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Hemp has been one of the most important plants to humans for centuries and is derived from the cannabis sativa plant. This section of the cannabis plant is often associated with marijuana and the euphoric high that comes along with it. However, hemp usually contains no more than 0.3% of THC and cannot be smoked, but can be used for a variety of manufacturing purposes. Hemp does contain over 113 active, non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including CBD.

Ancient Hemp Uses

One of hemp’s most popular uses is for textile fibers. Remnants of hemp cloth have been found in modern day Iraq and Iran dating back to the Mesopotamian period nearly 10,000 years ago. Cannabis use was popular in the Middle East and physicians were sure to note the benefits of the plant, including the ability to fight against inflammation, pain, nausea and vomiting, epilepsy, and kidney issues.

However, ancient hemp is most commonly associated with 6,000 years of continuous use in China. In 150 B.C.E., China produced the first documented hemp paper. References toward cultivating hemp for cloth, topical oils, and teas can also be found in Emperor Shen Nung’s work Lu Shi from the Sung Dynasty in 500 AD. Hua Tuo is known for using cannabis to treat blood clots, tapeworms, hair loss, and as an anesthetic.

Hemp became widespread across the world approximately 3,000 years ago. Ancient Roman thinkers, such as Pliny the Elder, Dioscorides, and Galen documented the use of hemp for ear pain, stomach and digestive issues, burns, pain relief, and even extracting bugs from the ear! Indians have been known to treat hemp and cannabis as sacred using pastes and drinks for medicinal and recreational purposes.


For centuries, hemp and cannabis were used not only as a manufacturing resource, but for medicinal purposes, as well. The seeds and flower of the plant were used for pain during childbirth, convulsions, arthritis, rheumatism, dysentery, and even insomnia. During the Middle Ages, hemp became vital to sailing ships, as their canvases and ropes were derived from hemp, which is stronger than cotton and resists salt water. In fact, 80% of clothing up until the 1920s was created using hemp textiles. There are 25,000 documented uses of hemp ranging from paints, inks, and varnishes, to paper, bank notes, and building materials.

Modern Hemp

It wasn’t until the past hundred years that hemp and cannabis began to be considered a controlled substance. In 1917, George W. Schlichten created a machine which separated the fiber of hemp from its hurds (an internal, woody core), making the hemp industry more efficient by reducing labor costs and increasing the amount of fiber for manufacturing. During the 1930s, special interest groups took control of the United States government and lobbied against the use of cannabis and hemp, in favor of petroleum based synthetic textiles. Hemp production was officially banned altogether in 1937.

However, today many states are making the move to research and use hemp to help improve the lives of people all around the world. Modern uses of the plant fiber include composite boards, brakes and clutch pads for cars, plastics, and various types of bio-diesel and eco-solid fuels. You may also find hemp in foods, body products, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and therapeutic medicines. New studies have shown that hemp and cannabis may be able to aid in reducing the symptoms of spinal cord injuries, HIV neuropathy, multiple sclerosis spasticity, and sleep.


Contact us at Terravida to learn more about CBD hemp oil products and how they can help improve your life. Check out our blog to keep up with the latest news on the uses of CBD, hemp, and cannabis in healthcare.

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