Little Known Hemp Facts
More than 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, curtains, etc... were made from hemp. Right up until the 1820's with the introduction of wide spread cotton farming.
All school books were made from hemp, or flax, paper until the 1880's.
Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America, processing hemp.
The oldest known records of hemp farming, go back over 5,000 years in China.
The war of 1812 was fought over hemp... Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow's import of hemp to England.
Some states in America, during the 17th and 18th centuries, made it illegal to not grow hemp. In fact, in Virginia, you could be jailed for not growing the crop! You could even pay your taxes with hemp in America (from 1631, right up to the early 1800's)
Paints and varnishes were made from Hemp Seed Oil until 1937. In fact, over 58,000 tonnes of hemp seeds were used in America for paint products in 1935.
For thousands of years, 90% of all ships' sails and ropes were made from hemp. Interestingly, the word canvas comes from the english word canevus, which comes from the latin word cannabis. (source, Websters New World Dictionary)
In 1938, hemp was called the "Billion Dollar Crop." It was the first time a cash crop had the business potential to exceed a billion dollars.
The first crop grown in many American States was hemp. 1850 was a peak year for the American State of Kentucky, producing 40,000 tonnes. Hemp was the largest cash crop in America until the 20th century.
In 1916, it was predicted that by the 1940's all paper would be made from hemp and no more trees would need to be cut down. Government studies at the time concluded that just 1 acre of hemp, equalled to 4.1 acres of trees. Obviously, this still rings true now!
And then there was that time that Henry Ford started the Green Revolution.... the Model-T was built to run on Hemp Oil and the car itself was constructed from HEMP! The car, "grown from the soil" had hemp plastic panels, whose impact strength was 10x stronger than steel. (source, Popular Mechanics 1941)
Now, you can ask yourself, why it was made illegal just as the cotton, timber, oil, paper, plastic and pharmaceutical companies took off!