Hemp/industrial hemp and marijuana are two distinct varieties of the same plant species. Hemp is a fiber crop. Marijuana is a drug crop. However, these definitions have become confused in the last 60 years. Recently, a movement has begun to distinguish the terms again. It is important to understand the history of usage of these terms in order to eliminate the confusion.
1600-1930s Hemps Long History in North America
The word hemp has been in the English language for over 800 years. The word marijuana is only 100 years old.
From the first settling of North America until the 1930s, hemp was the most common term for Cannabis sativa fiber crops. Marijuana was never used to describe hemp fiber crops, which were grown for canvas, rope, fuel oil, and paper. Hemp fiber crops were historically low THC and completely non-psychoactive.
1930s-1940s Marijuana tax Act confuses Hemp and Marijuana
In the 1930s, the psychoactive (high-THC) variety of cannabis sativa, imported from Mexico, became common in the southern U.S. It was called marijuana, a word popularized through the Reefer Madness campaign, to distinguish it from the hemp fiber crops (which no one...