Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) has been around a lot longer than most people realize. Some people are just beginning to find out the many benefits of hemp oil due to the legalization of Cannabis for medical use in the US. This plant has a long and rich history in America dating back to the colonial days and even farther in other parts of the world like China, Egypt, and Japan. Here are a few little-known facts about hemp:
● 1 acre of hemp can produce as much fiber as 2 -3 acres of cotton
● Grows wild in northern regions, probably for thousands of years
● Is capable of growing in all 50 states and has a short growing time 90 - 120 days
● Can be used for a variety of products such as paper, building materials, and clothing
● Was considered legal tender and used to pay property taxes in the colonial days
● Hemp seeds are very nutritious providing 64% of the daily value in protein per 100g
Hemp is not a new product it has been around for at least 10,000 years and as far as we can tell the earliest recorded use was in Asia, specifically China and Japan which makes a lot of sense since China is one of the largest growers of hemp. But how did it get to America? The same way we got coffee, tobacco, spices, and everything else; on trade ships from Spain. It made its way to early America and quickly became known as an ideal agricultural crop.
Hemp for fiber
It was grown by the colonists and later by American presidents. It was so popular for agriculture that it was replacing wood and tobacco as cash crops. It took a lot less hemp to make paper than processing wood, it could be mixed with lime to strengthen and harden concrete bricks for building homes, it was used for fiber in rope-making and for tarps, and as insulation. Hemp is a very fibrous plant making it excellent for manufacturing building materials, textiles, paper goods, clothing, and more due to its strength and durability. It is also used in combination with fiberglass and flax to make composite panels for automobiles. German automakers Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Audi incorporate hemp and other plant fibers into their vehicles.
Grown by American presidents
Hemp was so important as an agricultural crop in America that it was grown by the leaders of the country. George Washington, our 1st. president wrote letters and gave instructions for preparing the ground, planting the seed, and harvesting. It was important for the nation to find materials and sources to become self-sufficient since they had declared their independence from British rule. They had to have the means to support themselves. An early law actually required colonists to grow hemp for canvas, rope, and other uses.
Uses for Hemp Seed and Hemp Oil
The benefits of hemp go far beyond its value for building materials and industrial fibers, it also offers a source of nutrition and medicinal properties when used in topical applications and oral tinctures. The seeds contain protein, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, and essential fatty acids.
Hemp oil is created by cold-pressing the seeds. It contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which gives anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties when used in skincare products.
Hemp is a valuable product because it has so many uses. From building materials to clothing, to medicines, it has proven to be a beneficial plant that is economically important for the health, happiness, and growth of the country.