Avoiding Confusion in between Hemp and the Cannabis Plant


Avoiding Confusion in between Hemp and the Cannabis Plant

It requires some expertise for avoiding confusion in between hemp and the cannabis plant. Hemp/industrial hemp and marijuana are two distinct varieties of the very same plant species. Hemp is a fiber crop. Marijuana is a drug crop. Having said that, these definitions have come to be confused in the final 60 years. Not too long ago, a movement has begun to distinguish the terms once more. It is essential to have an understanding of the history of usage of these terms in order to remove the confusion.

1600-1930s Hemps Lengthy History in North America

The word hemp has been in the English language for more than 800 years. The word marijuana is only 100 years old. From the initially settling of North America till the 1930s, hemp was the most typical term for Cannabis sativa fiber crops. Marijuana was under no circumstances utilised to describe hemp fiber crops, which have been grown for canvas, rope, fuel oil, and paper. Hemp fiber crops have been historically low THC and fully non-psychoactive.

1930s-1940s Marijuana tax Act confuses Hemp and Marijuana

In the 1930s, the psychoactive (higher-THC) wide variety of cannabis sativa, imported from Mexico, became typical in the southern U.S. It was known as marijuana, a word popularized by means of the Reefer Madness campaign, to distinguish it from the hemp fiber crops (which no one particular ever smoked). In 1937, the passage of the Marijuana tax Act hopelessly confused the terms hemp and marijuana. For the initially time, Congress defined these distinct varieties of Cannabis sativa as getting the very same. What had been usually recognized as hemp was now marijuana.

1950s Hemp Crops Come to be Extinct

In 1957, the final hemp fiber crop was harvested in the U.S. Due to the fact low-THC Cannabis sativa fiber crops have been now extinct, the word hemp dropped out of use and was forgotten.

1960s Marijuana Legalization Movement Starts

In the 1960s, the psychoactive wide variety of cannabis sativa ( marijuana) became well-liked amongst the counter-culture. The movement to legalize marijuana in the 1960s and 1970s did not use the term hemp to describe marijuana.

1985 Hemp/ Marijuana Movement Starts

In 1985, the word hemp re-surfaced in the book The Emperor Wears No Garments by Jack Herer. This book uncovered data that had been lost for practically 40 years about hemps historical makes use of as a fiber crop. The book also touted hemp as a answer to contemporary environmental troubles.

Due to the fact The Emperor was targeted at a marijuana movement and considering the fact that it was not extensively recognized that low-THC varieties of hemp existed in Europe and Asia, it was believed that marijuana should be legalized to enable industrial makes use of of hemp. And mainly because it was the environmentalists and the counter-culture that started advertising hemp as an option fiber crop, they have been not taken seriously.

1989 European Farmers Develop Hemp

In Europe, some nations (like France and Spain) had under no circumstances stopped making hemp. In 1989, the European Financial Neighborhood created guidelines to govern hemp production that applied to all its member nations. The EEC defined registered seed varieties for low THC hemp and procedures for testing hemp for THC content material.

1993-1994 England and Canada Develop Hemp

In 1993, England officially recognized the distinction in between hemp and marijuana, to make its farmers competitive in the EEC. In 1994, Canada, seeing competitors from Europe, permitted hemp production.

1994 Kentucky Appoints Hemp Process Force

In November of 1994, the Governor of Kentucky, seeing competitors from Canada and Europe, appointed a Process Force to study the industrial possibilities of hemp in his state.

1994-1995 Hemp/Industrial Hemp Movement Starts in U.S.

For the initially time, farmers, suppliers, processors, and agricultural researchers in North America started to take a critical appear at hemp as an agricultural crop and option fiber. As effectively, the hemp environmentalists inside the marijuana movement see that registered seed varieties exist to distinguish hemp from marijuana. This diverse coalition starts working with the word industrial hemp (or just hemp) to refer exclusively to low-THC non-psychoactive varieties of Cannabis sativa. The target of the industrial hemp movement is to enable genuine production of hemp fiber crops and to discover the environmental advantages of hemp as an option fiber, pulp, and oil supply.

1995 Colorado Senator Introduces Hemp Legislation

In January 1995, Senator Lloyd Casey (D-Northglenn), created Colorado the initially state to try to define hemp/industrial hemp as distinct kind marijuana when he introduced the Hemp Production Act. Sadly, this bill was killed in Committee due to objections from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Oct. 1995 North American Industrial Hemp Council Formed

In October 1995, the steering committee of the North American Industrial Hemp Council created industrial hemp an totally distinct situation, separate from the legalization of marijuana.

1996 Colorado and Vermont Introduce Hemp Legislation

Legislators in two states introduced industrial hemp legislation, Sen. Lloyd Casey (D) from Colorado and Rep. Fred Maslack (R) from Vermont.


A robust coalition of diverse organizations now supports Industrial hemp, such as:

  • American Farm Bureau federation (four.six million member)
  • Colorado Farm Bureau
  • Colorado Division of Agriculture
  • Colorado State Grange
  • Kentucky Farm Bureau
  • Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative
  • Wisconsin Agribusiness Council
  • Wisconsin Division of Agriculture
  • International Paper Enterprise
  • Bolton Emerson Americas
  • Colorado Environmental Coalition
  • Oregon Organic Sources Council
  • HIA ( Hemp Industries Association)
  • North American Industrial Hemp Council

Final Summary

Most, if not all of these groups have especially stated that they are opposed to the legalization of marijuana. They recognize the distinction in between hemp/industrial hemp and marijuana and that hemp/industrial hemp can be grown safely with no affecting marijuana laws, production, or use.


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