The Evolution of Hemp

Bethan

How Hemp is Being Used: The Evolution of Hemp from Ancient to Modern Times

Hemp is widely misunderstood. Uneducated people might believe that smoking hemp gets you high but in fact, this controversial crop is typically grown for its seeds and fiber. Hemp contains higher levels of a cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) than it does tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): the compound that gets you stoned. 

A variety of the cannabis Sativa plant species, hemp is usually found growing naturally in the northern hemisphere. However, farmers around the globe cultivate their own hemp for a number of reasons, not just in today's modern world but also, in ancient times!

Humanity began growing cannabis crops before my other crop types, with hemp being cultivated by Chinese farmers as many as 6,000 years ago. Since this fast-growing marijuana plant species is so high-yielding and easy to grow, there's no wonder why the roots of ancient hemp use run deep.

 

Full of anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy benefits, hemp seeds are crammed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The body depends on these essential fatty acids for healthy living! The University of Maryland Medical Center claims that the colorless and refined hemp oil will not have a psychoactive effect. It will, however, enhance nutrition. 

But just how much has hemp use changed since the ancient times to the modern world? Let's find out.

What are the benefits of modern and ancient hemp use?

It might be regaining its popularity by the day, but hemp’s potential has long been recognized for its medical potential. An example is cold-pressed hemp oil, which is a fantastic source of vitamin A and C. Furthermore, it is available in refined and unrefined form. According to a study conducted by The Genetic Structure of Marijuana and Hemp, “Analysis of both marijuana and hemp revealed clear genetic structure separating one another.” 

So different are the genetics of each type of hemp, that diverse breeds can be cultivated with minimal or no THC production, making hemp useful for making/treating the following things:

Paper 
Rope 
Clothing 
Sails
Construction Materials
Biofuel
Milk
Reducing Acne
Removing Cosmetics
Cooking
Protein Powder
Soap
Health Foods, and many more.

In addition to the above things, modern hemp use and ancient hemp use has been relied on for nutraceuticals and medical treatments. Positive side effects include digestive system improvement and healthier skin. Hemp seed oil's high content of amino acids has even cured cancer patients, as well as genetic mutations, based on a Cannabis Extract Study.
 

The Origins of Ancient Hemp Use

Before the government put a stop to it, hemp was once considered a billion dollar crop! Hemp industrialization might have occurred as far back as ancient Egypt, although there is solid proof that the Chinese started hemp farming around 5,000 years ago. The first ever Bibles were made from hemp paper and historic canvas paintings were displayed on sheets of natural hemp.

One of the many ancient uses for hemp include enhancing healthy soil, manufacturing biodegradable (environmentally-friendly) plastics, making fuel, preparing construction materials for building purposes and, in many cases, hemp was cultivated for the creation of essential textiles and paper. At one point, 90% of boat parts, including ropes and sails, were constructed using hemp.

Once upon a time, schoolbooks were crafted from flax or hemp paper. The history of hemp use also tells us how the founding fathers of America actually grew hemp (George Washington included). 

Get this: Thomas Jefferson even smuggled hemp seeds to France and America from China! Pretty badass, considering the laws were pretty strict back then. This is a stark contrast to the laws that were put into place from 1763-1769, when it was illegal for residents of Virginia not to grow hemp!

A valuable natural material for numerous reasons, hemp was processed inside one of Benjamin Franklin's paper mills and the 1812 War was caused in large part to Napoleon's battle for stopping the exportation of hemp to England from Moscow. Since hemp was utilized to create 80% of bed sheets for just short of a decade after, there's no wonder why it was (and still is) in such high demand.
 

How does modern hemp use differ?

The modern world has not forgotten about the many ancient hemp uses, but you can expect to use a closed loop extraction system to make high-CBD hemp oils that can be used for tinctures or vaping. The Hemp Business Journal estimates growth in the sales of hemp and CBD products for 2017, with sales exceeding $688 million in 2016.

So popular is hemp nowadays that it is transforming the outlook for industrial hemp farming. Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States alone are actively using hemp oil, whether it is for the treatment of seizures, to inhale the oil using a vaporizer, or by infusing it with their favorite food recipes. The nutty green-colored oil is a miracle crop that today's farmers are taking a keen interest in.  Demand for modern hemp use is growing, with hemp-related jobs contributing to the economy as a natural and sustainable option. Numerous well-known companies are also going 'green', by using hemp for the manufacturing of products sold by The Body Shop and Ford  to name a few.

Although it remains a controversial drug, modern hemp uses include targeted cancer therapy, migraine treatment and a reduction in the negative effects associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, based on findings published by a scientific study

Today's Alternatives to Ancient Hemp Tools

Times have changed and the tools on offer for the uses of hemp are evolving at a rapid rate. Should you wish to extract the oil and make your own tinctures, lotions or hemp-infused oil, consider using a seed oil extractor machine, like The BestEquip Manual Oil Press Machine

Some other types of hemp products that have modernized since the history of hemp use (and are available to buy from Amazon) include:


Nativas Organics Hemp Protein Powder 
Populum, Premium Hemp Oil Supplement
VitaScents Hemp Soothing Muscle Jelly
HempCore Relax Anxiety Relief Supplement

Check out LiveStoner’s range of weed accessories for a better insight into the gadgets you could be adding to your ganja collection! 

Bethan is a full-time wanderluster, traveler, and digital nomad with 7 years of experience in the freelance writing world. She has mastered the art of beating jet lag and using hammocks as an office for content curation.

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