Hemp History

Hemp cultivation dates back to the beginnings of recorded history. Its first use was as food for humans and animals in Ancient China and India. Its fibre then became indispensable for making many necessary items.

For nearly 3000 years Hemp was planet Earth’s largest agricultural crop and most important industry producing the fibre, paper, clothing, lighting fuel and medicine used by much of humanity. It is and has always been Earths’ most sustainable natural resource.

Modern technological advances have made possible a large variety of foods that can be made from Hemp Seeds including Cheese, Milk, Ice Cream, Flour, Hemp Tofu, Butter and Oil. From the leaves and stalks it is now possible to make over 20,000 types of products from medicine to houses to cellophane to dynamite.

4000BC

Clay pot unearthed in Taiwan that had been decorated with wrappings of Hemp twine.

2800 BC

Egyptian Goddess Sheshat (“the Goddess who measures”) depicted with a Hemp leaf above her head - records indicate Hemp was used for making measuring ropes in building construction.

2600 BC

Chinese Emperor Shennong recorded the worlds first medical text listing medicinal properties of Hemp. The Chinese used Hemp fibre for their bow strings and leaves were used for treating wounded soldiers. The Emperor made it compulsory for some farmers to grow Hemp. China becomes known as “The land of Hemp and Mulberry.”

2000 BC

Ancient Hindus of India list dried Cannabis leaves, seeds and stems in their first medicinal texts like the Atharvaveda. Cannabis is listed as one of the five sacred plants of India.

1500 BC

Cannabis is listed as a medicine in the Ebers Papyrus from ancient Egypt

800 BC

Large stash of Cannabis leaves and seeds found in medicine bag of a mummified shaman in a tomb in the Gobi desert of China.

200 BC

First paper invented in China - is made from Hemp

70 AD

Dioscorides - medical doctor to Roman Emperor Nero lists Hemp extract in his famous medical text which went on to be used for over 1000 years.

400 AD

Mummified Ying Pan man discovered in China wearing a painted mask made from Hemp - the earliest known Hemp bio-plastic.

768

King Charles the Great encourages growing of Hemp throughout his empire.

1454

The Gutenberg Bible - the world’s first book printed on a moveable type printing press is printed on Hemp paper. The few remaining original copies of the Gutenberg Bible are considered to be the most valuable books in the world with a complete copy valued at over $25 million.

1492

Christopher Columbus brings European Hemp to the new world.

1533

King Henry 8th issued a royal proclamation which imposed a fine on any farmer that did not use some of his land for growing Hemp to supply the King’s Navy.

1538

England’s first botanist, William Turner praises Hemp as a medicine in his book “New Herbal”

1619

America’s first Cannabis law orders all farmers MUST grow Hemp. Hemp is made a legal tender (ie. can be used to pay taxes)

1690

First American Paper Mill makes paper from Hemp

1763

New laws in America make growing Hemp compulsory for all farmers.

1776

The Declaration of Independence written on Hemp Paper by a Hemp Farmer.

1789

“Make the most of Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere” - George Washington, 1st President of USA and Hemp Farmer

1797

“We shall, by and by, want a world of Hemp more for our own consumption” - John Adams, 2nd President of USA and Hemp Farmer

1801

“Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country - If people let the Government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under Tyranny” - Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of USA and Hemp Farmer

1812

Napoleon goes to war with Russia to prevent supply of Russian Hemp to Great Britain.

1853

Levi Strauss & Co is founded in USA. The world’s first pair of jeans are made - from Hemp

1897

Rudolph Diesel invents world’s first diesel engine which is designed to run on clean burning vegetable oils including Hemp Oil which does not cause pollution or create carbon buildup inside engines. For 30 years Hemp Oil was the fuel of choice for automobiles until international banking cartels sought to destroy Hemp so they could replace it with their toxic petrochemical fuels.

1930

Harry Anslinger appointed commissioner of the newly created Federal Bureau of Narcotics by his father in-law Andrew Mellon, one of the most powerful bankers in USA. Mellon plus two other bankers Rockefeller and Carnegie had significant investments in Oil, Paper, Synthetic Fibre, Petrochemical Plastics and Pharmaceuticals - all of which were about to be made obsolete by technological advancements in Hemp processing. So they launched a PR campaign to demonise Hemp and used Anslinger to trick the public into believing that any and all Cannabis was a dangerous drug that was killing American teenagers and causing black people and Mexicans to commit sex crimes against white American women.

1937

US Congress approves a bill that prohibits the cultivation of all Cannabis including Hemp.

1938

Popular Mechanics magazine article titled “New Billion Dollar Crop” announces the arrival of the new Hemp processing technology that was set to make Hemp America’s #1 commodity had it not been prohibited.

1939

The Mayor of New York didn’t believe Anslinger’s anti-Cannabis propaganda so commissioned 31 independent scientists to undertake a 5-year scientific investigation of the physical effects of consuming Cannabis. The results reveal “Cannabis does not cause aggressive or anti-social behaviour. It does not cause an increase in sexual depravity. It does not alter the fundamental aspects of ones personality.” The American Government immediately went on a nation-wide rampage to locate and burn all copies of the scientific report to prevent the public finding out that they had been deceived.

1941

Henry Ford finishes making a car built almost entirely from Hemp and which ran on clean burning Hemp fuel. The car being 30% ligher than steel cars therefore required less fuel. Its light-weight bioplastic body panels were many times stronger than steel - could not be dented with a sledge hammer. “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the Hemp Fields?” - Henry Ford

1942

US Government cannot take part in World War 2 without Hemp for military clothing and equipment so they stop demonising Hemp and launch a campaign to encourage and reward US farmers for growing Hemp with a PR video titled Hemp For Victory.

1945

At the end of World War 2 the US Government goes back to persecuting Hemp and claim there never was a video called Hemp For Victory. When US soldiers return from Europe they are ordered to put their Hemp uniforms back on and are sent out to American farms to burn all the Hemp crops.

1956

US government elevates the classification of Cannabis to a schedule 1 narcotic, defining it as something with no medicinal value and as harmful as Crack Cocaine and Heroin. Teenagers found in possession of Cannabis (including Hemp plants) could face life imprisonment.

1961

Henry Anslinger attended the United Nations and exerted USA’s power over the UN to have Cannabis Cultivation prohibited in 150 countries worldwide. As a consequence most of the world’s food, fibre, fuel and medicine went from being made organically by farmers to being produced chemically under the control of the Pharmaceutical and Petrochemical industries. It then took only a few decades to plunge the world into a toxic ecological catastrophe that worsens each year with many governments sending their youth off to kill each other in wars over petrochemical oil.

1975

US Government funded research in Virgina discovers that Cannabis reverses Cancer. The study is immediately stopped and it is determined that future US research into the effects of Cannabis on Cancer would be prohibited.

1996

Canada legalizes growing of Hemp which creates employment and hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue for the Canadian people

1998

Paul Benhaim (now CEO of Hemp Foods Australia) creates 9bar from Hungarian Hemp Seeds which goes on to become the #1 selling snack bar in Europe.

2002

Paul Benhaim (now CEO of Hemp Foods Australia) spearheads an application that is submitted to the Australian Government to have the prohibition of eating Hemp Foods removed. The Government undertakes a thorough investigation into Hemp, declares that it is safe and would be a beneficial food for Australians. The decision to allow Hemp foods gains much support among politicians however just before the decision is made official the Prime Minister John Howard sent a hand-written unexplained note to all the ministers saying “Hemp NO WAY!” So prohibition remained.

2012

A second application is submitted to the Australian Government to allow Australians to eat Hemp Foods. The Government undertakes another thorough investigation of Hemp, again declares that it is safe, has no psychoactive properties and contains high quality essential nutrition - as of 2014 Australians are still waiting for the Government to act on its own recommendations. Hemp Foods Australia is launched and quickly becomes the largest Hemp Foods company in the southern hemisphere.