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Check out Hemp Across Human History in This Timeline

December 13, 2018
Come with us now on a journey through hemp time and space. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)
Hemp didn’t just fall out of the sky because Congress re-legalized it in 2018 US Farm Bill this week. Hemp as a fuel, food, fiber—and medicine—remains one of mankind’s oldest, dearest friends. Now it’s set to be a $22 billion US industry. Take a walk with us down through the eons in this timeline of hemp and human history.

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(Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

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David Downs

David Downs directs news and lifestyle coverage as the California Bureau Chief for He's written for WIRED, Rolling Stone and Billboard, and is the former cannabis editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as the author of several cannabis books including 'Marijuana Harvest' by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs. He co-hosts The Hash podcast. TW: @davidrdowns | IG @daviddowns

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  • jim heffner

    I seem to remember an archaeological dig on Taiwan found a grave dated to 10,000 to 12,000 years ago that had Cannabis around the body. I like Carl Sagan’s take on Cannabis being one of the first plants cultivated and being instrumental in the human development of agriculture.

  • rwscid

    The hemp epic exemplifies why government involvement in the economy, at all times and in all places, is a fundamentally bad idea.

    Good people with good intentions did very, very bad things.

    • Sam Lopes

      Actually I think you mean good people with bad intentions.
      There was no good intention in outright lying and manipulating the country just to get funding for a government agency.
      There was also no good intention when giving to the pressures of other industry groups with a vested economic interest.
      I don’t think the problem is government involvement in the economy, the problem is when we let the economy run the government and politicians

  • Connor Ervin

    Trump signed the bill to make it into law. But thanks anyway cocaine mitch

    • Vernon Jenewein

      I agree! I notice that Obama was credited with signing the 2014 Farm Bill, and it was President Donald Trump that signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law. Wait until President Trump sings a national Marijuana legalization bill. Liberal head will swoon.

  • Lets not forget the first written use of medicinal cannabis can be found in the second century Chinese writing, Shen Nong Ben Cao ling.

  • Audrey Lynn

    Absolutely. Also, at that time most paper was made from… yeah, you guessed it. To maximize profits and cement usage of their companies lumber for decades to come, the law was written in. Officials and lobbyists knew exactly what it would do; unfortunately, it lasted a lot longer than prohibition on alcohol did. Could be the difference between macreméing your butt to the couch and getting angry, smashing bottles of legally confiscated hooch, and delivering your own hooch under armed guard, but then again what do I know?