Despite CBD being legal (and hugely popular) in the UK, British hemp farmers are not allowed to harvest the CBD from their own crops.
This is because it is illegal to process the flower (or bud) of hemp plants in the UK – instead, farmers must destroy the flower and can only use the stalk (for textiles) and seed (for food).
So, while it is legal to grow hemp in the UK – providing you have a licence – and CBD is completely legal, making products from British-grown CBD is outlawed.
This is blocking UK farmers from participating in one of the fastest growing industries the country has ever seen thanks to outdated and prohibitive laws surrounding hemp.
Pretty silly, huh?
We think so.
Which is why we’ll be attending the ‘Seed the Future’ protest tomorrow in London, where we will call on the government in the UK to ease restrictions on the cultivation of hemp.
National protests with a hint of rebellion
A collection of demonstrations will be taking place all across the country this Sunday, from Brighton to Birmingham, Edinburgh to Exeter. The protests will showcase the solutions hemp can provide to the impending recession following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, protesters are being encouraged to bring their own hemp plants or hemp seeds in order to highlight the injustice of hemp laws in the UK.
“Over 100kg of hemp seed has been distributed across the UK, thousands of people have grown hemp plants as a symbol of hope and an act of Non Violent Civil Disobedience against the unfounded and disproportionate laws surrounding this medicinal, nutritional and industrial plant,” says a statement on Seed The Future’s website.
4 ways hemp flower can help the country heal
1. Hemp flower can improve mental health post COVID-19
Unsurprisingly, following months of lockdowns and fear-based reporting in the media, mental health problems are rife among the UK population. Anxiety, OCD and addiction are three huge issues that are now more prevalent than ever. And CBD-rich flower can help with all three and more.
Not only does CBD have potent anti-anxiety, ant-psychotic and anti-addictive properties, when administered alongside other cannabinoids and terpenes (like when you consume hemp flower), the entourage effect means it’s that much more effective than an isolated compound. CBD also has no side-effects, unlike many mainstream treatments.
There was even a study in 2016 that looked into CBD as a potential treatment for post Ebola syndrome – the researchers concluded that CBD “should be considered as a treatment.”
2. Hemp flower could offer a vital treatment for COVID-19 itself
Researchers at the University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute believe CBD could reduce the lethal lung inflammation caused by COVID-19. In a peer-reviewed article published this month, the researchers called for more studies into cannabinoids for their antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties to combat the coronavirus.
CBD-rich cannabis is also showing potential in making people more resistant to the novel coronavirus by reducing the number of receptors that the virus can bind to, says a Canadian researcher leading a study on cannabis and coronavirus.
3. Hemp flower is the most effective CBD product
Because it is literally the raw, dried flower of the cannabis plant (legally known as ‘hemp’ due to its low THC content), by consuming the whole plant you are getting a full spectrum of cannabis compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. Put simply, these compounds work together to produce a greater effect than if used on their own.
4. Hemp flower offers a lucrative new domestic industry post COVID-19
The CBD industry has exploded over the last 4 years or so. Demand is now bigger than Vitamin C and Vitamin D – the two second most popular supplements – combined!
While UK farmers have already missed out on this exceptional rise, a domestic hemp flower industry has the potential to take production back to the UK and forge a brand new, highly profitable industry that will create thousands of new jobs.
Hemp flower on sale in the UK
Although it is prohibited to process UK-grown hemp flower, imported hemp flower products are widely available in the UK.
The law surrounding these products suggests that they may not be completely within the law, which is why a number of shops have been raided by police. However, interestingly, a number of these shops have had their stock returned to them and have been given the all-clear to continue operating.
This may be due to the EU’s principle of mutual recognition that ensures the free movement of goods in the EU.
You can find the best CBD flower sellers here.
Protests will be held on the 19th of July at the following venues. They are slated to run from 12-5pm.
- Exeter: Cathedral Green
- Bristol: College Green
- London: New Scotland Yard
- Brighton: Old Steine Gardens
- Birmingham: Cannon Hill Park
- Newcastle: Leazes Park
- Edinburgh: Holyrood Park
- Belfast: City Hall
- Cardiff: Cathays Park
We hope to see you there!