CANNABIS: Yields a butter yellow, to a deep gold and light brown
Source: From marijuana leaves of the plant now legal to grow in Canada
The harvest and industry of Cannabis has a long, varied history going back centuries. More recent history includes the hemp/clothing industry in North America and the legalization of medical marijuana along with its recreational usage today and throughout history.
Historically, we know that the Iroquois nation in North America did use cannabis as both a stimulant and also to induce perhaps a sense of euphoria. The smoke emitted while burning or inhaled helped in putting the person in a good, positive mind-set while recovering from many illnesses. There is little or no evidence from cannabis being historically used as a dye plant.
Cabinboyknits has been using the leaves of the now legal plant in dyebaths to colour wool bright yellows, light browns and other colours through combination recipes.
The word may very well come from the Greek kannabis or quite earlier from a word meaning canvas (in English) from 1300 BC and meaning hempen fabric...or HEMP.
The plant is known to have origins in Asia. Throughout Indonesia and Europe the plant, more historically known as HEMP, dates back to around 5000 BC.
It is important to clarify the main difference between HEMP and Cannabis in common terms. The variety used historically as hemp does not contain the drug (THC) or very minimal amounts. Its usage is documented in ancient civilizations for more than 12,000 years. Cannabis/Hemp was introduced by the Spanish to South America in 1545 and later spread to North America by the early 1600's. Hemp was the source of an entire industry in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. The production of thousands of items were made from its fibre and stalk including: building & construction materials, paper, rope and ship riggings, textiles & clothing and oil extracted for lamps. The soft fibre was known to be better, stronger and more durable than cotton. The nutritional seeds were also used historically in hempseed oil and hemp milk. The leaves infused or crushed in a vegetable drink. In the 1700's, farmers across the U.S. were legally bound to grow hemp as a main crop. It was then banned in the U.S. in 1937 under the Marijuana Tax Act and in turn decimating an entire industry.
Cannabis as it is generically called refers to marijuana as we know it today: a recreational and medicinal drug. But as far back as 440 BCE, the Scythians threw hempseed over hot stones in a steam bath and the smoke vapours inhaled would bring joy and delight. Romans and Greeks are also known users in similar manners. Throughout history from the Stone Age to the Iron Age and onward, in Asia, Europe and Africa, all parts of the plant were eaten, smoked or used in a drink for euphoric, intoxicating effects and in "industrial" usages as well.
By the mid to late 20th century, religious groups and sects have claimed cannabis as part of their rituals and beliefs as the Eucharist and the Tree of Life. In the 1970's, legal debates began in Canada and the U.S. as to the lawfulness of the plant and its botanical make-up. The differences between two subspecies were questioned but both under the cannabis classification; one for fibre and seed and the other for drug production.
Today, medical marijuana/cannabis is legal in Canada and grown under government authority and limited licensing. The cannabis industry is now worth billions of dollars globally. It is used to treat many medical conditions including chronic pain and muscle spasm, side effects from chemotherapy like nausea, to improve appetite, reduce anxiety and depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and psychosis. The list of benefits continues to grow. And individuals can grow it in their backyards where legal and use it at will, any which way they choose. Like dying wool for example.