The Ancient History of Hemp in China

Hemp was one of the first cultivated plants in China, and its history dates back to more than 4,000 years ago. Ancient Chinese used hemp for war, writing, food and medicine, but they rarely mentioned its psychoactive properties. Hemp was often used in ancient Chinese medicine to treat diseases such as pain or mental illness. Archaeological evidence of the cannabis plant has been found in ancient Chinese pottery from 10,000 to C.

Hemp fabric native to the Chou dynasty (1122 — 249 BC) has also been discovered in China. During the Western Zhou Dynasty (1100 BC). — 771 BC), hats, shoes and tunics were made of high quality hemp. The Tibetan Sutra of Materia Medica also makes several references to the potentially intoxicating and psychoactive effects of cannabis.

Nowadays, many people use hemp and hemp-derived CBD for medicinal or therapeutic purposes, but this is not a new phenomenon. Traditionally, bowstrings were made of bamboo, but the advancement of hemp for this purpose created a military force that would soon dominate its political opponents for centuries to come. Hemp paper has an opportunity to help reduce the devastating impact of deforestation on the paper industry. Unfortunately, the use of hemp peaked in the 18th century: after the industrial revolution, the development of the cotton gin and industrialized agro-industry, other materials were preferred for fabric and paper. Until cotton was introduced to China during the Northern Song Dynasty (960 AD - 127 AD), hemp was the dominant fabric throughout society.

In a book from 1st century B., there is evidence of the Chinese discovery of the sexuality of the hemp plant, differentiating between male hemp (xi ma) and female hemp (ju ma). Fragments of hemp cloth have also been found in Chinese burial chambers dating back to the Chou Dynasty (1122-249 BC).Hemp has been an important part of Chinese culture for centuries and its use is still relevant today. Nowadays paper can still be made from hemp, but because the industry has developed an infrastructure for the use of wood as a raw material, the production costs of hemp paper are much higher, so demand has slowed.

Tamara Lutze
Tamara Lutze

General travel nerd. Incurable zombie ninja. Infuriatingly humble food fanatic. Freelance beer lover. Unapologetic travel specialist.

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