History of Hemp: A Comprehensive Look at the Past and Future

history of hemp cbd

It’s hard not to browse a feed, turn on the television, or read a magazine without coming across news about CBD. CBD is a powerful compound found in hemp. While hemp-based products are soaring with popularity, using them was taboo just a couple of years ago. For over a century, hemp was outlawed throughout the United States. Yet, this crop was a source of food, clothing, and medicine for our ancestors who settled in this country. So, what led to the prohibition on hemp and inevitably, the lifting of the ban? Here is a comprehensive look at the complicated history of hemp.

History of Hemp Origins

The hemp and human connection dates back as far as 8000 BCE. Archeologists recovered hemp cloths in regions associated with ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iran and Iraq). Indigenous people used the durable hemp fibers to create textiles. Meanwhile, those who lived in present-day China and Taiwan used hemp seeds and oil for food sources and to make pottery.

While hemp flourished in the areas that we know today as Asia, the hardy plant can be grown in a variety of climates. As our ancestors migrated west, they brought hemp along with them. The plant was used by our ancestors to make shelter, sails, food, and eventually, medicine.

Hemp was held in such high regard that ancient texts, The Vedas, dubbed it one the five essential plants. Records indicate the herb was christened with the name, “sacred grass.”

Early civilians grew dependent on hemp. In fact, King Henry VIII of England fined farmers who didn’t cultivate the crop. It was imperative that our ancestors brought hemp along with them on their journey overseas. It was in the New World that the value of hemp would hit an all-time high and a near-fatal low.

History of Hemp in the New World

Hemp made its way to the New World in 1606. By 1616, the first settlement of Jamestown was established. The first line of action was to transform the fertile soils of modern Virginia into robust hemp farms. In 1632, the Virginia Assembly mandated that farmers grow hemp on the farms–a practice that would continue as our ancestors colonized New England throughout the 1700s.

The plant was of such importance that hemp was considered a legal form of tender in early settlements. Even the Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper!

Throughout the 19th century, America continued to rely on this durable plant. Congress was as far as enacting a law in 1841 that required the Navy to purchase hemp from domestic farmers.

The hemp industry was booming, requiring innovations in technology such as the hemp decorticator. This machine would strip the fibers and stalks off the hemp plant, making manufacturing more efficient. It also revolutionized the way we handle agriculture to this day.

By 1850, hemp was listed in the United States Pharmacopeia. In this important historical text, they recorded the uses of hemp for everything from hysteria to gout to tetanus. It wasn’t long before hemp was included in many over-the-counter products. All of these practices would continue until 1937. That was when a century-long prohibition went into effect, almost erasing the history of hemp forever.

History of Hemp: The Path to Prohibition

At the beginning of the 20th century, the New World experienced a cultural shift. Settlers leaned toward more conservative values. In the early 1900s, the use of mind-altering substances was frowned upon. These outlooks led to the prohibition of alcohol. Simultaneously, these actions helped foster the growth of a stigma that would bleed over into the cannabis industry.

Our ancestors didn’t have the technology in the 1930s that we have today. They couldn’t distinguish that hemp was a plant species in the cannabis genus. No one had a way of differentiating between hemp and marijuana. People figured out that smoking a cannabis plant will sometimes create psychoactive effects. Early civilians didn’t know they were smoking marijuana, not hemp.

Around the time of a national cultural shift, California was undergoing a local one as well. During this era, there was political unrest in Mexico. Many Mexicans were migrating to the border, and they were smoking cannabis recreationally.

Playing on the nation’s fear of immoral behavior, and in an attempt to thwart the colonization of immigrants, California became the first state to lay a hefty tax on hemp items. They signed into law the Marihuana Act of 1937.

marihuana tax act

With cotton being sewn for textiles, twine being used for rope, and the rise of pharmaceuticals, growing hemp wasn’t worth the tax. Eventually, hemp production started to slow down. By 1957, the last commercial hemp field was planted in Wisconsin. In 1970, growing hemp became illegal.

Hemp Becomes Illegal

The Controlled Substance Act was drafted in 1970 as a replacement to the 1956 Narcotics Control Act that cracked down on drug arrests. Most notably, the Controlled Substance Act put drugs in tiers based on how dangerous they were to the community. Cannabis was declared a schedule 1 drug, making punishment comparable to those who possess heroin, LSD, and cocaine. This is perhaps one of the worst things to happen in the history of hemp.

Since cannabis landed on the list, that meant hemp was treated the same as marijuana. This ban would take place just as science and technology would hit an evolutionary boom. While scientists discovered CBD and THC in 1946, they didn’t realize how these chemical compounds potentially interacted with the body.

In 1964, scientists defined the molecular structures of both THC and CBD. It was in those moments that the differences between hemp and marijuana started to become clear. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam concluded that cannabis plants with high concentrations of THC caused psychoactive reactions.

Whereas, plants with low levels of THC seemed to have elevated amounts of CBD. Dr. Mechoulam noted CBD didn’t exhibit euphoric side effects but may have other benefits.

With advances in technology covering all of our ancestors’ uses of hemp, the plant wasn’t missed. Coupled with the War on Drugs and propaganda against cannabis, hemp was merely an afterthought until the end of the 20th century.

Industrial Hemp Movement Begins

In 1998, the very state that closed the door on hemp was the first to reopen it. California enacted a medical marijuana program. This gesture would open the door for hemp legalization a crack and therefore one of the best things to happen in the history of hemp. However, it would take almost 20 years to bust it down.

By 2012, several states enacted medical marijuana laws. With each passing state, education about cannabis became more available. People started to see firsthand that those using hemp-based products didn’t act high.

Simultaneously, the opioid crisis grew to epic proportions. The very products that were created to save people from cannabis were killing them. Desperate for an alternative, millions got behind the hemp movement. President Obama couldn’t ignore the demand and signed a 2014 Farm Bill that called for a pilot farming program.

Following the 2016 election, many perceptions of hemp changed. With medical marijuana becoming legal in over half of the nation, it became time to readdress how we categorize the two separate cannabis plants.

At the end of the 2018 calendar, a new Farm Bill entered Congress. With a hemp pen, Mitch McConnell lifted the federal ban on hemp cultivation. Thanks to the new Farm Bill, hemp was downgraded from a schedule 1 controlled substance to a schedule 5 under the Controlled Substances Act. Now, hemp-derived products are legal in all 50 states.

The Future of Hemp

Many companies are taking advantage of the ban lift on hemp and growing interest in CBD products from consumers. CBD products are popping up in everything from supplements to cosmetics to pet treats. Suffice to say; the sky is the limit for hemp.

While hemp is no longer criminalized, it is still under a watchful eye. The Justice Department no longer holds jurisdiction over hemp cultivation. It is now regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). All hemp products must contain 0.3% THC or less. Otherwise, it will be classified as marijuana and you run the risk of breaking local laws.

Currently, CBD products are not regulated. However, the demand for hemp-based products continues to grow. That means stricter guidelines and transparency will be required of anyone attempting to sell hemp products in the near future. Until that day comes, you should buy products from reputable brands you can trust.

Contributed Post. Article originally posted on https://madebyhemp.com/

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Build Your Retirement Plan with the Three L’s

Originally posted by Jerry Golden on Silvernest.com Dec 6, 2017 3:14:05 PM

retirement-three-ls

You know about the Three R’s of schooling—reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic – that continue to form the foundation of education even as it becomes much more complex and sophisticated.

There are also “Three L’s” that are just as foundational as you plan for retirement: Lifetime Income, Liquidity and Legacy. 

These Three L’s address your objectives, and will ultimately drive your investment strategies and tactics. Just like a business plan, if you prepare and decide first on the objectives of the Three L’s¸ you will significantly improve your chances for a successful retirement. 

Lifetime Income 

Lifetime Income is the goal you should look to secure first. Your plan should ensure that your income continues year after year, even if it requires you to adjust the numbers so that you live on less, and/or your legacy to your heirs is reduced. You needn’t hit this target when you retire, but should have a plan that gets you there by the start of Stage Two of your retirement.  

Most people typically worry less about dying after they retire than about running out of money. That’s why it’s essential to secure income for the rest of your life, no matter how long (rather than devising a plan that will provide income only for your anticipated, but unknown life span). Your Social Security payments and any pension benefits may be the base for this number.  

Liquidity 

Liquidity involves the resources that can be readily converted to cash to meet expenses that go beyond those supported by your Lifetime Income. That cash can come from bank accounts, a Roth IRA, or even equity in your home. In retirement, your costs for unreimbursed medical expenses, a caregiver or other surprise events—such as learning you need to replace the roof—could be substantial. A cash cushion will eliminate some worries about whether your money will last through retirement.  

Legacy 

A legacy could come from liquidity that you don’t use during your lifetime, or it might be a financial asset dedicated to the legacy, e.g., a life insurance policy. Money invested in stocks and bonds outside your rollover IRA or 401(k) is a good source for an inheritance because it receives favorable income tax treatment at your passing and shifts investment risk to your heirs, who typically will have more years to deal with it than you do. 

Legacy is the last goal for an obvious reason: Take care of yourself and your spouse with income and liquidity to ensure a reasonable retirement—and only then consider an inheritance to the kids and grandchildren.  

Set achievable goals, then develop tactics 

If you plan for the Three L’s and you discover you haven’t come up with enough Lifetime Income or Liquidity, make adjustments. When you are satisfied that the numbers add up, you can begin to look at the tactics for achieving your goals. 

One product that adds Lifetime Income to your plan are income annuities. They are the only financial products that guarantee income for the rest of your life — similar to Social Security or a pension. An immediate annuity can supplement your income as soon as you retire; a deferred income annuity offers payouts at an age you choose. Of course, you need to look at the impact on liquidity or legacy. 

No matter what solution best applies to your specific circumstances, understanding the Three L’s of Lifetime Income, Liquidity and Legacy will help you develop your retirement plan — and select the right set of strategies and tactics. 

Contributed Post.

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Vehicle Buying Tips You Can’t Ignore

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Buying a new vehicle can be exciting and exhilarating, but it can also be overwhelming and confusing. With so many different makes and models to choose from, and a multitude of salespeople to deal with, there are some top tips to bear in mind when you’re in the market for a new vehicle. 

1. Find the right model

If you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, you’re less likely to be swayed by salespeople. Only you know how you’ll be using your vehicle, so take a look at what’s on the market and find out what types of cars, vans or bikes will meet your needs. With this in mind, you’ll have a great starting point to begin looking at vehicles, and you can ensure your new model will fit your needs.

2. Identify your budget

Whether you’re paying for a new vehicle upfront, getting a loan or entering into a financing agreement, it’s important to know how much you can afford to spend. It can be tempting to blow your budget, particularly when there’s a shiny new car in front of you, but overspending on a vehicle can leave you with years of debt. Know your budget before you begin looking at vehicles and you’ll be able to find a great new car or truck, without spending more than you can afford.

3. Don’t wait until you need a car

If you wait until your current vehicle fails, you may need to purchase something new quickly. If you rely on your truck for work, for example, you may be rushed into replacing it if it’s off the road or can’t be repaired. If you know your current vehicle is on its way out, start looking for a replacement now. This will give you more time to shop around and find the right vehicle at the right price.

4. Visit different dealerships

When you’re looking for a new car, truck, bike or van, don’t just go to the nearest dealership. In fact, visiting various different dealerships could be the best way to see what’s on offer and bag the best deal. If you’re searching for a Mercedes Sprinter for sale, for example, there may be quite a few dealerships in your local area which have these vehicles in stock. Don’t be afraid to try out various dealerships until you find one that offers the best service. 

5. Take a test drive

You should always test drive a vehicle before you buy it, but it’s important to test the vehicle on different types of roads. Whilst your new ride may drive fine on slower roads, what about highways? Similarly, your new car may be efficient when you’re on the open road, but what about when you’re sitting in traffic? Check with the salesperson if they have any pre-approved test routes before you head out, and make sure you’ll be able to test the car, van or truck on various different types of roads. 

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