Hemp is a versatile plant with a lot of interesting and important uses that can better our world. In addition to all those amazing and wonderful uses for hemp, there are tons of amazing hemp facts you’ll be interested to know.
Hemp Facts – Around the Globe
- The top five hemp-producing countries today are: China, France, Chile, South Korea, and The Netherlands.
- Less than thirty countries currently grow commercial hemp.
- Egypt is the only country in Africa that grows commercial hemp.
- China exports more hemp paper and textiles than any other country in the world.
- Industrial hemp was a common crop in Ancient China.
Hemp Facts – American Legislation
- Although growing hemp is still not legal according to federal law, thirty-one states have made it legal according to state law.
- Colorado grows more hemp than any other state.
- Cannabis prohibition is really expensive for taxpayers. Some estimates state that it costs upwards of $15 billion a year to keep the cannabis prohibition intact. Luckily, changing legislations are helping to decrease that cost.
Hemp Facts – Throughout History
- A lot of famous European painters used hemp linen canvases. For example, Vincent Van Gogh painted his self-portrait on a hemp canvas.
- You might know the Gutenberg Bible was the first mass-produced printed book in Europe. But, did you know the bible was printed on hemp paper? This was in 1847.
- Printing books on hemp was quite common. In the late 1800s, printing schoolbooks on hemp paper was a common practice.
- Guess what other important document was on hemp paper? Oh, just the initial drafts of the US Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence.
- Hemp paper was also used to print the work of some of history’s favorite writers including Mark Twain, Victor Hugo and Lewis Carroll.
Hemp in War Time
- Hemp was such a powerful resource that it actually played a part in a war. In the early 1800s Russia was the biggest producer of hemp – something used for paper as well as sails and ropes for various navies. The War of 1812 between the British and America interfered with Russia’s ability to export its valuable resource, thus inadvertently involving Russia as a stakeholder in the war.
- In the New World (America before it was Amerca…and even after it was America), people were actually allowed to use hemp paper as a form of currency for paying taxes. This happened well into the 1880s. Imagine walking up to the tax office with a bag full of hemp paper instead of a check today!
- The first president of the United States grew hemp. And so did the third president, Thomas Jefferson.
- In 1942, the US government started a campaign called “Hemp for Victory” in which they produced a film by the same name, explaining to people the many uses for hemp. The idea was to encourage farmers to grow hemp so that the government could use homegrown hemp to make sails, ropes and other things needed for war.
- Despite pushing American farmers to grow hemp during the war, once it was over the US government reinstated legislation making it illegal to grow.
Other Hemp Facts
- Hemp grows about twice as high as marijuana plants!
- Hemp can grow in many types of climate. It’s very adaptable and can grow in lots of different types of soil.
- It takes about 500 gallons of water to produce one kilo of usable hemp. It takes about 10,000 gallons of water to produce on kilo of usable cotton.
- Hemp has a smaller ecological footprint than cotton and polyester!
- Hops (used to make beer) fall under the same “family” as hemp. Both crops are in the cannabaceae family.
- South Asians started drinking “Bhang” or cannabis milk in 10000 BC – and they still do it! During the Hindu holiday of Holi (the festival of colors), it’s quite a common drink.
- The world of hemp has its own cryptocurrency known as…you guess it – HempCoin!
The Benefits of Hemp
- Hemp seeds are full of nutritious vitamins, minerals, proteins and fatty acids. Ounce for ounce, they’re more beneficial than chia seeds!
- We can end the plastic pollution problem with hemp products! Hemp stalk is an eco-friendly alternative to ecologically devastating materials like plastic.
- Hemp can make both biodiesel AND ethanol.
- Someday soon we may be driving cars that run on hemp biodiesel.
- Some people believe that compounds like CBD found in hemp could help end the opioid addiction crisis in America.
- Some people use CBD to overcome the fear of public speaking. They say it calms the nerves without any of the negative effects that could occur with anxiety pharmaceuticals.
So there you have it – 31 amazing hemp facts that you can use to impress friends and strangers at dinner parties. Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list. If you know any lesser known hemp facts tweet at us.