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History of Hemp in Australia: When and Where it Began

Hemp has been used by human civilizations for thousands of years. It originated in Central Asia, where hemp cultivation for fibre was recorded as early as 2,800 BCE in China, and spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages.

Today, many Australians use hemp oil as an alternative form of medicine to treat pain, anxiety, skin issues and even cardiovascular disease. Many hemp oil suppliers such as Rick’s Hemp Oil have also propped up to jumpstart people’s hemp journey and let them discover the power of nature.

In this article, let’s dive into the history of hemp in Australia and its current rise to popularity.

Hemp’s Journey from Britain to Australia

If you were taught that the colonisation of Australia was due to Britain not having enough space for convicts, you only heard a fraction of the entire story. Many records suggest that this narrative was merely a cover-up for what others claim to be the truth: Australia was meant to be a hemp colony.

Hemp’s history in Australia dates back to the 1770’s, when it was the first country to be colonised by the British Empire mainly for the purpose of growing cannabis. Sir Joseph Banks onboarded hemp along with prisoners on the First Fleet. Hemp seeds were given to settlers as gifts in order to promote the cultivation of hemp. In other words, the plan was to commercially produce hemp in Australia.

During that time, hemp was being mainly used in paper production and it was a robust fibre crop for textiles. Many explorers also used hemp fibre for sails and ropes. Hemp oil in Australia wasn’t a product yet used as alternative medicine.

Prohibition of Hemp

At the start of the Industrial Revolution, the people’s dependency on hemp started decreasing, although the plant fibre was still used in textiles, paper and even food. However, in the Age of Oil, right after the Industrial Revolution, companies in America started producing synthetic fibres out of petrochemicals. These by-products, such as plastic and nylon, saw the organic hemp-based products as tough competition.

In the early 1900’s, America also prohibited the entire cannabis plant, claiming that it was a ‘drug menace.’ By 1914, the Harrison Act declared drug use as illegal in the United States, including the use of cannabis.

As a result, cannabis demand decreased in Australia during the 1920’s, right when fears of its psychedelic effects started spreading globally. During the same time, America pressured countries trading with them to ban hemp production too. To continue the country’s trade dealings with America, Australia had no choice but to stop the cultivation of hemp. By 1937, Australia criminalised hemp cultivation and made hemp a prohibited substance.

The Rebirth of Hemp in Australia

In 1998, the government in Australia started allowing select farmers to cultivate hemp. However, hemp products remained illegal to consumers in Australia. The production was only legalised for export to countries where hemp is legal.

Over the past 20-25 years, Australian researchers have revived the farming and cultivation of hemp. In a fortunate turn of events last November 12, 2017, Australia legalised hemp seed products as ‘food’ and finally conceded that it is safe for human consumption.

Today, the hemp industry in Australia is rising in both long-awaited interest and overall growth. Hemp seed is now being processed to produce oil, food products and supplements. Despite all the legal actions and pressure from America in the past, the current Australian government is making an effort to make hemp legal for those who benefit from its medicinal properties. To date, medicinal hemp is legal in Australia, especially if you get it from trusted hemp oil suppliers such as Rick Hemp’s Oil.

Until the 1930’s, people enjoyed the curative and therapeutic effects of hemp medically. Once cannabis was demonized, the plant could not escape the stigma surrounding it for decades to come. Fortunately, hemp oil is gaining traction in Australia, rising as an alternative to treat pain, anxiety and even skin conditions.

Rick’s Hemp Oil: Trusted Supplier of Hemp Oil in Australia

Since 2015, Rick’s Hemp Oil has been bringing the effects of hemp oil products closer to Australian consumers. Each bottle of hemp oil is made with premium quality, transparency and consistency in mind — helping people in need of a tried and tested natural remedy for pain relief, stress and anxiety.

As hemp makes its long-awaited comeback in Australia, we help reconnect people with the old knowledge that hemp is a wonder plant capable of a variety of health benefits. After all, the potential of the hemp plant is limitless.

For more information and enquiries about hemp oil, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.

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