Celebrating Hemp History Week

From 3 to 9 June, the hemp industry has been celebrating the 10th annual ‘Hemp History Week’. Hemp History Week is the largest educational campaign about hemp in the U.S. The campaign aims to raise awareness about environmental sustainability, health benefits, regenerative agriculture potential, and new technological applications of industrial hemp.

This annual event is an initiative of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA). Established in 1994, HIA is a non-profit trade association representing more than one-thousand supporters, farmers and business members in the U.S. and Canada.

On the occasion of the Hemp History Week, let us highlight some most significant moments in the history of hemp:

8000 – 5000 BC First documented uses of hemp in Japan and China

2737 BC The first recorded use of cannabis-derived medicine by Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung

Ca. 480 BC Herodotus reports of cannabis use by Scythians

1619       Virginia passes an act requiring all planters to sow hemp on their plantations

1790s     U.S. founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams grow hemp

1839       Irish physician and medical researcher, William B. O’Shaughnessy, publishes the first modern study investigating the therapeutic effects of cannabis

1937       ‘The Marihuana Tax Act’ enforced under the direction of Prohibition Commissioner Harry Anslinger, practically delegalizes cannabis and hemp

WW2 – “Hemp for Victory” campaign to re-grow hemp in the US towards the war effort. The U.S. government formed the War Hemp Industries Department and subsidised hemp cultivation – until the war ended

1940       Dr Roger Adams, American chemist successfully isolates the first cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD).

1980s     Dr Mechoulam first studies on therapeutic effects of CBD

1992       Endocannabinoid System (ECS) discovered

2018       HEMP BILL legalises hemp in the US

2019       Health Organisation (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) recommends rescheduling cannabis and CBD


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