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Great history of hemp in Nepal

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Centuries ago, the history of hemp in Nepal was rich, boasting a diverse range of medicinal and herbal plants, with hemp being one of the significant ones. The cannabis plant, locally known as “ganja,” grew abundantly in the favorable climate of Western Nepal, becoming an integral part of Nepalese culture and traditions.

Throughout the ages, cannabis held multiple roles in Nepal. It served as a medicinal resource, utilized in the ancient healing practice of Ayurveda. The plant also played a central role in religious rituals, particularly during the Maha Shiv Ratri festival, where a cannabis-based drink called “bhang” was consumed to pay homage to Lord Shiva.

In rural areas, villagers skillfully extracted hemp fibers from cannabis plants, skillfully crafting essential items such as mats, bags, ropes, and clothing. This craftsmanship fostered self-sufficiency in these communities, thanks to the easy availability of cannabis plants.

The popularity of cannabis in Nepal extended beyond its borders, attracting tourists seeking top-quality hashish. Consequently, the cannabis and hemp industries became significant sources of revenue for both the government and local businesses.

Despite its long-standing cultural and economic significance, the dynamics surrounding cannabis in Nepal shifted during the 1900s, leading to changes in its utilization and perception.

history of hemp farming

In Nepal, the history of hemp is evident in the plethora of stores offering an array of hemp-based products, ranging from oils, shampoos, clothes, bags, hats, to food and skincare items. The availability of such diverse products is impressive and reflects the country’s deep-rooted connection with the hemp plant.

For the locals, these hemp products are a common sight, as the hemp plant thrives naturally in Nepal’s favorable climate and soil conditions. Abundant wild hemp plants make it a practical choice for the country to utilize them in crafting various goods.

Nepal’s association with hemp extends far back in time, with the production of textiles, medicine, and food being part of its cultural heritage long before the global resurgence of hemp’s popularity. However, despite its rich history and potential, the hemp industry in Nepal has not reached its full potential and faces challenges in realizing its full benefits.

Nepali women spinning a hemp in front of the house.

Nepali woman making cloth from hemp

In the history of hemp early 1900s, numerous countries, Nepal included, chose to impose a ban on the cultivation and production of cannabis due to widespread concerns. The Nepali government also succumbed to pressure and implemented regulations on hemp, a cannabis-related plant that lacks psychoactive effects, in an effort to address drug issues within the country.

Regrettably, this blanket ban on cannabis had unintended consequences for hemp, despite its non-intoxicating nature. Many Nepalese people suffered as a result, with farmers losing their income from cannabis cultivation, pushing them into poverty.

Today, some artisans argue that their hemp-based businesses are not illegal, as the government permits certain industrial uses of hemp. However, navigating the strict and sometimes confusing rules remains a challenge.

Overall, the ban on cannabis has hindered the potential growth of the hemp industry in Nepal. Renowned hemp trade pioneer Prem Dehal believes that if hemp were fully legalized and allowed to be cultivated on a larger scale, it could prove to be as valuable as gold. Instead, the government forces artisans to import hemp fibers and materials, despite having a valuable resource right in their own country. Nevertheless, there remains hope for the future of Nepal’s hemp industry.

The past few years have seen a global renewal of hemp, as many countries are now starting to loosen strict bans. Nepali lawmakers are stressing the Potential economic improvement that could result from the legalization of hemp.

At the movement, people have quickly started to know the many uses and benefits of hemp, including hemp cloth, food products, and medicine.

For that reason, Nepali artisans are finally receiving the Acknowledgment they deserve for their handicraft. Specifically, local handicraftsmen are better able to get outlets to promote their products. Brands such as hemp & hope Bhangra, and Himalayan provide local artisans by extending their products to the global market .

Granted, there is still a wide spread misleading about hemp. Additionally, Nepal has yet to reduce its nationwide rules on hemp. But the market reception to hemp products has generally been choice for every one.

Overall, things are looking positive for Nepal’s hemp industry, even though there were some problems at the beginning. Here are the benefits of making industrial hemp legal:

  1. People in Nepal can earn money again by growing hemp, which will help the country’s economy grow.
  2. Nepal won’t have to import as many regular medicines because they can use hemp for medical purposes.
  3. There will be more job opportunities, like what happened in the US when cannabis became legal in many states.
  4. Nepal can sell their cannabis and hemp products to other countries, which will help improve their trade balance.
  5. It will be easier for artisans to grow and make hemp products with modern methods, making their work easier.
  6. Crime rates will go down a lot. The history of hemp in Nepal will witness a miraculous transformation.

Hemp products are really valuable for Nepal’s economy which can be known as history of hemp in Nepal.

In 2019, Nepal sold $46,900 worth of hemp fibers to other countries. This made Nepal the 31st biggest exporter of hemp fibers in the world. The United States, United Kingdom, and France were the countries where Nepal’s hemp products were in high demand. Other important places that bought Nepal’s hemp products were the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Now, with cannabis becoming more popular again and more people wanting hemp products, Nepal is going to sell a lot more of them in the future. The numbers will go up a lot.

Hemp is a very valuable plant that can make a lot of money for Nepal, but people don’t appreciate it enough.

Before hemp became illegal everywhere, people in Nepal were doing really well. They were making a lot of money from hemp, which was one of the country’s most common and profitable resources.

Thankfully, things are getting better now because rules about growing cannabis and hemp are getting looser around the world. If Nepal also makes it easier to grow hemp, the country can become successful economically. The history of hemp in Nepal promises a bright future ahead.

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