The History of Hemp in the United States

Marijuana and Hemp are Two Different Species of the Same Plant

Contrary to what is reported, Marijuana is not the “female” version of the hemp plant. It is a specific strain of cannibus Sativa grown for its higer THC levels. THC is the chemical that gets you “high”. Calling marijuana the female version of hemp implies that one uses the other to reproduce. In other words, it implies they can’t exist without each other. This is why hemp was banned.

The truth of the matter is commercial hemp produces its own seeds without any help whatsoever from a marijuana plant. 

Critics of government policies argue that the male-female relationship was propaganda to outlaw ALL species of Cannibus Sativa, regardless of their ability to get you high. The fact is commercial hemp has only trace amounts of THC (less than .3%), and zero ability to alter your state of mind.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is cultivated exclusively for its THC content. In the 1960s, this average to be about 4% of the plant. Today, there are potent strains of marijuana with up to 37% THC. 


Hemp Has Been Historically Useful for a Variety of Purposes

While the only thing you can get from smoking hemp is a headache, historically, hemp has been a very useful plant in the United States. As the above chart indicates, it is a super nutrient, industrial mainstay, source of energy, etc. In fact, there are over 25,000 products made from Commercial Hemp.

US Historical Uses of Commercial Hemp

All of the Founding Fathers grew commercial hemp (not Marijuana). Hemp was used for rope and paper. In fact the Declaration of Independence and the best Bibles were made out of hemp fibers. Hemp line and hemp canvas were used on sailing vessels. The USS Constitution was made with over 120,000 pounds of hemp fiber. Primarily in her sails and rigging. In fact, hemp was also used as caulk, to keep the water out of sailing vessels.

The British Navy, the most powerful military force on the high seas, was also built with hemp. So was the Mayflower that brought the Pilgrims. 

Hemp was so important it was used as currency (to pay taxes) and farmers were mandated to grow it at Jamestown. Clothes and sacks were also made from commercial hemp.

The USS Constitution Today (Old Ironsides)