Many people are not aware of the many environmental benefits and industrial applications of the cannabis plant. Here are a few things you probably never knew about its history and uses:
Cannabis is known to have been grown in China at least 6,500 years ago for household purposes such as cloth, paper, oil for food and industry, and for medicine. Founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both large producers of industrial cannabis, and Benjamin Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper.
Before cannabis was made illegal in 1937, Missouri was one of the top hemp-producing states in the country, and was even noted in the government-produced film, “Hemp for Victory” as an ideal place for its production. (“Hemp for Victory” was produced by the federal government in 1942 and circulated to promote cannabis farming as part of the war effort due to hemp’s value as an industrial crop.)
Henry Ford experimented with agricultural cannabis when creating his first cars and intended for the diesel engine to be run on hemp-based fuel. Today, carmakers Ford, GM, Chrysler, Saturn, BMW, Honda and Mercedes all use hemp-composites for many of their door panels, columns and other internal and external components.
In 2009 over $300 million dollars flowed out of the United States to meet the consumer demands of a booming agricultural hemp industry. The overwhelming majority of that money went to China.