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Marijuana and Hemp Uses early in history
As cannabis fell out of favor as a recreational drug, it grew in importance as a plant fiber. The era of exploring the world by sailing ship had dawned, and demand for canvas - another word derived from cannabis - grew rapidly. In 1533, King Henry VIII (1491 - 1547) commanded all English farmers to set aside part of their holdings to grow hemp. The plant was exported to the Americas, where it was first grown in Canada in 1606 and in Virginia in 1611. In the United States, it was used for making canvas and rope. However, written documents note that George Washington (1732 - 1799), the first U.S. president, not only grew cannabis but also used it to soothe his toothaches. According to the 1850 U.S. Census, the plant was grown on 8,327 plantations in the nation.
The renewed interest in recreational use of cannabis dates to the 1840s, when Egyptian hashish spread among the artistic communities in France and England as a drug of enlightenment (enhanced intelligence). At the same time, the medical community in Europe renewed its interest in the substance, recommending it for a wide variety of ailments from asthma and depression to EPILEPSY. Cannabis was also recommended to the mentally ill and to alcoholics and people with opium addiction. In the heyday of "cure-all" medicines during the early 1900s, marijuana extracts could be found in many over-the-counter remedies, sometimes mixed with opiates like morphine.