Hemp and CBD Products
Hemp and CBD products are now in the mainstream. They are available on the high street and from online retailers. As more and more people recognise the benefits of these products, and as the range of available products increases, there’s an interesting question at the back of many people’s minds…
Where does it all come from – Europe and UK?
Hemp seems exotic but, in fact, it grows well in the European climate. Despite hemp’s mainstream with the cannabis plant, it has many recognised benefits, also performing well in terms of sustainability and environmental responsibility. Hemp production in the UK is on the increase but it’s still small, with approximately 1000 hectares currently growing. Compare this to the 33,000 hectares under cultivation across the rest of Europe, including France and the Netherlands, we’re lacking slightly behind. Despite the small amount of hemp currently grown in the UK, production in this country is set to increase. There is a steady growth in the understanding of hemp-derived CBD, and hemp has many industrial uses too.
Hemp: Uses other than CBD
In the sixteenth century Hemp was essential for making ropes and sails. Henry VIII made it mainstream for larger farms to dedicate land to growing hemp. Today, the plants and seeds can be used in animal feed and the fibres are used as effective insulators and building materials. Fibres can be woven into a soft durable fabric too – the famous Tilley hat, so beloved of cricketers and adventurers, now comes in a very fine hemp version.
Hemp in the UK?
Hemp grown in the UK is rarely used for the extraction of CBD. It is only grown in the UK to use the leaves and stalks for industrial purposes. Unless grown with a Home Office licence permitting production for medical testing that is. This means that CBD oils and other CBD enhanced products for human consumption, currently come from other countries. Nearly all CBD products for the UK currently come from the USA and Europe.
Hemp: where does it all come from?
There are signs that things will change. Lincolnshire based Bridge Farm was sold to the US private equity fund – Artemis Growth Partners for about $81m (£66m). Bridge farm is licensed to grow hemp for medical research purposed and for export. While this has little impact on domestic CBD production, it shows real confidence in UK hemp and CBD production and it may provide a hint as to future relaxation. But change will be slow so expect your high-quality CBD to come from Holland, France or the US.
History mainstream facts and benefits
Europe and the US, however, are not the only sources of hemp or CBD. By mainstream, the six biggest producers of hemp are China, Canada, USA, France, Chile and North Korea. Production tends to be for mixed purposes, and it is difficult to be clear as to how much of the world’s crop is primarily for CBD. Many producers grow it for the fibres which make good textiles; it uses only a fraction of the water required to produce a similar weight of cotton. Nevertheless, the global increase in hemp cultivation does include increased production for CBD. At a time when the whole world’s economy needs a boost, the UK is missing an opportunity.
That’s all about history mainstream facts and benefits.