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Hidden History of Hemp

Apr 11, 2017

Our co-founder Steve Smith alluded to the use of hemp throughout our history in the United States during his guest spot on Raconteurs News. If you missed the stimulating interview, CLICK HERE, to listen to the conversation. We know our customers love learning different facts about hemp and CBD, so we wanted to share a part of the plant’s history you might not be familiar with…until now.

With the many health benefits resurging we want to share a little about the plant’s fascinating history. The rediscovered has occurred, and hemp is now making the rounds as a “superfood.” Hemp is one of the best sources of plant-based protein. Unlike soy, hemp does not contain enzyme inhibitors and phytates, the full range of 20 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids, absorb into the body. The hemp plant also contains significant amounts of essential fatty acids – Omega 3 and Omega 6 –in a 1:4 ratio which is emphasized by major health organizations as the magic ratio for healthy benefits.

Industrial HempThe benefits of hemp as a superfood are unparalleled. Click here to continue to read why. Which has left many to ask, why isn’t the crop being widely produced? The plant has a divided history that you can read more about below. In case you weren’t aware of the history of hemp cultivation in the United States, it was a plant the government encouraged early settlers to grow throughout the 17th century for the production of sails, clothing, and rope.

Read more about the presence of hemp in colonial America in this article from PBS. In 1619 legislation passed by the Virginia Assembly required every farmer to grow hemp with production flourishing up until after the Civil War. For one-hundred and fifty years hemp was the top cash crop in the country where its output was wide-spread in the Southern and Eastern states. In 1937 despite the wide-spread production of hemp, the plant was outlawed by Congress and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, president at the time, under the Marijuana Tax Act. Interestingly, William Randolph Hearst, an American newspaper publisher who built one of the largest media companies in the country had significant financial interests in the timber industry (which manufactured his newsprint paper).

Hearst coincidentally wrote many newspaper articles against hemp. These pieces became part of the testimony Congress used to support the ban on the crop. The congressmen at the time were reacting from fear over a new harmful, intoxicating substance known as “marijuana,” without the knowledge that they were at the same time outlawing “hemp” a crop many were familiar with on their family farm. This lack of education in the distinction between marijuana and hemp and how they are the same plant has been used to confuse many people since this piece of legislation.

The cultivation of hemp faded into the background as America dealt with a national Depression and World War II. Years after production stopped the USDA developed a “Hemp for Victory” film that ran from 1942 to 1943. This media was created to support the war effort; the film encouraged Americans to grow hemp. The plant made parachutes, rope, clothes and more. Farmers who grew hemp received benefits and other rewards. This brief resurgence didn’t last long with the crop returning to its unlawful status after the war.

Industrial Hemp

Again, hemp fades into the background until interest in the plant resurges with the hippie counterculture. We skimmed the surface on the history of hemp in this post. Educate yourself further by reading “Hemp: American History Revisited: The Plant with a Divided History” by clicking here.

The prohibition of hemp has affected our society economically, medically, and environmentally, luckily, laws are changing, and education is spreading. We spent over a year in research studying the benefits of hemp before creating our pet products. Following the science first, we understand the benefits of all the ingredients we incorporate. Read more about our CBD Hemp Oil and the care we put into selected each item by clicking here.

From seed to sale, from plant to pet, we are changing what healthy means for dogs and cats.