Hemp is legal to grow in the UK but farmers are not allowed to use the flower – where cannabinoids like CBD are produced. CBD is legal, however, and CBD products can be imported from other countries and sold in the UK.
No doubt about it, this is a ridiculous situation that sees the UK lag behind in an already sizeable industry that is only going to carry on growing to an astronomical size.
While UK hemp laws are baffling and seem to prohibit hemp flower being sold in the UK, many believe that there are ways of selling it legally – these include marketing it as tea, ensuring it is an EU-approved variety with negligible concentrations of THC.
This has led to a number of online and physical shops selling high-grade hemp flower for the last 2 years or so. And although there have been a few raids and some buds have been confiscated, no one has been prosecuted for selling low-THC hemp flower.
There is also reason to believe this is because prohibiting the sale of legally-grown hemp flower may contravene an EU law that ensures the free movement of goods in Europe.
Despite what the laws are now, the UK stands to benefit immensely from a fully legal and regulated hemp flower industry. It’s already happened in Switzerland, Belgium and the U.S, to name but a few, with great success.
So without further ado, here are 10 reasons why the UK should have a regulated hemp flower industry:
1. Makes way for a domestic CBD industry
By legalising and regulating hemp flower, it opens up the UK to start producing all manner of CBD products. If this happened, there would be little need to import CBD products from outside the country, meaning a boost to the domestic industry and thousands of new jobs.
2. Safer and cleaner products
Currently, there are many different CBD hemp flower products available in the UK. But while the industry remains unregulated and half in the shadows, maintaining quality standards on these products is impossible.
For example, some hemp flower may be grown using pesticides, while there is some evidence that others are sprayed with CBD isolate to improve their cannabinoids content. A regulated industry could make sure strict standards are upheld and products are safer and cleaner.
3. No chance of abuse
Hemp flower has minimal levels oF THC and high levels of CBD. Therefore, any psychoactive effects are subtle and the risk of abuse is incredibly low. Even the World Health Organisation has found CBD to have very little potential for abuse.
4. Less anxiety
CBD is very effective at reducing anxiety. And anxiety is a massive problem in the UK these days. In fact, it’s probably the most common mental disorder in Britain, especially among younger people.
5. Less liver disease
CBD has been found to protect the liver from the negative effects of alcohol. So while alcohol remains such a big part of so many Brits’ lives, it would be wise for these people to increase their CBD intake too.
6. Less cigarette smoking
Hemp flower makes the perfect tobacco substitute. It can even be rolled into cigarettes. And the best part is that smoking cannabis is not linked with lung cancer. In fact, the only risk of smoking hemp flower is reversible lung damage.
7. Huge tax revenue potential
Hemp flower is more effective than CBD oil. This will help it become a hugely popular product. Mark my words. The industry is already exploding in the U.S, as well as in European countries like Switzerland, Italy and Belgium.
If the UK government were to completely legalise it, they would stand to make a lot of tax revenue. Both Switzerland and Belgium tax hemp flower the same as tobacco products, and both governments are cashing in.
8. Opportunity to learn before full legalisation
Complete cannabis legalisation is more of an inevitability than a possibility. 5-10 years they. Therefore, regulating hemp flower could be a good exercise in learning how to do it effectively and safely.
It could also help change poeples’ perspectives on cannabis in general, leading to quicker acceptance of other cannabinoids like THC.
9. Improved mental health
THC use has been linked with psychosis. As has tobacco use. And while there is no evidence that either causes psychosis, to ignore the link would be silly.
With this in mind, it is of great importance to realise that CBD has the ability to counteract the negative effects of THC, while hemp flower makes the ideal tobacco substitute.
CBD has also been found to be a potent antipsychotic. Therefore, if more people had access to legal hemp flower rich in CBD, consuming it alongside THC (and in place of tobacco) would make the whole experience a lot safer.
10. Less addiction
A number of studies have shown CBD to be effective at treating various addictions. This seems to be due to its anti-anxiety effects, as well as its ability to alter the attention bias, which can make triggers to addictive behaviours less appealing.