brothers Smith and other firms produce these medicines through
1930. During this time, not one death or severe side-effect is recorded
as an attribute to use.
U.S. census records 8,327 hemp plantations of 2,000 acres or more
and an uncalculated number of small hemp farms.
'Ganjah Wallah Hasheesh Candy Company' produces one of the most
popular candies in the U.S. It is made from cannabis derivatives and
maple sugar, sold over-the-counter, and in Sears-Roebuck catalogs. It retains
its popularity as a totally harmless and fun candy for over forty years.
Alice in Wonderland is published on hemp paper.
The popularity of smoking female cannabis tops, to ease the back-breaking
labor of working sugar cane fields and tolerate the hot sun as well as
to relax recreationally with no alcohol "hang-over", begins to
spread in the West Indies with the immigration of Hindus who are imported
to provide cheap labor. Gradually, this popularity makes its way into the
United States through St. Louis.
Hashish smoking parlors have opened in every major American city,
including an estimated 500 such establishments in New York City alone.
1890's Popular American 'marriage guides' recommend cannabis extracts
for heightened marital pleasures. Women's temperance groups, lobbying for
alcohol prohibition, suggest cannabis as a suitable substitute for the
1901 - 1937
U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts repeatedly that with
the advent of machinery capable of harvesting, stripping and separating
the hemp fiber from the pulp, hemp will again be America's "Number
1916 U.S.D.A. publishes Bulletin No. 404, "Hemp Hurds As Paper-Making
Material," extolling and demonstrating the outstanding qualities of
paper manufactured from hemp-pulp, a new process. The document was printed
on hemp-pulp paper and explained the new technology. Previously most all
paper was made with the hemp fiber content of 'rag' (worn out clothing).
To this point in time, U.S. Government papers were written, by law,
on "hempen rag paper".
Henry Ford begins extensive research into the production of methanol
(as a fuel) and the manufacture of plastics from renewable vegetable
crops, including hemp.
116 million pounds of hemp seed are used commercially in America
to manufacture paint and varnish.
February issue of Mechanical Engineering includes the feature story "The
Most Profitable and Desirable Crop That Can Be Grown" which tells
about the new machines being used to harvest hemp.
4 million pounds of
hemp seed are sold retail as song-bird food in the U.S.A.
10 million aces of hemp grows wild in the U.S.A., providing an important
food source for hundreds of millions of birds.
The February issue of Popular Mechanics runs a story, (prepared
before the 1937 legislation was enacted) titled: "New Billion Dollar
Crop." It tells about the new machine for harvesting hemp which "solves
a problem more than 6,000 years old." It further states that increased
hemp production "will displace imports of raw material and manufactured
products" and calls hemp the "standard fiber of the world." Popular
Mechanics goes on to say hemp can "produce more than 25,000 products,
ranging from dynamite to Cellophane." This is the first time ever
in U.S. history the term 'billion-dollar' is applied to the potential for
an agricultural harvest.
December issue of Popular Mechanics features a story on Henry Ford,
showing a picture of the car he "grew from the soil." The automobile's "plastic
panels with impact strength 10 times greater than steel were made from
wheat, hemp, and spruce pulp." The auto weighed 1/3 less than its
U.S. government overrides its own ban on hemp and distributes 400,000
pounds of hemp seed to U.S farmers who produce 42,000 tons of hemp fiber
annually to support the war effort until 1946.
U.S. farmers, including youthful 4-H Club members, are inundated by "Uncle
Sam" with incentives to grow hemp. The U.S.D.A. makes it mandatory
for farmers to attend showings of the "Hemp For Victory" film.
Farmers and their sons who agree to grow hemp are exempt from military
service, even though America is at war.
U.S.D.A. finds that hemp seed is lower in saturated fats than any
vegetable oil (including soybean and canola).
Other studies note that until this century hemp-cake (the by-product
of pressing the seed for oil ) was one of the world's principle animal
It is also found that hemp seed, like soybeans, can produce a tofu-like
curd and be spiced to taste like chicken, steak or pork; can be sprouted
for salads, ground into meal, and also made into margarine.
is recommended as a nutritionally balanced food for domestic pets and
Researchers at the Medical College of Virginia discover that cannabis
incredibly successful for reducing the size of many types of tumors,
Garments containing hemp fiber are available to the American public
for the first time in over 50 years, however, this clothing must be imported
to the U.S. from China (via Hong Kong) and carries a huge protective