When we hear of the hemp plant, many of us think of cannabis and marijuana. For many years, people thought of hemp as a plant that is illegal and causes psychoactive effects. However, the hemp plant is not responsible for any psychoactive effects because the cannabinoid compound responsible for this effect, THC, is very low in the hemp plant.
Today, more and more people are realizing the benefits of hemp and its long history. Humans have been using hemp for over 10,000 years. Hemp is one of the earliest crops that we cultivated, even before wheat and rice.
What Is Hemp?
The hemp and the marijuana plants fall under the genus Cannabis Sativa, even though they both are very different. The presence of THC is one of the main features that differentiate both plants. The amount of THC in the marijuana plant is very high (5-30%) and it can make the users high.
The amount of THC in the hemp plant is almost less than 0.3% and this level of THC is not enough to create any psychoactive effects. That’s why hemp-derived products like CBD oil, hemp oil, and hempseed oil are getting so much popularity around the world.
History Of Hemp
The earliest records of the hemp plant date back to 8,000 BCE. Archeologists have found traces of hemp in China and Taiwan and evidence that hemp cords were used in poetry. In the Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda, which is believed to be written between 2,000 BCE and 800 BCE, the hemp is described as the sacred grass.
Before the hemp became one of the five sacred plants of India, its use was limited exclusively to China and some parts of the Middle East. Many records show that hemp was used to make paper in China around 200 BCE.
Legality Of Hemp In US
For many years, hemp was banned in the United States. The demonization of hemp began in the 1920s. It begins with the publishing of anti-cannabis propaganda by W.R. Hearst. Hearst was the owner of one of the largest newspaper outlets and he feared that the hemp-derived paper is a threat to the wood-derived paper.
As a result of this and various other anti-marijuana campaigns, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed in 1937, which made the production and distribution of cannabis more difficult. In 2014, the US Congress passed the Farm Bill. According to the bill, it is now legal to grow and farm hemp. In 2018, the bill evolved into The Agriculture Improvement Act and legalized the production, sale, and use of hemp-derived products.