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Hemp

HEMP

HEMP. Although England sought hemp from its American colonies to rig its sailing ships, and although the British government and colonial legislatures tried to encourage its production by bounties, it never became an important export crop. But the virgin clearings and moderate climate of America did invite its small-scale cultivation. Many colonial homesteads had hemp patches—hemp and tow cloth were familiar household manufactures, and local cordage supplied colonial shipyards.

After the American Revolution, when settlers began developing the rich Ohio Valley bottomlands, hemp became a staple crop in Kentucky. Lexington erected mills for manufacturing it, and Southwesterners used hemp cordage and bale cloth to pack their cotton crops. Output peaked around 1860 at about 74,000 tons, of which Kentucky produced 40,000 tons and Missouri 20,000 tons. Thereafter, the advent of the steamship, the substitution of steel for hemp cordage, and the introduction of artificial fibers lessened demand. American production of hemp for fiber ceased shortly after World War II.

With some twenty-five thousand uses, industrial hemp has undergone a revival in many countries such as France and Canada. The United States, however, continues to ban commercial hemp production because of fears by the Drug Enforcement Agency that the plant, which belongs to the same species as marijuana, would be put to illicit use. Agricultural advocacy groups have protested the DEA policy, pointing out that the THC content of hemp is so low that it would be useless as a drug and that the prohibition places American farmers at competitive disadvantage, depriving them of the income from a highly useful and potentially lucrative crop.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Hopkins, James F. A History of the Hemp Industry in Kentucky. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1951.

Nader, Ralph. "Farm Aid: The DEA Should Get Out of Regulating Hemp Agriculture." San Francisco Bay Guardian, April 3, 2000. Available at http://www.sfbg.com/nader/95.html.

Victor S.Clark/c. w.

See alsoBounties, Commercial ; Narcotics Trade and Legislation ; Shipping, Ocean .

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hemp

hemp, common name for a tall annual herb (Cannabis sativa) of the family Cannabinaceae, native to Asia but now widespread because of its formerly large-scale cultivation for the bast fiber (also called hemp) and for the drugs it yields. Known and cultivated in ancient China, the plant was introduced into Europe before the Christian era. In the United States it was cultivated chiefly in the Midwest. The fiber, retted from the stem, was one of the most important for various kinds of cordage; it was also used in making paper, cloth (canvas and other kinds), oakum for calking ships, and other products. The male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. The chemical derived from the female flowering tops is used medicinally; the tops are also the source of marijuana and hashish. Hemp seed is used as bird food, and the oil from the seeds is used in the manufacture of paints, varnishes, and soap and in cooking. The dried leaves are used in Asia for a beverage. The word hemp is used in combination for several other kinds of fiber plants, notably Manila hemp and sisal hemp. The true hemp plant is related to the hop, which is used in making beer. Hemp is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Urticales, family Cannabinaceae.

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hemp

hemp / hemp/ • n. (also Indian hemp) the cannabis plant, esp. when grown for fiber. ∎  the fiber of this plant, extracted from the stem and used to make rope, stout fabrics, fiberboard, and paper. ∎  used in names of other plants that yield fiber, e.g., Manila hemp. ∎  marijuana. ORIGIN: Old English henep, hænep, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hennep and German Hanf, also to Greek kannabis.

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hemp

hemp Herb native to Asia and cultivated throughout Eurasia, North America and parts of South America. It has hollow stems with fibrous inner bark, also called hemp, which is used to make ropes and cloth. The flowers, leaves and resinous juice are used to produce marijuana and hashish. Height: to 5m (16ft). Family Cannabinaceae; species Cannabis sativa.

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hemp

hemp the fibre of the cannabis plant, extracted from the stem and used to make rope, especially with reference to execution by hanging. The name is recorded from Old English (in form henep, hænep) and is of Germanic origin; it is related to Greek kannabis.

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hemp

hemp herbaceous plant Cannabis sativa OE.; fibre of this XIII. OE. henep, hænep = OS. hanap (Du. hennep), OHG. hanaf (G. hanf), ON. hampr :- Gmc. *χanipiz, *χanapiz, rel. to Gr. kānnabis, Lith. kanāpės, Russ. konoplyá.

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hemp

hemp See CANNABIS and CANNABIDACEAE.

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hemp

hemp (hemp) n. see cannabis.

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hemp

hempamp, camp, champ, clamp, cramp, damp, encamp, gamp, lamp, ramp, samp, scamp, stamp, tamp, tramp, vamp •firedamp • headlamp • wheel clamp •sidelamp • spotlamp • blowlamp •sunlamp •hemp, kemp, temp •blimp, chimp, crimp, gimp, imp, limp, pimp, primp, scrimp, shrimp, simp, skimp, wimp •chomp, clomp, comp, pomp, romp, stomp, swamp, tromp, whomp, yomp •bump, chump, clump, crump, dump, flump, frump, gazump, grump, hump, jump, lump, outjump, plump, pump, rump, scrump, slump, stump, sump, thump, trump, tump, ump, whump •ski-jump • showjump • handpump •mugwump

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