FORBES: The Cannabis Market That Could Grow 700% by 2020

USA TODAY: Hemp, a Form of Cannabis to become legal with Trump’s signature on the Farm Bill.

The History of Hemp

The earliest recorded use of hemp dates back to around 8000 BC, where hemp fiber was found in a piece of pottery that was excavated from an ancient village in what’s now modern-day Taiwan.

In ancient China, hemp was so revered that the Chinese referred to their country as “the land of mulberry and hemp.”  

In the Atharvaveda, one of the ancient Hindu Vedic sacred texts, hemp is listed as one of the five sacred plants of India.  

Believed to be one of the world’s first cultivated crops, hemp has actually long been considered one of the most significant agricultural crops of mankind.

In 1977, Carl Sagan even suggested that Cannabis sativa likely led to the development of civilization itself.


Take a look at the following timeline to see just how important hemp has really been throughout history:

  • 8000 BC: Hemp fiber found in ancient pottery in what is modern-day Taiwan
  • 2000 BC: Hemp mentioned in the Atharvaveda as one of five sacred Indian plants
  • 600 BC: Hemp rope discovered in Russia
  • 500 BC: Hemp leaves and seeds found in Germany
  • 200 BC: Hemp rope discovered in Greece
  • 850 AD: Vikings use hemp rope and introduce it to Iceland
  • 900 AD: Hemp paper is made by Arabian people
  • 1533: King Henry VIII (King of England) fines farmers that do not cultivate hemp
  • 1616: Jamestown (the first English settlement in America) cultivates hemp to produce rope and fabric for clothing and sails
  • 1700s: George Washington grows hemp and is quoted as saying: “Make the most you can of Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere.”
  • 1776: Declaration of Independence in written on hemp paper
  • 1916: Article published by USDA that hemp produces 4x as much paper per acre than trees
  • 1937: Marihuana Tax Act is enacted and the production of hemp becomes something that’s strongly discouraged
  • 1938: Article published by Popular Mechanics explaining how hemp could be used to produce 25,000 different products
  • 1942: Henry Ford builds a car made out of hemp that is 10x stronger than steel
  • 1942: “Hemp for Victory” program set up by the USDA, which encouraged farmers in the Midwest and Southeast to cultivate hemp to support the war.
  • 1957: The last commercial hemp fields in the US are planted in Wisconsin
  • 1970: The Controlled Substances Act is passed and hemp is classified as a Schedule I Substance (the strictest regulation that exists) and cultivation becomes illegal
  • 1998: Food-grade hemp seed and oil are imported into the US
  • 2007: Two farmers in North Dakota are given the first licenses to grow hemp in over 50 years
  • 2014: The Farm Bill is signed by President Barack Obama, allowing for limited hemp farming
  • 2018: The 2018 Farm Bill is passed, ultimately legalizing hemp production again in the US

Did you know that the word “canvas” can be traced back to the Latin word “cannapaceus,” which means “made of hemp?”

It’s suggested that the word might have originated from the Greek word ““κάνναβις,” which means “cannabis.”