Humans, History, And Hemp: A Glimpse At The Roots Of Cannabis Plant

If there is any plant that owns up to the term ‘One-stop solution’ due to its myriad applications, it is Hemp. A sub-product of cannabis, Hemp is a non-psychoactive substance that primarily holds a compound called Cannabidiol (CBD) within.

Hemp is a member of the cannabis family that has a rich history of wide usage and application. However, with time this extremely useful plant transformed into an unfortunately misunderstood one. Scientifically known as Cannabis Sativa, hemp is etched in history books for its usage that traces back more than 1000 years.

Considered to be the strongest plant fibre in the plant kingdom, hemp has been an essential element to the commerce of the globe for a substantial part of the past. Be it the ropes used on ships, the attachments holding the sailing fabric, or the clothes worn by sailors, all were made of hemp. The idea of how prevalent hemp was in the formation of fabrics can be quantified by the fact that the word ‘Canvas’ is derived from cannabis.

Cannabis has also spread its branches in not only textiles but also medicine and spirituality. The roots of the cannabis plant, of which hemp is a product, can be found deep in the advent of the Chinese civilization. The first vivid mention of the versatile plant is jotted down in the ancient medicinal script named Chinese Materia Medica, a book that dates back to 50 BCE.

The book was allegedly written by Shen Nung, who is considered the father of irrigation, agriculture, and traditional Chinese medicine. The book talks about the various uses of the cannabis plant in areas such as medicines, textiles, and conscious-related ailments. Multiple excavation projects conducted in Japan also shows traces of the use of hemp by people for at least 10,000 years.

In India, the cannabis plant holds religious importance as it is associated with the Hindu God Shiva. While the CBD-dominant part is yet to gain traction among manufacturers who still use alternatives such as cotton and other materials, the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-dominant part is consumed traditionally as ‘Bhaang.’

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