10 Mind-Blowing Facts about Hemp

by Robbie Dellow
Ford hemp plant with Hendy Ford standing beside the car

1. In USA it used to be illegal to NOT grow hemp

There used to be a time when American farmers could be fined or even jailed for not growing hemp. Because it was such a valuable crop in the US state of Virginia, the ‘Assembly of Jamestown Colony’ passed legislation in 1619 making it mandatory for every farmer to grow Indian hempseed.

2. Hemp cultivation dates back 10,000 years

The first traces of hemp were found way back in 8000bce in Asia regions that are now parts of China and Taiwan. This makes hemp one of the world’s oldest agricultural crop.

3. Hemp was hailed as the new Billion-Dollar crop … way back in 1938!

In 1938, USA’s Popular Mechanics magazine wrote an article declaring hemp as the new exciting cash crop potentially worth $1 billion (US$17 billion in todays money). Way back then, they estimated 25,000 different uses for the plant. Hemp was touted as becoming the standard fibre of the world because it was very easy to grow and could replace imported materials and manufactured products.

4. Cars and Airplanes have been made out of Hemp

Ford hemp car with Henry Ford

In 1942, Henry Ford built an experimental car that was composed of, and ran on, ethanol made from hemp.

A Canadian company, HempEarth, has designed the world’s first airplane that is made and powered by cannabis.

5. Hemp is used in over 25,000 products

This incredibly versatile fibre is used in many ways, from suits by Giorgio Armani, to interior car parts by BMW. Hemp can be found in many everyday items like fuel, yarn, paper, carpeting, cosmetics, nutritional supplements and body care products.

6. Global cannabis revenue for 2020 is expected to be US$21 billion

Hemp plants and US dollar notes

The green rush in the global cannabis market continues.

Global cannabis revenue for 2020 is expected to be US$21 billion. This is up from 2019 global cannabis sales of US$15 billion – an increase of 48%.

It is predicted that this figure will surpass US$43 billion by 2024. As more countries and US states legalise the plant for adult and/or medicinal use, these figures will be revised upwards.

7. Many of the famous painters used hemp

Famous painters, such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh, were known to have done most of their painting on hemp based canvas. Indeed the noun ‘canvas’ is derived from the Latin ‘cannabis’ by way of the Greek ‘kannabis’.

8. Hemp heals the environment – it was even planted at Chernobyl

Hemp can eliminate toxins and even radioactive material. Following the nuclear fallout from Chernobyl, scientists planted hemp and discovered that it conducted Phytoremediation, which means it clears up the air and soil around it as it grows. decomposing chemicals from the soil and healing the earth.

9. Hemp can produce 4 times as much paper as trees

One acre of hemp can produce as much paper as 4-10 acres of trees over a 20 year period.
In the wood and paper process, cellulose is transformed into pulp to eventually make products.
Trees are made up of 30% cellulose whereas hemp has up to 85% cellulose and thus creates a stronger and better-quality paper. Add the fact that trees take 20-80 years to grow until harvest v hemp’s 4 months to harvest and there is very compelling reasons to use hemp for wood and paper production.

10. Hemp helped defeat Hitler and his Nazi’s

Hemp was banned in 1937, under the US Marijuana Act of 1937. However, during WWII the US Dept of Agriculture lifted this law to encourage farmers to grow hemp to help with the war effort. This was due to a shortage of much needed tents, rope, kit bags and sails.  The US government even produced an 11minute promotional video, shown in cinemas, encuragng teh growing of hemp for the war effort.

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