Hemp. The topic invariably introduces a host of political discussions. Sometimes, pretty heated discussions. But really, why all the fuss? What is it? Where did it come from? And why do we care? Let’s find out in this – our quick version of the history of hemp.

What is it?
Hemp is derived from the plant Cannabis Sativa. More specifically, it is the fiber and seed part of the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is one of the fastest growing and most valuable crops in the world. The distinction of this plant is that it is grown for industry purposes and has lower levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and higher levels of cannabidiol (“CBD”). More on that in a moment.

The History
It’s been around a long time. In fact, it’s estimated to have been used by humans for 10 thousand years. What is known for sure is that the plant was being used around 8,000 BCE in modern day Taiwan. A cord of the plant was discovered in a piece of pottery from an ancient city dating to around this time.

During the 16th century, Great Britain began mass producing the crop in order to provide materials for the British naval fleet. The fiber was heavily used in production of ships. And hemp paper was used for maps and logs. And picture this: early American settlers were ordered to plant and grow the product for Great Britain!

With the invention of cars, came the need for fuel. Henry Ford began growing hemp in an attempt to convert it into oil. Prohibition campaigns soon followed, however. The crop was linked to marijuana and eventually outlawed until much later.

What is it good for?
The real MVP of the plant is CBD. CBD produces effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors, primarily in the brain. What is interesting is that the body already produces cannabinoids, and has two specific receptors to receive the chemical signals. These natural receptors deal with coordination, pain, emotions, thinking, appetite, and much more. The point to all this sciency talk? CBD actually alerts the brain to produce more of it’s own cannabinoids. This happens by ingesting or topically using CBD, which can be found in hemp oil.

So, what? Well, this process can lead to decreased pain and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It has been shown to reduce smoking and drug withdrawals, anxiety, depression, epileptic episodes, acne, and even the onset of Alzheimers. All through hemp oil. This powerful plant has a lot to offer.

And thus ends our condensed history of hemp.