Believed to be one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history, evidence suggests that hemp was first harvested as long ago as 2800 BCE. Since then, this dynamic crop has spanned continents, reached the hands of kings, and even sprawled across the farm of the first U.S. president, taking on a life of its own as a powerful and diverse gift of nature. Hemp’s history is just as rich as its many, many uses, and our understanding of this incredible plant is just beginning to scratch the surface.
- 2737 BCE: First recorded medicinal use of hemp in China under Emperor Shen Hung to treat rheumatism, gout, malaria & memory loss.
- 1533: King Henry VIII of England passes a law to fine farmers for failure to grow enough hemp.
- 1619: Jamestown lawmakers pass measures to encourage the production of hemp.
- 1760s: George Washington grows hemp as a staple crop at Mount Vernon, and did so throughout his life.
- 1839: Irish physician William O’Shaughnessy introduces research using cannabis as a medical treatment after conducting studies in India.
- 1890s: Queen Victoria regularly takes cannabis for medicinal purposes under the advisement of her doctors.
- 1914: The Harrison Narcotics Act passes in U.S. Congress, outlawing opium & heroin and kicking off an era of more intense drug & alcohol restrictions.
- 1937: The Marihuana Tax Act passes, placing heavy regulations and taxes on the importation, cultivation, and sales of all cannabis (including marijuana and hemp).
- 1942: The hemp industry experiences a brief resurgence with the Hemp for Victory campaign during WWII that aimed to increase the production of hemp rope for naval use.
- 1967: The Controlled Substances Act places cannabis at the top of a list of dangerous drugs, effectively criminalizing it.
- 1990s: Medical marijuana becomes popular in the U.S.
- 1992: The Endocannabinoid System (ECS), the body’s means of processing hemp-extract & other balancing ingredients, is discovered.
- 2012: Colorado & Washington become the first states to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use.
- 2010s: Legalization of Cannabis beomes a national issue.
- 2018: The Agricultural Improvement Act legalizes CBD in all 50 states.