Hemp

The Hemp Plant is a variety of Cannabis Sativa grown industrially for it’s fiber and seed to make clothing, textiles, and paper among other products.
The scientific name for hemp is Cannabis Sativa, which in Latin actually means “ useful hemp “ and was introduced to the western hemisphere by the Spaniards in 1545, who cultivated it first in Chile. The benefits and commercial applications for its byproduct made it high in demand and lucrative as a crop. So much so that in 1619 an Act was passed in Virginia making it law that, some plantations had to grow a percentage of “Indian and English” hemp.

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Botanical Information:


Hemp is a member of the Cannabaceae family. This not only includes Hemp, but also hops and hackberries. Members of the Cannabaceae family have lobed leaves and always have stipules. Cannabaceae are dioecious, which means they are distinctly male or female. The male plants are tall and the females are short and have less flowers. The flowers are pollinated by the wind and are radially symmetrical. Due to this kind of pollination the sepals are short and there are no pedals. With the Cannabaceae family there is no constant number of stamens. The fruit can be a achene, drupe or a small nut.
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Superdivision: Spermatophyta
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Hamamelididae
Order: Urticales
Family: Cannabaceae
Genus: Cannabis L.

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Description
Hemp is a plant with a thin stem that ranges from 4 to 15 feet in height. The inner most layer of the stem is the pith which is surrounded by the woody material known as hurds. On the outside is the growing tissue which develops into hurd on the inside and bast fibers on the outside. The plants branches depend on the the plants density. The plants are not branchy. The leaves are palmate and have from 7 to 11 leaflets with serrated edges. The hemp plant has a tap-root which penetrates deep into the soil. If the soil is not good the main root stays short and other lateral roots develop more.

Domestic Information:
Although there is no exact date for when humans and hemp crossed paths, we still know that this plant has been harvested for thousands of years at least. Hemp originated in Asia near the Himalayas. The agriculture and textiles for hemp begin in 8000 B.C. in Europe and Asia. At about 100 B.C. paper is made from hemp in China. Today hemp is used to make over 25,000 consumer products. In Rome a couple hundred years later a doctor names the plant Cannabis sativa and lists many medical uses for the plant. Once settlers make their way over to the Americas hemp agriculture is brought along. Hemp is used as money throughout American colonies. Soon after the declaration of independence and the first dollar bill were printed on hemp paper. Hemp farming was promoted in the U.S. until it was banned in 1955. Hemp is still used to make textiles, paper, building materials, fuel, food and personal care products all around the world.
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Fabric From Hemp

Cannabis is one of a kind in that it can produce a narcotic and also a strong comfortable fiber used for clothing. Hemp clothe dates back to around 8,000 B.C. in Anatolia which is modern day Turkey. Today hemp is a much better choice over cotton and other materials due to many benefits. Clothing made from hemp is lightweight, absorbant, and three times the strength of cotton. Weather conditions are no problem for hemp either, UV and mold resistant hemp is great for outdoor wear. Also hemp is less costly to produce because of its minimal growth requirements. Producing hemp is also easy on the environment because it uses very little water and does not require any use of chemicals or pesticides.

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References
"Eartheasy." Hemp Clothing. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. <http://eartheasy.com/wear_hemp_clothing.htm>.

"Hemp Advocates Tout Hemp's Economic Potential." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57553601/hemp-advocates-tout-hemps-economic-potential/>.

"Hemp History." 8000 BC to Present. TimeLine. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. <http://www.hemphousemaui.com/resources/history.php>.

"hemp." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 29 November 2012.

"Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives." Crops. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/hemp/bko03s00.html>.

Plants Database. United States Department of Agriculture, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CANNA>.

"The Story of Hemp." The Story of Hemp. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. <http://hashbag.com/en/articleid-182/article.html>.