Hemp History

Hemp History

Here’s a little interesting trivia related to hemp in our history. In the 13 colonies which joined to form the United States, the three primary agricultural products were tobacco, cotton and hemp. Apparently, the United States Constitution is written on hemp paper.


There are theories about why hemp became persecuted so intensely. One theory is related to the quality of hemp fiber. Hemp fiber has superior qualities. Hemp is an extremely fast growing crop, producing more fiber yield per acre than any other source. Hemp fiber is durable and antibacterial. Hemp fiber offers natural ultraviolet protection equivalent to SPF. Hemp was seen as a threat to the cotton industry, so the cotton growers tried to find a way to eliminate hemp as competition.

Another theory is related to four conspirators. Newspaperman William Randolph Hearst was heavily invested in the timber industry, and he had great power to influence public opinion. Hemp is well suited to make paper and building materials. Hemp was seen as a threat to the Dupont family, whose company had just invented nylon. Hemp fiber has properties superior to nylon. Andrew Mellon was the Secretary of the Treasury, richest man in USA, and he had significant investments in DuPont. Henry Ansliger was commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, who drafted the Marihuana Tax Act, which effectively killed the hemp industry.

Another theory is related to the internal combustion engine. A person instrumental in the invention of the internal combustion engine was Rudolf Diesel. In 1895, Rudolf Diesel invented an engine designed to run on vegetable oil or bio-diesel. Indeed, Henry Ford built his first cars to run on biodiesel. Hemp biodiesel was considered by many to be the ideal fuel for the internal combustion engine. When fuel for the internal combustion engine became big business, the petrochemical industry was born and quickly became dominated by some of the richest families in the world. Instead of fueling the cars of the world with fossil fuels or such products produced by the petrochemical industry, we could power the cars of the world with hemp biodiesel. To me, this seems like a marvelous thing to imagine. Hemp was seen as a threat to the petrochemical industry, so the petrochemical investors sought to find a way to eliminate hemp as competition.

All of these theories are related to economics for the rich to become richer.

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