The Versatility of Cannabis Sativa

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Even though it is known mainly for being an illegal drug, Cannabis Sativa has many uses that could help to revolutionize the world.

The exact place and origin of this miraculous plant is still in question, although it does show itself throughout history in various places. We assume it originates in the tropical forests of China. The earliest woven samples were found in an archaeological dig, considered to be from 8000 to 7000 B.C. Yang-Shao of China, era 4500 B.C., used hemp fibers to make rope, nets, and cloth for sails and clothes. Paper artifacts were unearthed later in the graves of Shaanxi Province, dating back to 100 B.C. At a much later date, the Chinese discovered uses for the hemp seed as a food source, much like the use of the soybean today.

In the United States, hemp was first grown in Virginia around 1611. About twenty years later, the colonies considered hemp as a legal tender. It was even used to pay taxes to the government. During the time span between 1631 and the beginning of the 19th century it was mandatory for the colonists to grow the herb because the demand was so great. Two of our fore fathers grew hemp on their plantations.

“Throughout Washington’s farm diary he spoke about the quality of seeds, always taking care to sow seeds in best areas on his farm. He documented the importance of cultivating seeds at the proper time taking care to pull the male plants from the females. In 1790’s Washington began cultivating “Indian hemp” which he said produced the best quality of plant, and noted its superior quality to common hemp mostly grown during that time.” [1]

By 1776, Kentucky had started a larger-scale industry for hemp and by 1860 it was second only to cotton.

“In 1899, ...

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...Portal to the Hemp Community. Global Hemp, 1 Jan. 2001. Web. 11 Nov. 2011. .

[2] Briggs, Jeremy. " ~ Hemp Fuel & Energy." Hemphasis ~ Unrivaled Hemp Information Site. Web. 11 Nov. 2011. .

[3] Castleman, Tim. "The Forgotten History of Industrial Hemp." AZ*HEMP - Fellowship for Everything Cannabis. Arizona Industrial Hemp Council, 2001. Web. 09 Dec. 2011. .

[4] "ET 1/99: The History and Benefits of Hemp." San Diego Earth Times Online. Jan. 1999. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. .

[5] Meints, Jeff. "The Speech: American History of Hemp." Web log post. The American History of Hemp. Blogspot, Apr. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2011. .