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A Brief History of Hemp on Independence Day

This week, on July 4th, you and your loved ones will celebrate American freedoms with cookouts, fireworks, and maybe even CBD. As we celebrate history, it’s important to look back on the past to see how far we’ve come, especially in the realm of hemp and CBD. Here is a brief history of hemp on Independence Day.

Hemp in 8,000 BCE

Hemp has been used and cultivated for various purposes as far back as 8,000 BCE in China. Based on archeological finds, hemp fiber was used in pottery and textiles, and hemp seeds were grown alongside other crops. As the Chinese continued to grow hemp, more and more uses were developed, including those that were medicinal.

Emperor Shen Nung

Emperor Shen Nung reigned as emperor in the 2,000’s BCE. This emperor is also known as the Father of Chinese Medicine due to this interest in herbs for medicinal purposes.
Interestingly, the Emperor was intrigued by the cannabis plant for a very traditional reason. The cannabis plant is male and female, which directly intertwines with the traditional Chinese notion of Yin & Yang. This, and the regular use of hemp in numerous Chinese industries meant that hemp would be accepted in the medical realm as well.
Emperor Shen Nung detailed his medical findings regarding hemp in an infamous text titled the Pen Ts’ao Ching, or The Herbal. Using hemp seeds and stalks, Nung made teas that reportedly helped with digestive conditions, reproductive disorders, and arthritis. Nung also used hemp to create balms, which he reported helped relieve localized pain.

Hemp is Ingrained in U.S. History

When European colonists stumbled upon the New World, they found that the Native Americans were cultivating hemp. They found that hemp could be grown quite easily, and produce tough fibers, meant they would grow it too. As settlements grew and expanded across the colonial United States, hemp was grown as even used as legal tender!
In the 18th century, hemp cultivation continued. Hemp was grown by many of the founding father’s, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. In fact, some of the nation’s most important documents, like the Declaration of Independence, was probably drafted on hemp paper.

A ‘Thumbs-Down” for Hemp in the 20th Century

Throughout the 20th century, many US states banned “all things cannabis.” Eventually, this spread to the federal level, which would be a blow to the hemp and cannabis industries for decades. More specifically, in 1970, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, which banned the import, export, and cultivation of all varieties of cannabis, including industrial hemp. It wasn’t until 2004 that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that parts of the hemp plant couldn’t be regulated by the DEA. Then, 10 years later, the 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to begin growing hemp for research purposes.

Hemp History on Independence Day

Hemp has had a long, 10,000-year-old history. Until recently, the history of hemp in the United States was somewhat tumultuous. Luckily, hemp is now used in numerous industries, and used to create the pure CBD isolate in your favorite Infinite CBD products!

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