The roots of Hemp extend back thousands of years; to the end of the first ice age, Archaeological finds suggest that the source plant for Hemp, was likely one of the first agricultural crops planted by early humans with the birth of agriculture 12,000 to 10,000 years ago.
From the early days of ocean voyages in the 5th century B.C. until the late 19th Century and the dawn of the steam engine, most ships’ canvas sails and shipping ropes were made of hemp fibre. In fact, the English word ‘canvas’ is thought to derive from the Greek word for hemp (Cannabis).
The astronomer Carl Sagan an icon of scientific credibility put forth the possibility that Cannabis may have been the world’s first agricultural crop, leading to the development of civilization itself. Looking at timelines, it is clear that cannabis plants have been integral to mankind since the earliest times.
Food, Medicine, and More
Cannabis plants are exceptionally versatile. Both the seeds and cannabis oil were used for food in China as early as 6,000 BCE. Two thousand years later, in 4,000 BCE, there is evidence of textiles made from hemp (cannabis) used in both China and Turkestan. The influence of the plant seems to have been global. In 850, the Vikings transported hemp rope and seeds to Iceland, and by the year 900, Arabs were learning techniques for making paper from hemp. By 1000 (1015 years ago), Italians were using ropes made of hemp on their sailing ships.
Today, consumers are primarily interested in the healthful properties of cannabis compounds, and there is a long thread of cannabis applications for healing running through all eras of history. Stories about the healing properties of hemp (cannabis) mention Greek philosophers, Herodotus, Napoleon, and other legendary figures. The physician for Nero’s army, for example, included cannabis in his medical inventory. In 1563, the medicinal benefits of cannabis were discussed in a report by Portuguese physician Garcia da Orta. A few years later, China’s Li Shih-Chen documented the antibiotic and anti-nausea effects of cannabis.
From here to the future – hemp in New Zealand
After years of educating, lobbying and waiting, New Zealand hemp food law has now finally changed!
On 28 April 2017, trans-Tasman Ministers finally approved a change to the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code to allow the sale of hemp seed as a food for human consumption.
Waiheke Green Cross proudly stocks Organic Hemp Protein Powder, Pure Hemp Seed Oil Capsules and bottled Hemp Seed Oil – Certified Organic.
Find out more about their amazing benefits by visiting our product page.