List Of 36 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Hemp History, Benefits, And Uses:
1. The oldest evidence of its use is represented by a piece of hemp fabric, discovered in Mesopotamia, which dates back to over 10,000 years. The oldest paper comes from China, two millennia ago, and is made from hemp fiber. Even pharaohs used hemp in the construction of the Great Pyramids.
Hemp became so important in 16th century England, that in 1553 King Henry VIII passed a law, whereby farmers who didn’t grow at least a quarter-acre of hemp on their land for every 60 acres they owned, were being fined.
2. Around 1619, when the US was still made of 13 colonies, farmers were obliged by law to grow hemp. It was used for manufacturing ropes, clothes, and linen. Also, cultivating hemp at that time was considered an act of patriotism. In 1850, in the US there were more than 8,000 hemp farms.
3. The word “marijuana” was first used in the mid-1930s to defame the good image and phenomenal history of the hemp plant. Another version of the name’s origin is Spanish, as a Mexican slang for cannabis. It is believed to be derived from the Spanish pronunciation of the names Mary and Jane. These two names were part of slang language used by the Mexican army to describe prostitutes and brothels.
4. Marijuana has over 200 nicknames, but the best known are – grass, hashish, chocolate, or ganja.
5. California was the first US state to legalize the medical use of cannabis in 1996. Currently, 23 US states plus DC have legalized marijuana.
6. Since January 1st, 2010, the Czechs can grow up to five plants of cannabis and have several marijuana cigarettes (joints) in their pockets, without the fear of prosecution.
7. In 2014, Uruguay legalized marijuana.
8. Only 2-3% of the varieties of hemp are considered “marijuana” because only these have particularly high levels of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), a psychoactive ingredient found in the leaves and flowers, that gives the “high” feeling.
Facts about the hemp plant
9. Indian Hemp or Cannabis Sativa is an annual herbaceous plant of the Cannabaceae family, with a high waist of 2-3 meters, which can grow up to 5 meters in exceptional cases. It has an unbranched stem, long lanceolate leaves with serrated edge and dense, semi-compact inflorescences.
10. In addition to an interesting array of vitamins and minerals, whole hemp seeds contain approximately 25% protein, 31% fat (in the form of a nutritious oil) and 34% carbohydrates. Due to this composition, hemp seeds can be used for the extraction of oil used in diet or manufacture of margarine. Unrefined oil is used to obtain lacquers, paints, linoleum, soap, and wax blades.
11. The seeds are widely used, as such or in concentrated food, in the diet of poultry (especially exotic birds: parrots, canaries, peacocks, etc.).
12. Hemp cakes that remain from oil extraction are used as such or in concentrated food for poultry, cattle, horses, sheep, fish, etc – 600 g hemp cakes equal the nutritional value of 1,000 g grains. In feeding pregnant cows, hemp cakes must be used in a restrictive manner as it may cause abortion.
13. Hemp wood represents about 55% of the stem’s weight and it contains more than 50% cellulose. The remains of the extraction are used for the manufacture of – paper, sound-insulating chipboard, in the furniture industry, artificial silk, lint for soundproofing between plasterboard.
14. Chaff resulting from seed crops is a very valuable fertilizer: 10 t husk of hemp equals 40t manure.
15. Almost all remedies have toxic effects, but hemp is not one of them. There are no records throughout the medical literature describing a death, documented and proven to be cannabis-induced.
16. Drugs used in medicine regularly receive a classification called LD-50. This classification shows at what dosage, 50% of test animals that received the drug will die as a result of drug-induced toxicity. A large number of researchers have tried to determine the LD-50 value for marijuana on test animals, without any success. Simply put, the researchers were unable to give animals enough marijuana to induce death.
Currently, LD-50 is only estimated at around 1: 20,000 or 1: 40,000. This means that in order to induce death to a marijuana smoker, one should use 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of marijuana that a single cigarette contains. Cigarettes provided by NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) weigh approximately 9 grams. A smoker should consume 680 kg of marijuana, within 15 minutes, to induce a lethal response.
Practically – impossible!
17. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, whom Barack Obama offered the position of a general counselor on health issues (Surgeon General), spoke on CNN about the fact that the medical benefits of this plant cannot be ignored anymore. “We already speak about more than a few isolated cases. There are already studies to support this,” said Gupta.
At the same time, the neurosurgeon wrote a letter apologizing for nearly 70 years in which the US public opinion was systematically misled and its part in this matter, referring to the general belief that the plant has a high potential for abuse and ignoring its medical benefits. “In fact, sometimes cannabis is the only thing that works,” states Gupta in this letter, originally published on CNN’s website.
The same neurosurgeon explains the functioning of medicinal cannabis:
“In the brain, there are cannabinoid receptors that control aspects such as the intensity of pain, hunger, mental status related parameters. On this plan we can find the potential benefits of cannabis”, said Gupta. Referring to specific cases in which cannabis’ action was determined, he spoke of improving the acute lack of appetite or headaches caused by chemotherapy, states of people who are infected with HIV, neuropathic pain, tremor caused by MS.
18. According to a study conducted by the University of Alabama, those who smoke a few joints per week have a higher lung capacity and strength of breath than those who don’t use marijuana. According to the same study, regular consumption of marijuana can prevent lung and breast cancer. Also, marijuana doesn’t cause any cancer, instead, it prevents it.
19. Hemp can be used in the manufacture of medicines. Let’s not forget that in the past the American Medical Association used to support cannabis-based treatments, which are more natural and less harmful to the human body than drugs that are based on petrochemical compounds.
20. Hemp seed oil is a unique remedy on Earth. About 3,000 years BC, the seeds were used to fight skin inflammation and were considered a tonic, regenerative, laxatives, diuretics, excellent for removing roundworms in newborns and animals. The oil contains three essential fatty acids: Omega 9 Omega 6 and Omega 3.
In a period of two weeks of use, the oil will reduce spasticity and neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders resulting in spasticity. In the case of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome – a neuropsychiatric disease in which the patient presents verbal and motor tics – the oil improves cognitive function and reduces the frequency of tics.
In cases of head trauma and cerebral ischemia, it reduces intracranial pressure and potential post-traumatic seizure, also glaucoma, in which case the intraocular pressure is reduced almost by half.
The seeds and oil are used in asthma, as they act as long-lasting bronchodilators.
Finally, the hemp seed oil is successfully used in cases of cancer and AIDS, preventing the side effects of chemotherapy and significantly increasing the quality of life of these patients. Like vitamins, essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the human body and therefore must be obtained from food. Well, hemp seed oil is the only one that contains fatty acids Omega 6 and Omega 3 in the magic ratio of 3:1.
21. Marijuana causes damage to neurons. This is a myth as the studies have contradicted this idea, proving that it actually protects the brain from the damage caused by alcohol.
22. Marijuana is NOT a bridge to other powerful drugs! Numerous studies have dismissed this idea, without a shadow of a doubt, that marijuana consumption leads to stronger drugs. In fact, marijuana has been successfully used in reducing addictions to other powerful drugs. In conclusion, it is the opposite of a drug that would lead to stronger drug use.
23. Aside from alcohol, marijuana is the most used drug in the world. According to a study, it is estimated that 162 million people use marijuana at least once a year, and 24.6 million use it daily (in 2013). Another study determined that daily 6,000 Americans use marijuana for the first time.
24. A hectare (10,000 square meters) of hemp can produce as much paper as 1.62 to 4 hectares of forest with a production cycle of 20 years; instead, it takes just four months for the hemp stem to reach maturity. Not only that but hemp paper can be recycled several times.
25. Hemp is ecological because it doesn’t require herbicides and pesticides and the soil where it is cultivated turns into humus. It also removes heavy metals from the soil and absorbs large quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
26. The hemp stem has the longest and strongest fibers of all plants, which can be transformed into any building material.
27. The Chinese used it as a medicinal plant and Indians used it in religious ceremonies. This was just the beginning. Whether it’s construction materials, types of paper, beer, most durable twine, hemp was always the main ingredient. Some of the most important documents in history were signed on hemp paper – the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence.
28. Leonardo da Vinci wrote most of his work on hemp paper, so it’s no surprise that great empires of the world considered it a “strategic” plant.
29. The first diesel engine was designed to use vegetable oils, including hemp oil. In the 1930s, Henry Ford produced a car that was composed 70% of plastic material made of hemp. Paintings of great artists such as Rembrandt, van Gogh, and Gainsborough were made on hemp canvas, using watercolors extracted from the same plant.
30. All plastic materials should be made from hemp seed oil. Hemp plastics are biodegradable and will not pollute rivers. Throughout their lives, they decompose and don’t harm the environment. Instead, plastics made from petroleum ruin nature. Hence, they are not biodegradable and unfortunately do great harm to the planet.
31. Hemp cultivation and manufacturing are no danger or threat to the environment. This statement was confirmed by the United States Development Agency (USDA), indicating that this plant produces 4 to 7 times less pollution than other organic substitutes of this plant.
32. Hemp contributes to the production of sustainable clothing, which is highly durable in time. However, in some US states such as Kentucky, extreme measures were taken in this matter, like wearing clothes made of hemp is considered a felony. Can you imagine being arrested on the street for wearing hemp jeans?
33. According to the FBI, in 2013 693,481 people were arrested for possession of marijuana in the United States.
34. According to the United Nations, Paraguay is the largest producer of marijuana in the world; Mexico is in 2nd place.
35. In 1631 and early 1800 USA, it was lawful for people to use hemp as currency to pay their taxes.
36. In 1916, the US government predicted that by 1940, all newspapers will be printed on hemp paper and thus there will be no more need for trees to be cut down. Studies show that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.3 acres of trees.
In conclusion, marijuana remains a highly dangerous plant, as in dangerous for pharmaceutical companies’ income and their political servants.
Leaving aside the impossibility of synthetical reproduction of any substances generated by this plant, proven and documented positive effects of cannabis are due not only to its individual components but precisely to its hallucinating combination of 488 substances, which modern science has been unable to decipher yet, in close correlation with the human endocannabinoid system.
“Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?” – Bill Hicks
In 2018, Thailand’s military government unanimously approved medical marijuana use. Also, President Donald Trump signed the farm bill on Thursday, that legalized industrial hemp in the United States.
In August 2019, over a quarter of the United States population now lives in a state which allows marijuana for nonmedical purposes.