Hemp: Fact vs. Fiction

Hemp is trending, but its close association with cannabis often provides a platform for significant confusion. Marijuana and hemp are related, as they both belong to the 'cannabis' genus of plants. Not surprisingly, this is often the source of some confusion. So we've put together a few fun facts and myths about this remarkable plant. 

  1. Smoking hemp will get you high. False. Although industrial hemp is a member of the Cannabis sativa species, it can not be used recreationally as a drug. For the most part, it is used for extracting CBD. Even though hemp contains a fair quantity of CBD, it is deficient in the psychoactive and intoxicating compound, THC.
  1. Hemp oil cures acne. False. There's no scientific data to support the claim that hemp oil or hemp-derived CBD oil cures acne. Hemp oil is used by many as a moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores. This has led some to assume that hemp oil can prevent dry skin without clogging pores, which in turn may help reduce acne that's caused by excess oil.
  1. You can be jailed if you refuse to grow hemp. False. But it was true in the 1760s. During colonial times, hemp was so crucial that colonists were compelled to farm industrial hemp for ropes, fabric, paper, and other textiles.
  1. The War of 1812 was fought over hemp. True. Hemp production was so critical that Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow's export of hemp to England. From 1807 to 1812, the Americans played a significant role in the illegal Russian hemp trade with England. Britain confiscated American ships and shipments and sent their sailors back to the U.S. 
  1. Hemp has nutrients found in breast milk. True. Hemp contains Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), which is incredibly healthy and is found naturally in breast milk.
  1. The flag that Betsy Ross made was sewn from hemp fabric. True. During colonial times, many materials were made of hemp. Hemp has played a significant role in our agricultural and our country's history. 
  1. The first Ford Model T was made from hemp. True. Henry Ford's first Model T was built to run on hemp gasoline, and the car itself was constructed from hemp. Ford was even photographed among his hemp fields as a marketing stunt. The vehicle was grown from the soil, according to Ford. It had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was ten times stronger than steel. 
  1. Thomas Jefferson smuggled hemp into the U.S. from China. True. He smuggled new strains of the cannabis seed from China, to France, and then to America, all while serving as ambassador to France. Thomas Jefferson also received the United States' first patent; A hemp threshing machine.
  1. Hemp is legal tender in the U.S. False, but it was true from 1631 to the 1880s. Before it was made illegal in 1937, hemp was considered legal tender and could be used to pay taxes as well as other goods and services.
  1. Benjamin Franklin was the first person to start hemp processing in the U.S. True. Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America, and it processed hemp.