A Nonlinear History of Hemp: America’s Early Years

Hemp’s Been Woven Into the Fabric of our Country Since the Very Beginning!

Hola Boys and Girls, here at Dad Grass we love a bit of history and with the long weekend coming up we thought we’d share a bit about Hemp’s journey in America’s early years.

We all know the ancient history of hemp and how it dates back to 8000 BC (woah, what?!) being cultivated for all sorts of products from the first paper to textiles, no? Ok, well, we’ll dig into the ancient origins of this versatile and vaulted plant at another date. But this week, we wanted to share about how hemp got its start right here in America.

Now, the details are a bit hazy. Although there’s talk of hemp being native to North America, those accounts from the early explorers were probably describing Acnida Cannabina (swamp milkweed) not the lovely Cannabis Sativa that we know and love today.

But once Europeans started settling in the North East in the early 1600s, they knew of Hemp’s powerful and versatile properties from the old world and started to cultivate it. These American farmers grew hemp that was used primarily for its fiber, being manufactured into ropes, sails, and clothing. The crop was so necessary to the ‘new world’s’ economy that it was law for farmers to grow the crop, and at one point you could actually pay your taxes with Hemp! Could you even imagine?

Early drafts of the Declaration of Independence were rumored to be written on hemp paper and it’s said that the first American Flag was made from hemp as it was the best fabric to withstand the salt and winds of the Atlantic, but who knows, ya know?

Well, we're just getting started on the history of our (and probably yours) favorite plant. Buckle up for our next lesson…