History of the industrial hemp

Povijest industrijske konoplje

history of the industrial hemp

In Croatia the industrial hemp has been actively used 60 years ago by producing over 20 000 products out of it (rope, clothes, footwear, oil…) Industrial hemp seeds contain high level of omega-3 acids and a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, carbohydrates and numerous minerals. Hemp stem has the strongest fibers in the plant world. The industrial hemp was banned in the sixties in the rest of the world while in Croatia has remained legal until the middle of the nineties.

It returns again on 25th September 2019 when the law passed the bill which simplified the cultivation of the industrial hemp to the farmers. Although hemp has been used as food, medicine, energy generating product, building and textile material or animal feed since ancient times, these years it experiences its revival in Croatia.

Yugoslavia was the third hemp export force in the world while Croatia produced the third of the entire quantity. Since 2016 Croatia is in the third place in the world regarding hemp cultivated area. Nowadays there are 90 registrated hemp growers in Croatia.

In the EU it is allowed to grow 50 different hemp sorts. Hemp has been a part of the human civilization for a long time now. It dates 10 000 years in the past which means that cannabis could be one of the first crops people have ever grown.

China used hemp in 6000 BC. Kr. they used oil and seeds in their diet as food, and later also for textiles. The history of cannabis is extensive and connected with many peoples who recognized the various possibilities of its use. The oldest finds of hemp in Europe are around 5,500 years old, and originate from Germany. Many medieval weapons, such as the long bow whose string was made of hemp, could not be made without very strong and almost indestructible hemp fibers. Hemp and flax have long been the most important source of fiber in Europe. Previously, this genus was divided into three separate types of hemp, Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Ruderalis.
Hemp is an annual plant
The stem grows in open areas, from the usual 50 cm, to as much as 8 m.
The roots are branched and deep, under favorable conditions, they can reach a depth of about 1.5 m.
The flowers are dioecious, which means that there are separate female and male flowers on the same plant.
The colors vary from gray-green to green-brown, and the texture is similar
It can thrive in the most diverse
climatic and environmental conditions. It grows as a weed and as a cultivated plant.


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