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Cannabis History

Published March 25, 2022

Cannabis History

Over the last twenty years, the societal norms surrounding cannabis have changed.

Despite years of propaganda and misinformation, cannabis has once again become a prevalent plant in today’s society.

With hemp being legal in all 50 states and recreational marijuana not too far behind, it’s easy to assume that cannabis is new in terms of popularity.

However, you’ll find that your history teachers have missed a key component in world history.

In this article, we will take you on the long journey of cannabis. We will be covering:

  • Cannabis history before America
  • Cannabis history in America
  • Cannabis prohibition
  • The rise of medicinal marijuana
  • The status of recreational marijuana
  • The path to hemp: the 2018 Farm Bill

Kick back and get comfy because it’s time to begin. 

Cannabis History: Before it Reached America

How old do you think cannabis is?

Spoiler alert: cannabis is estimated to have evolved around 28 million years ago on the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

However, archeologists have found cannabis fibers and estimate the industrial use of cannabis began 12,000 years ago in China.

During that period, cannabis was used for fishing nets, ropes, and other useful materials.

In fact, archeologists believe that hemp is the oldest crop that has been and continues to be cultivated today.

But cannabis wasn’t found to be traced to medicinal use until 2900 BCE by the Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi.

The use of cannabis didn’t take long to start in other regions because there are records of cannabis in Africa and the Indian subcontinent around 2000 BCE.

In Africa, it is believed that cannabis was used to treat eyes, inflammation, and other medical issues. But it wasn’t until 500 BCE for hemp to make it to Northern Europe.

The Middle Ages for Europe was an awakening of hemp.

Before hemp, they used flax sails, which began to rot in less than three months.

Due to hemp’s durability, the Europeans replaced the sails with hemp material to embark on long journeys without it deteriorating as fast.

Because of this, hemp was one of the reasons global trade became possible.

This and other purposes of hemp made it vital for Europe to flourish, so in 1535 Henry VIII mandated that all farmers grow hemp.

Cannabis History in America

Before America became a nation, early settlers in 1600 came to find a new home. And with them, they brought hemp seeds to cultivate.

Hemp was critical for the settlers because, without it, they wouldn’t have been able to produce the material they needed for clothing, ropes, and sails.

Almost 20 years later, in 1619, the Virginia Assembly passed a law requiring each farm to grow hemp and export it back to England.

Over a century later, there are records of George Washington continuing the cultivation of hemp

Industrial hemp played a huge role in most of the 18th and 19th centuries until propaganda and misinformation began to change the perspective of cannabis.

Although cannabis has been grown by settlers for years, Americans had no clue that it could be consumed via inhalation.

However, the Mexican Revolution changed everything.

History of Cannabis Prohibition

History of Cannabis Prohibition

In 1910, immigrants and refugees fled from Mexico and settled throughout the U.S.

They began to establish themselves and introduced their culture and practices to Americans.

And one of these practices was the recreational use of cannabis.

In a matter of time, cannabis’ narrative changed from prejudice and fear through propaganda displayed by the news and the American government.

As a result, 26 states prohibited the production of cannabis from 1914 to 1925. But it didn’t end there.

A few years later, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 passed. Under this bill, hemp production was heavily taxed to deter farmers from cultivating it. And it worked.

By the 1970s, the federal government signed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and made all cannabis federally illegal and a Schedule I Drug.

At that point in history, hemp was seen as marijuana. 

The Rise of Medicinal Marijuana

Although there were many obstacles, medicinal marijuana became a part of the conversation.

And with advocates like Dennis Peron and others, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.

Within five years, states also authored medicinal marijuana. The list of states include:

  • Alaska
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Maine
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Nevada

As of this writing this only 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have medical marijuana programs available for citizens.

Still, to qualify for a medical marijuana card, there are some hoops to go through. But if you’re approved, you’ll be given access to various benefits. Such as:

  • Higher possession limits
  • Legal protection
  • Lower cost
  • Exclusive access to medical-only dispensaries

Qualifying for a medical marijuana card and the cost of obtaining it is more complex than one would assume.

With factors like these to consider, some have turned to recreational marijuana instead.

The Status of Recreational Marijuana

Recreational marijuana was a whole different battle that still continues. While medical marijuana did play a role in establishing recreational marijuana laws, many states still do not support it.

Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana.

As long as you are in one of these states and 21 years or older, you purchase marijuana-derived products at dispensaries.

Keep in mind marijuana remains a Schedule I Drug and is federally illegal.

So you cannot travel outside of the state with it, ship it, or buy it online.

But then came another major break through for legal cannabis—hemp. 

The Path to Hemp: the 2018 Farm Bill

From a historical perspective, it is evident that hemp has offered far more than any other plant.

Although marijuana and hemp have been tied together since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, the 2018 Farm Bill changed it all.

Before December 2018, there had been 18 farm bills, with the 2018 Farm Bill being the most recently passed.

And it’s arguably the most pivotal bill to date because it legally separated hemp from marijuana and federally legalized it.

As of this writing, the cultivation and sale of hemp products are legal on a federal level. All hemp products, including up to 0.3% of hemp-derived Delta-9 on a dry weight basis, are permitted.

Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, all 50 states have authorized the use of hemp products.

Delta 8 THC is the only cannabinoid legal in most states, but not all.

Because of hemp’s legal status, it has benefits, including:

  • Travel across state lines
  • Can be ordered online
  • A variety of products to choose from
  • Can travel on some airlines (you must verify with the airline before flying with hemp products.)

Because of advantages like these, many consumers have turned to hemp.

The Convivence of Buying Hemp Products

From 2018 to the present, there are thousands of authorized hemp retailers throughout each state.

You can choose from CBD, Delta-9, and in most states, even Delta-8 products.

Whether you’re looking for edibles, baked goods, tinctures, topicals, or hemp flower, you can find it in person.

And online too.

Shopping for quality isn’t out of reach either.

As long as a product is lab tested, manufactured in the U.S., and has positive customer reviews, you are on the right track of receiving a safe product.

And when you shop from manufacturers like Hometown Hero, quality and safety are guaranteed.

For us, crafting premium hemp products is not only our job. It’s our passion.

Each day, we sell products and help a variety of people achieve what they are seeking.

Our products are all made from American-grown hemp and manufactured in Texas to ensure that our items are everything you hope for.

We offer Live Rosin Gummies, Select Spectrum Gummies, baked goods, and Delta-8 products

You can find us in thousands of hemp stores across the country and have an online store open 24/7.

So take a browse at our wide selection of hemp products. Once you find the products you desire, with a click of a button, you’ll have a delivery at your door in no time.

It’s that simple.

But aside from our products, we do everything for one purpose—giving back to our vets.

We work with a team of experts to ensure that a portion of the profits will be donated to veteran charities for each purchase made.

Over the years, we have donated thousands of dollars for our vets, and with your help, we will continue this expedition.  

Final Thoughts

From the very beginning of hemp cultivation, our ancestors didn’t know the science, but they were sure of the power of cannabis. And even after thousands of years, we finally have the privilege of adding hemp into our lives.

If it weren’t for activists today, we wouldn’t have cannabis in our lives. So before your next session, give thanks to all those before us who fought for access to cannabis.

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