The Origin of the Name Hemp: A Historical Perspective

Hemp has been around for centuries but where did it come from? Learn about its history & how it got its name in this article.

The Origin of the Name Hemp: A Historical Perspective

The word 'hemp' has been around for centuries, but where did it come from? Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is a plant of the Cannabaceae family that is cultivated for its fiber or edible seeds. It is sometimes confused with cannabis plants that are used to make marijuana and hashish, but hemp contains only small amounts of THC compared to those plants. Hemp has been used for centuries as a source of textiles, food, and medicine. In this article, we will explore the history of hemp and how it got its name.

The word 'marijuana' was not used much before the 1910s and 1920s. Instead, the scientific name 'cannabis' was more commonly used. However, during this time period, the word 'marijuana' became associated with Mexicans, who were stereotyped as people who frequently used cannabis. The Oxford English Dictionary records the first uses of cannabis in 1548 and the parts of the plant that were smoked, chewed or drunk for their intoxicating or hallucinogenic properties in 1848. Hemp was cultivated in temperate areas as an annual plant from seeds and could reach heights of up to 5 meters (16 feet).

The Scythians spoke Iranian dialects and the Indo-Iranian languages have two words represented by the Sanskrit śaṇa, a kind of hemp (in the forms *kana or *kene) and the narcotic hemp bhanga (cf. National Library of Medicine 8600 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20894). The term 'hemp' is used to refer to cannabis containing a THC content of 0.3 percent or less by dry weight.


can be derived from both hemp and marijuana plants. According to authors, both varieties belonging to the subspecies sativa are common in North America, Europe and Asia and show limited intoxicating potential.

On the contrary, varieties of the Indica subspecies have a high intoxicating potential and grow mainly on the Asian continent. Other plants are sometimes referred to as hemp, such as Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum), Mauritian hemp (Furcraea foetida) and sun hemp (Crotalaria juncea). Some specially processed types of hemp have a whitish color and an attractive sheen and are used to make linen-like fabrics for clothing. Shellless hemp seeds, sometimes called hemp hearts, are sold as a health food and can be eaten raw; they are usually sprinkled on salads or mixed with fruit shakes. Hemp fiber is used to make bioplastics that are recyclable and biodegradable, depending on the formulation. The old varieties of hemp from the north did not contain the narcotic THC; and the second millennium was probably the first time that enough people traveled back and forth between Iran (where it grew) and Eastern Europe to be able to spread the habit, along with its source, hemp containing THC. Because hemp grows faster than trees and other crops, it is considered a more sustainable way to make products such as paper and textiles. From the Uralic and Turkic languages, Barber cited mari kene or hemp from the cinchona, chuvash kantär, old Turkish käntir, Turkish kendir and kenevir, and Kenevir Turks, and Kenep Karakalpak.

The Iranian Scythians were probably related to the Medes, who were neighbors of the Semites and could have easily assimilated the word hemp. People from all middle latitudes of Europe and Asia have known about hemp since 5000 BC. C., consuming it for its various uses. It is believed that this is when it got its name.

In conclusion, hemp has been around for centuries and has been used for many different purposes. Its name likely originated from Iranian dialects spoken by Scythians who were related to Medes who lived near Semites. Hemp has been used as a source of textiles, food, medicine, bioplastics, and more recently as a source of CBD oil.

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