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Hemp benefits, facts and MAINSTREAM: where does it all come from?

Hemp: where does it all come from?

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?

Hemp: where does it all come from?
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 is
still small, with approximately 1000 hectares currently growing – compared to 33,000 hectares
under cultivation across the rest of Europe, including France and the Netherlands.
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: where does it all come from?

This is not new: in the sixteenth century it was essential for making ropes and
sails, and 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 can be used as effective insulators and
building materials. Hemp 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: where does it all come from?

Currently, hemp grown in the UK is only rarely used for the extraction of CBD. Unless grown with a
Home Office licence permitting production for medical testing, hemp may only be grown in the UK
to use the leaves and stalks for industrial purposes. 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 – earlier this year 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. For the foreseeable future, 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.
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