These 7 biggest hemp producing countries in the world represent almost the entire hemp production on the planet, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Hemp has fallen quite low compared to its heyday in the 19th century, when it was used in shipbuilding, mainly for rope production. For a while, it was considered a strategic resource for any country with a navy powered by sails. All that sails required a lot of cordage, and hemp was a convenient source of fiber used in rope production. Hemp rope had its weaknesses, though, mainly its lack of resistance to rot, which required a lot of tarring in order to prevent it. That is why hemp was abandoned once rot-resistant Manila ropes became available.
Before the Age of Sail, hemp also had other uses. About 2,000 years ago, the Chinese used it to make paper, even before Cai Lun invented the process we basically use today. Hemp was also used to create textile and clothes. Since then, wood has become a dominant source of paper and other materials have replaced hemp as a textile source.
In the United States, hemp played a significant role as a source of various products (up to 25,000 products can be derived from hemp, according to some). Even the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. The production of hemp dates back to the early beginnings of the Thirteen Colonies, with hemp plantation being established in Jamestown, Virginia.
Hemp met its doom, as far as the United States is concerned, in 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act was passed. Hemp was lumped together with its more glamorous cousin, marijuana, and its cultivation was regulated and finally prohibited in 1970. Despite being a part of the same Cannabis sativa family, hemp and marijuana differ in one key area, and that is the THC content, the main active ingredient which makes marijuana a popular drug. Hemp’s THC levels are very low and it can’t be used in the same manner as marijuana. That also probably means that hemp doesn’t have the same Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana According to Publicly Traded Weed Companies.
Today, a vast majority of hemp cultivated in 7 biggest hemp producing countries in the world is used for cigarette paper production. This small niche market is all that remains of once huge industry. Hemp seed and hemp oil are also used but in very limited quantities. There are voices calling for the restoration of the industrial hemp production and, with relaxing the regulations on marijuana production and consummation, hemp will be cultivated again, due to its many benefits. Until then, the list of biggest hemp producers in the world will remain short.