The Truth About CBD Flower In The UK, And How One Company Is Raising The Bar

Hempelf’s new European facility is now open and their new range of CBD flower can be ordered throughout Europe here.

I love CBD flower. It’s an amazingly effective and versatile product. Which is why it’s one of the most sought-after CBD products on the market. However, in the UK at least, all is not well in the CBD flower industry. 

Not only is there much debate surrounding the legality of CBD hemp flower, due to the unregulated nature of the industry, a lot of shady practices are going on.

Practices like ‘washing’, which is used to lower THC content, are common, as is impartial and inadequate testing. Additionally, the sale of low quality products which look nothing like the pictures that are used to advertise them is also a big problem.

Luckily, there are some good companies out there that recognise the need for improved standards across the board.

The company leading the charge to raise the bar is Hemp Elf – an organisation that was one of the first to bring high-quality CBD flower to the UK a number of years ago. 

In this article, we’re going to look at the current issues with CBD flower in the UK and how Hemp Elf is aiming to tackle them.

Issues with CBD flower in the UK

  • Processing flower to lower THC levels

I’ve been buying and reviewing CBD flower since it was first available in the UK about four or five years ago. In that time, I’ve had many conversations with hemp growers, suppliers and retailers throughout Europe. 

One of the biggest concerns that many in the industry are very wary of is the practice of ‘washing’ flowers to lower THC content. 

You see, a lot of CBD flower is cultivated in Switzerland – where cannabis with up to 1% THC is completely legal to grow and sell. In the rest of Europe, however, there is a 0.2% limit in most countries (0.3% in a couple and 0.6% in Italy). 

Therefore, in order to make their product viable to sell outside of Switzerland, producers often ‘process’ their flower to reduce the levels of THC to below 0.6, 0.3 or 0.2%. 

They do this by ‘washing’ the buds with ethanol, effectively burning them with UV light, or blasting them with butane. Each method obviously brings risks of contamination to the consumer, while also massively affecting the quality and effectiveness of the product. 

It’s pretty hard to remove just the THC without also affecting other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. 

  • Testing

As well as messing with the THC levels in CBD flower, in order to bring their products to larger markets, many suppliers will manipulate the testing process or results. 

One way they do this is by including lots of leaf and stalk in samples that are tested, which has the effect of diluting the cannabinoid content and lowering THC percentages.

Another way is to simply use an impartial lab where results can be doctored.

  • Adding CBD isolate and terps

Another common practice used by unscrupulous hemp flower producers is the spray of buds with CBD isolate. This increases CBD percentages to unnatural levels, while also making the buds look frostier than they actually are. 

Terpenes are also sprayed onto buds in order to enhance the aroma. These products usually smell unnaturally strong and unlike regular cannabis strains. 

  • Poor quality and false advertising

Finding high-grade CBD flower grown by a trustworthy producer, trimmed, cured, stored and and packed correctly is not easy task in the UK. 

In fact, the amount of low-quality CBD flower around is crazy. And to make it even harder for the consumer, many online shops use photos that are clearly not of the actual product they are selling. 

Some even use photos that are clearly high-grade THC buds that they’ve probably just taken from the internet. 

How Hemp Elf is raising the bar 

The guys at Hemp Elf have been in this game long enough to have seen all the malpractice that’s currently taking place. This has led them to take steps to ensure the safety and quality of the flower they offer.  

One of the biggest developments the company has undertaken is the recent acquisition of a new 10,000 sq ft facility on the European mainland. Here, they will be in a unique position to vet suppliers, thoroughly test products in-house, and even develop and grow their own unique strains in a vertically integrated indoor grow facility.

Rogue suppliers

I was told by the team at Hemp Elf that they have “encountered so many rogue suppliers who promised quality products, but delivered substandard batches which then had to be written off.”

By having a base in Europe, this will allow them access to the best products around and to more easily vet suppliers, including “inspecting the grow facilities, the drying areas and the during and trimming processes and storage areas as these play a big part in ensuring the end product doesn’t lose its initial characteristics.”

The facility will also give them access to the best (and freshest) hemp flower available in Europe, and put them in position to ship efficiently throughout the continent, including the UK. 

Fully tested and better value

Perhaps most importantly, Hemp Elf will no longer need to trust the word of suppliers when it comes to test results as they will be able to test all products internally before being offered to HelmElf customers.

The team at HempElf also assure me that their European move will enable them to cut out any unneeded middlemen and lower prices for the customer. 

Summary

All in all, these moves by Hemp Elf look likely to massively raise the bar for CBD flower in the UK. Higher-quality products, vetted suppliers, trustworthy testing, and lower prices for the customer.

I, for one, welcome these improvements and can’t wait to see what Hemp Elf have in store for us. I’ll be sure to review some of these new strains, so sign up to our newsletter below to make sure you don’t miss any! 

Hempelf’s new European facility is now open and their new range of CBD flower can be ordered throughout Europe here.

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About Jack Woodhouse

A passionate cannabis proponent, Jack has been immersed in cannabis culture for over a decade. He launched High & Polite in 2017 and has since reached millions of people. He is the author of Overcoming Weed Dependence: The Truth About Addiction And The Secret To A Healthy Relationship With Cannabis

View all posts by Jack Woodhouse

5 Comments on “The Truth About CBD Flower In The UK, And How One Company Is Raising The Bar”

  1. Hempelf prices are absolutely ridiculous, it is daylight robery.
    Seriously £302 for a ounce of cbd flower.
    You got to be having a laugh.
    And this article talks about shady practices ,they need to sort out there prices before they accuse others of shady practices.

    1. I feel that you’re wrong, it’s entirely your choice whether you buy from them or not. However it’s an illegal product so there is no regulation at all. Caveat emptor i.e. let the buyer beware.

    2. I know the prices for a oz is over the top. Who on earth would pay over £300 for a oz ? should get their head examined. I won’t pay more than £110 for a oz. I can get a oz of thc for between £150 to £200 and that’s top quality. It’s pure greed and day light robbery. I’ve seen a one online retailer sell a oz for £320 to £400 for CBD how on earth these retailers are still going though ?. In the USA they sell oz of CBD for $30 and delivers it for around $15 to $30 to they uk. If the people do online search they will find it a lot cheaper than the retailers on the list on this site even have a look on reddit. UK people should buy from the USA
      It’s all about making a massive profit !!!

  2. I used to shop at elf a couple of years back until they started selling low quality dried out stuff, then I had to find a better place.
    I tried them out again earlier in the year to buy some prefilled vape carts but they all leaked everywhere in the mail because they were put in the wrong carts for the product. Tried contacting customer support but still haven’t had a response yet over half a year later. So don’t expect any customer support if anything goes wrong. They do have one good looking product and that is the CBD wax, but the problem with that stuff is the low quality over used terps, they’re just so harsh and cheap tasting. So, they used to be a good place then became a bad place and now maybe in a year or so they’ll be a good place again. Good luck to anyone buying any of TheGoods vape products on HempElf

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