Hemp has been globally cultivated for thousands of years. But today, there is widespread confusion about its uses and how it relates to—and differs from—marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana are species of the genus Cannabis, a word that comes with a long-standing stigma associated with “weed” and getting high.
Since approximately 8,000 BC, people have grown cannabis in all its forms for a spectrum of uses. These include nutrition, paper, textiles, biofuel, medicine, building materials, and more.
Then in the 1930s, political agendas and anti-marijuana propaganda changed the conversation about hemp to promote fear of marijuana. Now, legalized cannabis is on the rise, but we have a lot of catching up to do in regard to education.