Hemp: What is its History and Why Did it Disappear?

The Hemp Timeline

Hemp has a vast history that cannot go unnoticed, Erba Cultivation stands behind what we believe, is the next revolution in American History. Let us take you on a journey to the earliest recorded history of hemp and some the secrets behind its dispariance. 

26,900 B.C. The first known Hemp rope was found in Czechoslovakia

8000 BCE – Hemp was the first plant known to have been domestically cultivated. The oldest relic of human history is Hemp fabric dated to 8,000 BC from ancient Mesopotamia, an area in present-day Turkey.

1820 – fast forward to the 18th century, humans are still using hemp which has become the most planted crops on the planet; because hemp could be used for so many materials it stimulated industries around products such as medicine, paper, oil, sack, fiber, and much more. 

1830s, 1900s –  about 90% of all paper and textile products were made with hemp. During this period, hemp extract was used for medicine, both for humans and animals, becoming the first billion-dollar industry. Americans were even legally bound to grow hemp during the Colonial Era and Early Republic. 

1930s – the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was formed. It was during this time that certain people against hemp could use the media to campaign against it. Marijuana and hemp were perfectly accepted as alternative medicine. but anti-hemp groups gained momentum.

In 1937, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act which effectively began the era of hemp prohibition.

In 2014, The Farm Bill allowed hemp in certain states for research. Kentucly was a key player initiating the hemp movement in the United States.

In 2018, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill which specified hemp (and its constituents such as CBD) as an industrial byproduct, not be regulated or criminalized by the DEA.

The Hemp Conspiracy 

Hemp has been one of the most significant crops for mankind up until this last century. It is astonishing to see how the widespread use of hemp has deteriorated to such an extent that people barely recognise it as anything but a plant that “gets you high”.

The truth is if cannabis was utilized for its vast array of commercial products, it could replace nearly all synthetic and toxic materials causing harm to our planet.

The main crisis for Hemp arose in America during the 1930’s due to propaganda created from companies with vested interest in new petroleum based synthetic textile companies and the large and powerful newspaper / lumber barons who saw hemp as the biggest threat to their businesses. Additionally, DuPont patented their new synthetic “plastic fiber” causes more tension.

By the 1930s, new machinery, which separated the fiber from the rest of the hemp plant, was available and affordable. These innovations have simplified the harvesting and production, making it more cost-effective. Manufacturers were also interested in byproducts such as the seed oil for paint, lacquer and hurds for paper. According to the February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics (written early 1937), hemp was then on the verge of once again becoming a billion-dollar crop.

However, in September 1937, the United States government, under the influence of the lobbying of synthetic textile companies (like DuPont) and several other powerful groups who saw hemp as a big threat to their businesses, proposed prohibitive tax laws, and levied an occupational excise tax upon hemp dealers. Later that year hemp production was banned altogether. The Canadian government, following the American lead, prohibited production under the Opium and Narcotics Act on August 1, 1938.


It might not be a quadicidence that humans have always used hemp. Studies have revealed that cannabis has evolved with humans over thousands of years in a process called co-evolution. New genetic mapping of cannabis plants shows that humans are closely related, sharing over 40% of our genome with the plant. 

While the hemp plant has undoubtedly served as a critical resource during our early history, it may provide an even greater purpose in our immediate future. There is no denying that our dependence on fossil fuels and dirty industrial processes has left us fighting against harsh chemicals and a build-up of synthetic materials. Opposed to the efforts of today’s greatest minds, the solution to this problem might not be a major technological advancement or a groundbreaking innovation. In reality, it may be as simple as a humble plant, with the ability to serve as a natural alternative to our most vital resources.

Along with growing hemp for the lucrative CBD oil it produces, Erba Cultivation will give back to the Earth by producing hemp for fiber and seed. Our long term vision is to make sure hemp-based products are available at a competitive price over synthetic and environmentally damaging materials, thus contributing in a small way to reversing the ecological crisis.

To learn more visit ErbaCultivation.com

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