Each day we will chip away at one of the many reasons why hemp's history is important:
Day 1: Hemp is the earliest known plant cultivated for textiles. Archaeologists found a remnant of hemp cloth in ancient Mesopotamia (currently Iran and Iraq) which dates back to 8,000 BC. Hemp is also believed to be the oldest example of human industry. In the Lu Shi, a Chinese work of the Sung dynasty (500 AD), we find reference to the Emperor Shen Nung (28th century BC) who taught his people to cultivate hemp for cloth. It is believed that hemp made it to Europe in approximately 1,200 BC. From there, it spread throughout the ancient world. https://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v13/2/history.html
Day 2: Civilizations discovered that hemp seed is high in protein, vitamins, and essential fatty and amino acids, an ideal source of food and nutrition. Additionally, recent studies have shown that hemp seeds or hemp seed oil may reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clot formation and help the heart recover after a heart attack.
Day 3: Henry Ford himself manufactured the body of an automobile from hemp-based plastic in 1941. The plastic was much lighter than steel and could withstand ten times the impact without denting. The car was even fueled by clean-burning hemp-based ethanol fuel.
Day 4: In the 1930s, Ford had a whole facility destined to extract biodiesel from hemp biomass. The reason? Biofuel made from pressed hemp seed can be used in any conventional diesel engine. Using this method, hemp can produce approximately 780 liters of oil per hectare, about 4 times more than soybeans. In addition, the rest of the hemp biomass can be used to produce ethanol, a key alcohol in the creation of biofuels, which is traditionally extracted from corn or sugar cane. A 2010 study from the University of Connecticut showed that hemp oil has a 97% conversion rate to diesel.
Day 5: Hemp is a high-yield crop. One acre of hemp produces twice as much oil as one acre of peanuts, and nearly four times as much fiber pulp (for paper) as an acre of trees. Hemp paper is naturally acid-free and does not yellow as quickly as tree pulp-based paper.
Day 6: Cultivated industrial hemp plants usually consist of a spindly main stalk covered with leaves. Considered a low-maintenance crop, hemp plants typically reach between 6 to 15 feet in height. Depending on the purpose, variety and climatic conditions, the period between planting and harvesting ranges from 70 to 140 days.
Day 7: Cannabis hemp was legal tender (money) in most of the Americas from 1631 until the early 1800s. Why? To encourage American farmers to grow more.
Day 8: Benjamin Franklin started one of America’s first paper mills with cannabis.
Day 9: In addition, various marijuana and hashish extracts were the first, second or third most-prescribed medicines in the United States from 1842 until the 1890s. Its medicinal use continued legally through the 1930s for humans and figured even more prominently in American and world veterinary medicines during this time.
Day 10: Cannabis extract medicines were produced by Eli Lilly, Parke-Davis, Tildens, Brothers Smith (Smith Brothers), Squibb and many other American and European companies and apothecaries. During all this time there was not one reported death from cannabis extract medicines, and virtually no abuse or mental disorders reported, except for first-time or novice-users occasionally becoming disoriented or overly introverted.
Day 11: The U.S. Pharmacopoeia indicated that cannabis should be used for treating such ailments as: fatigue, fits of coughing, rheumatism, asthma, delirium tremens, migraine headaches and the cramps and depressions associated with menstruation.
Day 12: From more than 1,000 years before the time of Christ until 1883 A.D., cannabis hemp, indeed, marijuana was our planet’s largest agricultural crop and most important industry, involving thousands of products and enterprises; producing the overall majority of Earth’s fiber, fabric, lighting oil, paper, incense and medicines. In addition, it was a primary source of essential food oil and protein for humans and animals.
Day 13: The original, heavy-duty, famous Levi pants were made for the California ‘49ers out of hempen sailcloth and rivets. This way the pockets wouldn’t rip when filled with gold panned from the sediment.
Day 14: In the 20th century, cannabis research has demonstrated therapeutic value and complete safety in treating many health problems including asthma, glaucoma, nausea, tumors, epilepsy, infection, stress, migraines, anorexia, depression, rheumatism, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and herpes.
Day 15: Until the 1880s in America (and until the 20th century in most of the rest of the world), 80 percent of all textiles and fabrics used for clothing, tents, bed sheets and linens, rugs, drapes, quilts, towels, diapers, etc., and even our flag, “Old Glory,” were principally made from fibers of cannabis.
Day 16: Until 1883, from 75-90 percent of all paper in the world was made with cannabis hemp fiber, including that for books, Bibles, maps, paper money, stocks and bonds, newspapers, etc.
Day 17: Prior to 1937, there were more than 10 million acres of seed-laden cannabis hemp growing wild in the U.S. & all of Earth.
Day 18: Hemp seed is the favorite of fish, as well as, most birds.
Day 19: The exceptionally high edestin content of hempseed combined with albumin, another globular protein contained in all seeds, means the readily available protein in hempseed contains all the essential amino acids in ideal proportions to assure your body has the necessary building blocks to create proteins like disease-fighting immunoglobulins -antibodies whose job is to ward off infections before the symptoms of sickness set in.
Day 20: Marijuana was America’s number-one analgesic for 60 years before the rediscovery of aspirin around 1900.
Day 21: One acre of hemp can yield an average of 700 pounds of grain, which in turn can be pressed into about 22 gallons of oil and 530 pounds of meal. The same acre will also produce an average of 5,300 pounds of straw, which can be transformed into approximately 1,300 pounds of fiber.
Day 22: Additionally, hemp grown for biomass could fuel a trillion-dollar per year energy industry, while improving air quality and distributing the wealth to rural areas and their surrounding communities, and away from centralized power monopolies. More than any other plant on Earth, hemp holds the promise of a sustainable ecology and economy.
Day 23: By using 100 percent hemp or mixing hemp with organic cotton, you will be able to pass on your shirts, pants and other clothing to your grandchildren. Intelligent spending could essentially replace the use of petrochemical synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester with tougher, cheaper, cool, absorbent, breathing, biodegradable, natural fibers.
Day 24: Hemp can be used to create fiber boards that are both lighter and stronger than wood.
Day 25: Hemp can grow in all 50 states, and is ready for harvesting in as little as 90-120 days.