After learning about the amazing 12,000 year relationship between hemp and humans, the first thing that came to mind was that, “everyone needs to know this” and, "how can we spread the word that Hemp nutrition, medication and hemp manufactured bio-products can not only greatly benefit ones health and relieve illness, but can also vastly benefit our planet with 1000's of useful household products that don't produce greenhouse gas and don't cause pollution".
There is no story older than this one. The cannabis-human story is a story of an ancient symbiotic relationship which is as old as history, going back to the end of the last ice-age. It involves the transition from roaming nomadic tribes to agriculturally-based civilizations, contributing to agriculture, science and indeed the act of civilization itself.
It is a story of domestication and evolution. As one of the first domesticated plants, people learned the science of selective breeding. While at the same time Cannabis influenced human cultural evolution as people evolved from nomadic tribesmen of the stone age, through to the ages of culture, society and civilization. This is a story with traces extending back 10-12 thousand years. (Abel 1980)
On the Central Eurasian steeps, this indigenous weed of a thousand different tribal names, (scientific name, Cannabis sativa) was found year after year growing in the dung heaps of temporary camps visited by migrating nomads. Hunter-gatherer tribes soon discovered the benefits of cannabis fibers for rope, bow strings, textiles and to bind clay for pots and shelter; cannabis seeds for food, lamp oil and for replanting; and cannabis resin for medicinal relief and it's mind altering narcotic effects.
An inquiry into this history is as mystical, mythological and intriguing as any story can be, containing millions of sub-plots throughout the ages describing the very essence of the creation of society and culture, influencing spirituality, ritual, religion, war, peace, music, art, trade and commerce.
The shear magnitude of the wellness this “weed” has provided people throughout the ages is unprecedented. The nutritional benefits of Hemp oil-seeds, the medicinal healing and spiritual awakening of Cannabinoids, and the plethora of products made from Hemp fiber are now coming back into prominence after a long and detrimental prohibition.
While people benefited immensely from this ancient alliance, the Cannabis plant has been granted a highly favorable status through millennia. All the great cultures of Asia adopted Cannabis and as civilization began to take hold in China, Mesopotamia, Persia and Egypt, Cannabis became entrenched in all their cultures.
Among the first commodities to be traded along the silk road, extending the length and breadth of Asia, was Cannabis. China was the first to weave hemp fiber into strong durable cloth that was worn by all but the very wealthy, who could afford silk. Later, China would invent paper made from hemp fiber, a process which was adopted the world over.
Cannabis has not always been in the favor of society and this too is an interesting aspect of the human psyche and constant changing of social norms. Throughout history there are examples of leaders and civilizations that have banned cannabis due to its narcotic effect. This is true of the Confucius era of China where industrial hemp is still highly active but marijuana possession garners heavy penalty.
Oddly though, the most recent prohibition of cannabis occurred in Western countries of Europe and N America beginning shortly after the beginning of the 20th Century. Throughout the 1920 & 30’s every Western Democracy prohibited common everyday hemp products like rope, canvas and burlap. Pressure from the Christian right lead to confusion between marijuana, which was being smoked in jazz clubs in the South and the common hemp fiber products and pharmacopoeia being used for a variety of illnesses.
By 1937, when the USA introduced the Marihuana Tax Act and the Reefer Madness propaganda campaign, all Cannabis products fell under prohibition and hemp products were literally removed from store shelves nearly overnight. This prohibition went from bad to worse when in the 1970's all Cannabis was designated a "schedule one" narcotic.
Reefer Madness was a very effective propaganda campaign ass it made the perfect "smoke screen" to remove Hemp fiber from competing with the new technological advances in synthetic petrochemical products such as nylon and synthetic rope. By completely removing hemp fiber from the technological advancement of the industrial revolution, leaving only synthetics to fill the void, the Earth has suffered catastrophic environmental damage.
When you consider that by replacing Hemp's eco-friendly textiles, building products, paper, rope, canvas, lacquer, paint, skin ointment, salve, medicinal tonics, nutritious oil-seeds, bio-fuel and bio-diesel; with petroleum based nylon, plastic, synthetic rope, petroleum gel, petrol based paint, rayon, fleece, fiberglass, wood based paper etc. the result is, toxic petrochemical waste, plastic strewn throughout every ecosystem and micro-plastics continuously degrading each and every biological system.
When you think about it…..it’s a bit shameful really! Since the last ice-age 12,000 years ago, we barely have enough remnants of man-made products to piece together a cultural timeline; but of the last 80 years, we have all the remnants of all the plastic and chemicals created. Since plastic never breaks down, it only breaks up into tinier and tinier pieces and goes from macro to micro-plastic. This has lead us to where we are today, a global environmental crisis. The question one might ask then is:
Would we be in this environmental crisis had Hemp prohibition never happened? Our answer.....resounding NOOOOO! And what's more.....to get out of this crisis, we need to get back to hemp earth-friendly production!
What makes iHemp useful in today's economy is what separates it from all other raw source manufacturing materials. Hemp is renewable……just like sun and wind power……..and "Hemp absorbs carbon"......"a lot of carbon" thereby reducing greenhouse gases...... and hemp is a soil re-builder....... and Hemp involves agricultural communities, which are places where people need jobs, business need opportunities and municipalities need taxes.
So our job, as we see it, is to use this modern tool of 'internet e-Commerce sales and marketing', to assist in the spread of Hemp products and information locally. The Hemp Network Marketplace platform is where Hemp businesses can trade and sell Hemp products locally to the general public. Essentially, we provide cost effective marketing, sales and trade for craft, small and medium sized businesses. This way companies can concentrate on the many other aspects of developing their business.
Our newsletter, Hemparian News, is dedicated to all the ways to use Hemp in your household that will benefit your family’s health and nutrition with food and product ideas that can seriously reduce your carbon footprint. Our hope is to provide the goods, to feel good, about not contributing to the pollution and climate crisis.
Our blog, Hemp Report Canada is designed for the growing industry to gain insight into the latest innovation, equipment, farming practices, and business start-ups.
We hope you will join us on our Green iHemp Mission. You can do that by checking out our vendors and their Hemp products for sale and registering for free membership, which will give you access to Hemparian News and all sorts of customer benefits.
Hemp businesses interested in becoming a vendor to advertise their business, services and products, and to sell products please start by registering for free and then signing up as a vendor. Once signed up we will be in touch to get your business advertised and products up and selling. Cheers!