Hemp is an ancient plant that has been cultivated for millennia. The Columbia History of the World (1996) states that weaving of hemp fiber began over 10,000 years ago! Carbon tests have suggested that the use of wild hemp dates as far back as 8000 B.C.
8000+ BC Use of hemp cord in pottery identified at ancient village site dating back over 10,000 years, located in the area of modern day Taiwan. Finding hemp use and cultivation in this date range puts it as one of the first and oldest known human agriculture crops.
6000 BC Cannabis seeds and oil used for food in China.
4000 BC Textiles made of hemp are used in China and Turkestan.
6000 BC Cannabis seeds and oil used for food in China.
2737 BC First recorded use of cannabis as medicine by Emperor Shen Neng of China.
2000-800 BC Bhang (dried cannabis leaves, seeds and stems) is mentioned in the Hindu sacred text Atharvaveda (Science of Charms) as “Sacred Grass”, one of the five sacred plants of India. It is used by medicinally and ritually as an offering to Shiva.
1500 BC Cannabis cultivated in China for food and fiber. Scythians cultivate cannabis and use it to weave fine hemp cloth.
A Little More Modern
In Great Britain, hemp cultivation dates back to 800AD. In the 16th Century, Henry VIII encouraged farmers to plant the crop extensively to provide materials for the British Naval fleet. A steady supply of hemp was needed for the construction of battleships and their components. Riggings, pendants, pennants, sails, and oakum were all made from hemp fiber and oil. Hemp paper was used for maps, logs, and even for the Bibles that sailors may have brought on board.
17th Century America, farmers in Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut were ordered by law to grow Indian hemp. By the early 18th century, a person could be sentenced to jail if they weren’t growing hemp on their land! Hemp was considered to be legal tender. For over 200 years in colonial America, hemp was currency that one could use to pay their taxes with!
When Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, the decline of hemp effectively began. The tax and licensing regulations of the act made hemp cultivation nearly impossible for American farmers. Anslinger, the chief promoter of the Tax Act, argued for anti-marijuana legislation around the world.
Viewing hemp as a threat, a smear campaign against hemp was started by competing industries, associating hemp with marijuana.
Hemp is a controversial crop in some regions of the world, due to concerns about psychoactive plants in the Cannabis genus. In some regions, cultivation of hemp is banned, although products made from hemp such as oil, hemp garments, and hemp paper may be legal. In other areas, hemp is permitted, but only industrial hemp, and some nations freely permit cultivation of all plants in this genus, assuming that regulation is a more efficient technique for control than outright bans. Wild hemp is also not uncommon in some regions of the world, making it difficult to enforce bans on hemp crops.
Hemp Oil Benefits
Hemp oil or hempseed oil is obtained by pressing hemp seeds. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to clear light green in color, with a nutty flavor. The darker the color, the grassier the flavor. It should not be confused with hash oil, a THC-containing oil made from the Cannabis flower, hailed by some for its medicinal qualities. Hemp oil contains a number of fatty acids which are very healthy for your skin. These fatty acids nourish and moisturize your skin in the right manner and sufficient amount. There are many skin products like face creams and body creams which have hemp oil as the main ingredients. This is because it is herbal and has almost no side effects. A skin massage of only hemp oil, would give you healthy and rich skin which looks very young and held. If you are a regular user of hemp oil products for the natural skin care, it acts as an anti-aging benefit too. Hemp oil may help with skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, acne and dry skin.
Hemp Oil Benefits for Hair
There are many hair health benefits of hemp oil as well. Many non-commercial and herbal hair products like shampoos, hair oils, conditioners, etc. are made by using hemp oil. Washing hair with hemp oil shampoos and conditioners, can thicken the hair texture and keep the scalp away from dandruff. Thus hemp oil is very beneficial for your hair care as well. Loss of hair is also reduced by using them and scalp infections and problems are kept away.
Hemp Oil Everyday Uses
Every application that uses petroleum for its skin and hair products can use hemp oil as it is more beneficial and herbal. It can be used in many health issues as a pain reducer.
• Since hemp oil is natural, it is used as a moisturizing oil which can be applied after a shower or a bath. When you massage your body with it, it nourishes the skin and increases the blood circulation.
• Hemp oil is used in cooking as well, though it is not suitable for high heat cooking. Along with giving a slightly nutty and crispy taste to food, it can be the perfect salad oil just in case you’re out of olive oil.
• Another application of hemp oil is its use as biodiesel in the same manner like other vegetable oils. It is a safe replacement for petroleum as it is non-toxic and doesn’t harm the environment.
• Almost all the forms of plastics can be made by using hemp oil instead of using petroleum as a base. As those made from petroleum, release harmful chemicals while decomposition, but those from hemp oil, don’t.
• Hemp oil can also be used in the production of paints as it doesn’t cause any harmful releases when washed down from the drain and has very low emissions than the petroleum paints which are currently being used.