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The Future of Hemp...
Hemp has been cultivated around the world for well over 10,000 years and has highly sustainable attributes that can be applied to innovate across multiple industries with increasing results.
The Future of Hemp...
Hemp has been cultivated around the world for well over 10,000 years and has highly sustainable attributes that can be applied to innovate across multiple industries with increasing results.
- In it’s natural organic state hemp seed is considered by many to be the safest, most digestible, balanced, natural and complete source of protein, amino acids, and essential fats found anywhere in nature, containing 20 amino acids, but also each of the nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce. Raw organic shelled hempseed has a mild, nutty flavour and is often referred to as hemp hearts; these contain over 30% fat. They are also incredibly rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). They also contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which has been linked to a number of health benefits.
- For a long time, the nutritional benefits of hemp have been forgotten because of its botanical relationship to medicinal varieties of cannabis. However, hemp seeds don’t cause any psychotropic reactions and instead may provide significant health benefits because of their fantastic nutritional profile.
- Hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that has a long history of use in many parts of the world, going back as far as 10,000 years. Unfortunately, since the 1930s it’s been put into the same category as cannabis because it contains a small amount of naturally occurring tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC), and its use has been overlooked to a great extent because of this. Industrial hemp is by no means as strong as cannabis and contains about 0.2–1.5 percent THC, whereas cannabis contains about 5 – 20 percent or more THC.
- It is the idea food to improve digestion, balance hormones and improve metabolism, therefore hemp seeds may just be the superfood we can all use to help this.
- Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are the seeds of the hemp plant, or Cannabis Sativa L. Cannabis comes from the same plant but hemp seeds are in fact, completely safe and very healthy to eat.
- Hemp is actually one of the most widely utilized and diverse industrial crops in the world. Its fibres are considered the longest and most durable of all natural fibres, and it can and should be grown without any herbicides or pesticides as it is a bio-accumulator and so can accumulate these chemicals during the growth cycle.
- Hemp seed oil, or hemp oil, is made by pressing hemp seeds and is used for many commercially manufactured products. Some of the products made with hemp seed oil include:
- Body care products
- Cleaning products
- Health foods
- The benefits of hemp seeds include:
- Being rich in Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA), a necessary building block for some prostaglandins, these are hormone-like chemicals in the body which aid to smooth muscles, control inflammation and body temperature, and are vital to other body functions. Researchers have surmised that GLA supplementation is necessary for proper hormone health, which is probably why many women suffering from PMS symptoms have been helped by using it.
- GLA and GLA-rich foods like hemp seeds have also been seen to help people with conditions such as:
- Breast pain
- Diabetes and diabetic neuropathy
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Multiple sclerosis
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin allergies
- Research has shown that hemp seeds and hemp seed oil can be helpful in relieving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Ethno-pharmacology took a look at hemp seed oil’s effects on arthritis. What researchers found was hemp seed oil treatment lowered the survival rate of MH7A rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synovial cells, and at certain doses it even promoted cell death. They concluded that hemp seed oil has anti-arthritic effects, which can help patients suffering from its symptoms.
- Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant and can help you feel full longer and reduce sugar cravings. Some experts recommend that adding four tablespoons of the seeds to your breakfast will help curb excess hunger the entire day. This is partly due to the fibre in hemp seeds, which promotes satiety and in turn aids weight loss.
- High in insoluble and soluble fibre, which aid digestive health, hemp seeds provide more than enough bulk to keep your gastrointestinal system regular. Additionally, this healthy mixture of roughage feeds the probiotics in your gut and helps secure a robust immune system.
- One of the benefits of high-fibre foods like hemp seeds is the ability to help relieve constipation. A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology and conducted at Hong Kong Baptist University’s School of Chinese Medicine comprised two parts: a placebo-controlled clinical study and dose determination study. Subjects were studied in a two-week run-in, eight-week treatment and eight-week follow-up plan who had excessive syndrome of constipation and were given hemp seed pills.
- The researchers found that a dose of 7.5 grams was effective and therapeutic and that the hemp seed pill treatment was effective for relieving functional constipation.
- One of the most popular discussions within the media during the start of 2018 has been that of plastic. As the true horror unfolds of the huge extent as to how much the environment and the oceans are being affected by the throw away culture of petrochemical plastics, with thanks to the National media finally catch up, a movement has erupted, not only within environmental groups (this is not new news) but it is being discussed in our homes, village halls and coffee shops across the country.
- Currently, an app is being released to direct you to your nearest free water point and Iceland have announced that they are going to replace plastic packaging with paper bags for their own products. Local village stores are being pressurised by their local communities to reduce plastic packaging.
- The Issues:
- It is common place to find plastic waste in our countryside, our shorelines and beaches. This pollution endangers our wildlife as they get caught up in it or ingest it. As it enters our waterways and the oceans, it breaks down into tiny sand like particles.
- These micro plastic particles find their way into our food chain and a study carried out at Plymouth University found that plastic was evident in a third of fish and shellfish caught in UK waters. Another study carried out at Ghent University in Belgium estimated that people who regularly eat seafood ingest approx 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic each year.
- In the UK 38.5m plastic bottles are used every day – only just over half make it to recycling, while more than 16m are put into landfill, burnt or leak into the environment and oceans each day.
- Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg compared to what is happening on a global scale. According to research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, between 5 and 30 million tonnes of plastic leaches into the world’s oceans each year and by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
- Over 100 million tonnes of plastic is produced each year globally. This is expected to double in the next 20 years and quadruple by 2050.
- The bottled water and soft drinks industry need to rethink their formulation for packaging as does entire packaging industry as these are the main culprits which have initiated the throw away culture. A great deal of the plastic packaging for food products is unnecessary alongside many other products; do magazines really need to be covered in a plastic film?
- Currently around 1 million plastic bottles are sold throughout the world every minute and the majority of these are not recycled. Coca-cola produces more than 100 billion plastic bottles a year which equates to approx 3,400 a second. The top 6 drinks companies combined use only 6.6% of recycled plastic in their products. This is mainly due to cosmetic reasons as recycled plastic is not clear and shiny. What’s worse is that these plastic bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Although PET is highly recyclable, there are concerns over public health as PET is known to leach the toxin DEHP into the drink product over time or when encountering minimal heat (left on a windowsill in the sunshine). DEHP has been linked to obesity, diabetes, learning disabilities such as ADD and ADHD, cognitive and brain development problems, sexual development problems, and even cancer.
- Other conventional plastics contain BPA (Bisphenol A), which is suspected of causing neurological and behavioural problems in foetuses and young children and has also been linked to brain, breast, prostate, reproductive and immune system cancer. BPA has also been shown to advance puberty in teenagers, cause heart disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and even recurrent miscarriages.
- At the time of writing this, an announcement was made on BBC radio to warn parents that children’s toys containing certain plastics have been found to be toxic and hazardous to health. This included Lego bricks and specifically plastics which are coloured red, yellow or black. (BBC Radio News, 27/01/2018).
- The Food Standards Agency in the UK are responsible for ensuring that food and drink products sold to consumers are safe and this of course includes the packaging. Perhaps it is time that both industry and Governments on a global scale need to assess the situation with plastic packaging so as to find appropriate solutions to these issues?
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- The most obvious, short term solutions are to bring this situation to a National debate. Education is the key to change and if the population is made aware of the problems and solutions, we can all make personal informed decisions and together push for policy development on these matters. Perhaps the UK could lead the way for other countries?
- In evidence to a House of Commons committee, the British Plastics Federation (BPF), a plastics trade body, admitted that making bottles out of 100% recycled plastic used 75% less energy than creating virgin plastic bottles. But the BPF said that brands should not be forced to increase the recycled content of bottles. “The recycled content … can be up to 100%, however this is a decision made by brands based on a variety of factors,” said Philip Law, director general of the BPF.
- The industry is also resisting any taxes or charges to reduce demand for single-use plastic bottles – like the 5p charge on plastic bags that is credited with reducing plastic bag use by 80%.
- The concept of recycle, reuse and refill for plastic bottles would greatly reduce the amount of plastic going into land fill or the environment however this does not address the toxic element of these plastics.
- Re-usable plastic bottles made from non toxic plastic in every household could be filled with tap water. Perhaps even a resurgence of sales for soda stream would enable households to continue to enjoy carbonated soft drinks whilst being environmentally conscious and at the same time saving money.
- Self service machines could be introduced in shops where reusable containers could be filled with soft drinks? It was not long ago that the milk man would deliver soft drinks in glass bottles and 10 pence was refunded upon return of the bottle. Solutions such as these would surely shock the drinks industry into a rethink.
- Many petrochemical plastics are based on a finite resource which will not be available to future generations. They are toxic to the environment, to us and they are not biodegradable.
- Bio plastics are sourced from plant materials, micro organisms and even an alternative to polystyrene cups has been developed, made from mycelium. These bio plastics and composites are not new and they are being implemented in a wide range of applications. Approximately 500,000 tonnes of bio plastics is produced each year.
- Some of the earliest plastics were made from plant based cellulose fibres opposed to petroleum based sources. In fact virtually all oil based plastics could be replaced with bio plastics. Most bio plastics and composites are made from a mix of plant based sources and some plastics are developed using a mixture of plant fibre and petrochemical compounds. Although these use less oil in their production, petrochemicals can be entirely replaced with microbial grown polymers or those extracted from starch from plants.
- Hemp has to be the best contender for a bio plastics future due to the hemp hurds containing up to 85% cellulose, an extremely fast grow rate (up to 15 feet in 3-4 months), a tap root which can grow up to 2 meters deep (this brings nutrients into the soil and breaks up the soil pan which helps to restore the soil), hemp can grown in most soils and most geographical areas, needs little water compared to most other crops and there are many other uses for the other parts of the plant and so virtually no waste.
- Hemp plastic is carbon negative, is 100% safe and can be biodegradable and compostable. Up until the 1930’s, hemp hurds were processes into cellophane packing and Henry Ford used hemp and sisal plastic composite to build the car panelling and bumpers on the Model T Ford in 1941. This composite proved to be stronger and lighter in weight than the standard steel panelling.
- A biodegradable/compostable plastic has been developed by Hemp Plastics in Australia. This plastic is made entirely from hemp cellulose and corn starch and has unique strength and technical qualities not see before. This material can be injection or blow moulded into virtually any shape without modification to existing moulds. Another Australian company, Zellform, have created a hemp plastic resin called hempstone. Hempstone can be carved into virtually any shape.
- Currently, the most common uses for hemp plastics and composites, following on from Henry Fords work almost a century ago, is in the automotive industry. Most European car manufacturers are using hemp to build car panels, columns, seat backs, boot linings, floor consoles, instrument panels, and other external components. This is mainly due to the products being cheaper and less dangerous than fibreglass products; it is lighter, recyclable, more durable and safer in accidents.
- Companies currently using hemp in their manufacturing include: BMW, Mercedes, Lotus, Honda, Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Saturn. This list is being added to on a yearly basis.
- The main barrier to hemp plastic is the plant itself. The red tape and expenses involved in growing hemp deters many farmers from growing hemp. This is mainly due to hemp being part of the cannabis family, even though the strains grown contain only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound. It is virtually impossible to get a ‘high’ from hemp and considering the many positives of growing hemp, hemp should be treated much the same as any other agricultural crop.
- Very few people have even heard of hemp plastic. Only once products made from hemp plastic come onto the market will demand increase. Again, education is the key. Finding the raw materials is difficult but once demand increases, production of hemp plastic materials within the UK, using locally grown crops should not pose too difficult.
- Although certain hemp plastic products are biodegradable and compostable, care still needs to be taken during disposal. In order to compost, these products need oxygen, moisture and micro-organisms. These conditions are not available in landfill nor are they in the oceans.
- A shift in consciousness is already occurring as to the pollution from petrochemical plastics becomes more evident. The elephant in the room can no longer be hidden; not when the oceanic problem is visible from satellites.
- Public awareness leads to conscious choice. Conscious choice from the consumer guides the manufacturers to adapt their practices. If no-one cares about where the plastic goes or about the toxic chemicals which leak into our foods and drinks, they will carry on regardless.
- Following the announcement that Lego blocks are toxic to our children, Lego, who have already been looking into bio-plastic alternatives by 2030 might need to reconsider their timescale. In February 2016, Emily Gray Brosious from Lego announced: “Hemp might just be the cost effective, environmentally sustainable alternative material that LEGO is looking for.”
- Hemp seed benefits for skin, nails and hair go a long way in improving dry, red, flaking skin. Mostly used in high-end cosmetic products, hemp oil is often included in lip balms, lotions and soaps. The oil in hemp seeds penetrates the inner layers of the skin and promotes healthy cell growth — the recipe for smooth, soft skin. In fact, researchers studying the effects of hemp seed oil on atopic dermatitis, or eczema, a skin condition that causes inflammation and dry skin, found that patients’ symptoms improved with the use of the oil.
- Since hemp seed oil is also good for skin disorders, such as psoriasis and eczema, it’s a good idea to eat at least a couple tablespoons of hemp seeds every day to maximize these benefits as well.
- Because of its perfect fatty acid profile of omega-3 fats and GLA, hemp seed helps naturally balance inflammation levels and strengthen the immune system.
- Some of the key ingredients in building a healthy heart include fibre, plant-based protein, healthy fats and eating less sugar. Hemp seeds help in doing all of those things. Research in animals and humans strongly suggests that hemp seeds can improve cardiovascular health and reduce high blood pressure.
- Protein is regarded as a ‘macro’ nutrient meaning it should make up a large portion of your nutrient intake. The quality of protein you eat should therefore be somewhat of a priority, particularly for athletes who require even higher amounts of protein to keep their body strong and lean. Hemp Seeds not only contain a lot of protein (approximately 33g of protein in 100g of seeds), as a protein source it is nutritionally superior to most if not all other protein sources owing to a number of factors.
- Hemp is an organic, non-allergenic, non-GMO, digestible, wholefood.
- Not many other high protein sources can make all these claims. Examples would include:
- Soya Beans, these are about 13% protein when freshly picked. This increases to about 37% protein after being dried to remove moisture. Although this sounds pretty good, soya beans are mostly genetically modified – over 80% of the world’s soy is genetically modified. For those who are not yet aware, GMO foods are very harmful to humans.
- Whether GMO or organic, Soy is a cause of allergies to a substantial number of people, it is also difficult to digest and raw soy beans contain toxic chemicals that interfere with digestion and are suspected of causing various other metabolic problems. This requires chemical processing which can result in harmful contaminants in the final product.
- Rice Protein Powder does not cause allergies in most people yet it is not a whole food. Rice grains naturally contain a very small amount of protein (2%). They are mostly carbohydrate (90%) and therefore do not need to naturally contain compounds that assist in the digestion of protein. To turn rice into high protein powder requires chemical processing which removes the few digestive aids that were there to begin with. It also retains a high sodium content which causes fluid retention. Independent tests have revealed that most Rice protein powders contain high levels of toxic heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury.
- Hemp is the only plant to create and store its protein in the form of Edestin and Albumin. These are the forms that the human body already uses for the proteins in our blood and immune system and are therefore easily recognized and processed using minimal amounts of energy and it does not contain enzyme inhibitors.
- Hemp seeds have been consumed as a staple food all over the world for thousands of years. They are an important dietary component because they contain an abundance of essential nutrients that are:
- Balanced -even on their own they provide much of what your body needs without over-supplying some nutrients while causing a deficiency in others.
- Digestible – they don’t require cooking, soaking or crushing, your body can easily take what it needs and eliminate what it doesn’t. So your body isn’t wasting energy or suffering stress the way it does when trying to extract nutrients from animal or processed foods.
- Safe – unlike many foods we consume daily, Hemp seeds do not burden your body with toxins, allergens, GMO’s or undigested waste materials.
- Sustainable – you don’t have to destroy anything, poison the planet, exploit the ocean or risk anyone’s safety to obtain Hemp Seeds; they grow just about anywhere without needing fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides and require far less water than wheat, rice or soy.
- We also know that Hemp has literally thousands of beneficial uses. Food, fibre, fuel, fabrics, furniture, medicine, building materials, paper, bio-plastics and the list goes on. This is a plant which delivers it all.
- While doing all this, Hemp removes more CO2 from the air than trees do and is highly pest, weed and drought resistant. So, unlike corn, cotton, soy, wheat and rice, Hemp uses a lot less water and doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides. It also yields food that is more nutritious than all these others combined and doesn’t cause any allergies.
- The cannabis species of plants have and will resolve many of the problems we have today. Our ancestors have utilised this plant for over 10,000 years as a food crop, for fuel, material, rope, paper, animal feed and medicine. The main focus of this document is the remarkable health benefits with which we can utilise from this plant for both humans and animals.
The Discovery of Cannabinoids:
- The most important discovery in the biology of all vertebrates in the past 50 years was the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
- Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, PhD at Hebrew University in Jerusalem was the first person to isolate Tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) which is the commonly known psychoactive compound in cannabis.
- Three decades later, in 1992, Dr. Mechoulam and his team made another important discovery, they identified anandamide (Ananda being Sanskrit for bliss), a naturally occurring human neurotransmitter. This neurotransmitter is an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter (endogenous means that it is produced in the body).
- This discovery led to the subsequent discovery of the Endocannabinoid system. The ECS is composed of receptor sites and endocannabinoids throughout the body. The primary purpose of this system revolves around maintaining balance in the body; this is known as homeostasis. This widespread system is found in the brain, organs, glands, connective tissue and immune cells and it helps to regulate every physiological system such as our nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system, immune system, endocrine system and our muscular system. Cannabinoid receptor sites are found throughout the entire body, embedded in the membrane of the cell. They act like lock and key chemical receptors. When our systems are out of homeostatic balance, we are open to illnesses and disease.
- The ECS is estimated to be over 600 million years old and has been described as: ‘The supercomputer that regulates homeostasis in all mammals.’
- Mother’s milk has been found to contain endo-cannabinoids which are thought to aid infants with their early development. We continue to produce these throughout our lives to keep us healthy.
- Unfortunately, numerous factors such as poor nutrition, chemicals in food and water, pollution, lack of exercise and stress can lead to our bodies being unable to produce endo-cannabinoids and the ECS can become deficient. This can lead to a multitude of health problems.
- Omega essential fatty acids, found in many foods, which we do not produce ourselves, are precursors to being able to produce our own endo-cannabinoids. These are of course abundant in hemp seeds.
- Phyto-cannabinoids (cannabinoids from plants) are available from nature’s larder and can be found in a range of plants, most commonly from the Cannabis species, hence the name ‘cannabinoid’. They are also present in other plants such as echinacea and hops.
- Industrial hemp is part of the cannabis family of plants. Its Latin name is Cannabis Sativa L. Strains of this plant have been bred for industrial use so as to contain less than 0.2% THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) and is currently grown in the UK under license from DEFRA and the Home Office. There are estimated to be more than 25,000 commercial uses for hemp, however, more recently, it is being grown for its health benefits. Industrial hemp contains approximately 500 compounds consisting of around 112 phyto-cannabinoids (primarily Cannabidiol (CBD) which is safe and non psychoactive), 120 terpenoids and many flavonoids. It has been shown that these compounds work together synergistically to create what is now termed, the ‘Entourage Effect’.
- The other cannabis plants, which are more commonly used as recreational drugs and which are currently illegal in the UK commonly contain anywhere between 5 and 20% or more THC.
- Unfortunately, over the past 30 years, these cannabis strains have been bred to contain higher percentages of THC for the psychoactive effect and this reduces the amount of CBD present. Currently around 80 – 90% of cannabis strains available on the black market in the UK are ‘skunk’ strains. These strains contain very high levels of THC and virtually no CBD. These strains are so far removed from the original plant that they have little health benefit and can cause psychological problems, especially with young people whose brains are not fully developed. It is interesting to note that CBD has anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety properties. Prior to the development of these skunk strains, when ratios of CBD/THC were more naturally balanced, there was little evidence of cannabis causing psychological issues. These skunk strains are mostly responsible for the current health concerns related to cannabis use.
- The other concern related to the use of cannabis is the concept of cannabis being a ‘Gateway Drug’, leading to the use of harder drugs. There is no valid evidence to support this statement, however the Schedule 1 classification of cannabis, placing it in the same category as drugs such as cocaine and LSD is likely to place cannabis users in close proximity to drug dealers with access to these harder drugs.
- Varying levels of THC is also beneficial medicinally for a range of conditions including Cancers, Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy and new strains are now being bred with differing levels of THC/CBD ratios for medicinal cannabis. Although THC can have undesirable psychoactive side effects, these greatly outweigh the benefits for certain treatments compared to pharmaceutical drugs. CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC so the higher the ratio of CBD; the side effects are dramatically reduced. CBD is very safe, legal and has been tested in trials of up to 1500mg per day without any toxicity or serious side effects.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) concluded their assessment of CBD in November 2017 and found that it is safe for both humans and animals and that it has no psychoactive effect.
- We are the first generation of Humans to know about the ECS and as research escalates, knowledge around how the ECS functions, promises to revolutionise the food and health industry. It is most likely, the most important field of biology ever discovered. For a more in-depth understanding of the Endocannabinoid System, there are many websites on the subject but you will not find any mention of it within the Biology curricula at any level of academia even though this was discovered a quarter of a century ago. In fact, the majority of Doctors have never heard of the ECS.
- Researchers are finding out that by modulating the ECS, using varying ratios of phyto-cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids, a number of diseases and pathological conditions may be prevented and alleviated. Conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancers, stroke, obesity/metabolic syndrome, personality disorders (anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar and schizophrenia), neuropathic pain, Huntington’s disease, myocardial infarction, movement disorders (arthritis, fibromyalgia), hypertension, glaucoma, seizure disorders, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Crone’s and osteoporosis are a sampling of the diseases helped and there are many more.
- Records show that cannabis was used as a medicine by Emperor Shen Neng of China in 2,737 BCE however it is widely believed that the health benefits have been known for much longer. Cannabis was used as an agricultural crop, in what is now Taiwan, 10,000 years ago. This indicates that cannabis may have been the world’s first agricultural crop, leading to the development of civilization itself. It would be naïve to think that other parts of the plant were not utilised during this period.
- There are also records of medicinal use of cannabis in ancient Egypt, Greece, India, Netherlands and across the Islamic world.
- In England during the 18th century, full British citizenship was bestowed by a decree of the crown on foreigners who would grow cannabis and fines were often levied against those who refused.
- Cannabis is one of the 50 fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine and the flowers are recommended in the 120 different forms of disease, in menstrual disorders, and in wounds.
- Prior to the introduction of the American ‘Marijuana Tax Act’ of 1937, there were at least 2000 medicinal cannabis preparations in circulation throughout the Western world from over 280 manufacturers. The US pharmacopoeia in 1851 showed cannabis was the primary treatment for over 100 separate illnesses and diseases. This was deleted from the US pharmacopoeia in 1937.
- Cannabis was by far the most commonly used medicine across the globe, throughout the history of human civilisation prior to 1937. It is cheap to grow and prepare and has the best history of non clinical human trials compared to any medicine to date.
- Following the US prohibition, the health benefits of both hemp and cannabis were forgotten and the propaganda led to the global belief that cannabis was a dangerous narcotic.
- There has not been one recorded death from toxicity through consumption of cannabis during the 10,000 years of use, nor have there been any instances of brain receptor damage through its use (unlike alcohol). It is virtually impossible to overdose on cannabis.
- If the cannabis plant had been discovered in the Amazonian rainforest by research scientists, it would be hailed as the miracle plant that it is.
- The reputation of THC has been tarred over the years of prohibition as it is associated with an illegal drug for recreational use. The NHS is struggling to cope with the awful side effects from alcohol and tobacco, which cause more deaths than all of the illegal drugs combined.
- A responsible, fully regulated use of cannabis as a medicine will save more lives than the discovery of sterile surgical procedure.
- A range of strains of THC containing cannabis is required for different diseases:
- Clinical research has shown that high amounts of CBD combined with low amounts of THC are beneficial for some forms of Epilepsy.
- Around a 1/1 ratio of THC/CBD is beneficial for Multiple Sclerosis.
- High levels of THC are beneficial for certain types of cancers.
- There are thousands of published studies available and clinical peer reviewed research is ongoing around the globe. This has been a slow and arduous process due to the legal restrictions placed on this plant as this creates red tape and issues with funding for researchers.
- There are estimated to be around 5,000,000 people within the UK who use cannabis for medical reasons. These people risk imprisonment as many find cannabis to be preferable to prescription drugs and their side effects:
- There are around 107,000 MS sufferers in the UK, many who cannot access Sativex due to the extremely high costs of this medicine.
- There are around 600,000 people in the UK with some form of epilepsy.
- Cancer is diagnosed in the UK every 2 seconds.
- These statistics are just the tip of the iceberg as to the many illnesses and diseases which preliminary studies are showing promising results. Access to low cost, regulated, high quality medicinal cannabis would relieve a great amount of unnecessary pain and suffering to a great percentage of residents in the UK. Legislative changes should be implemented to allow access to these medicines.
- Of course, preventative action is always the best way forward.
- Cannabinoid rich hemp products are widely available throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Commonly referred to as CBD products, which include oils, edibles, tinctures, vapes and cosmetics, these products are growing in popularity as knowledge around the ECS and the wide health benefits become common knowledge. CBD products are legally sold as food supplements and cosmetics and as the industry grows, so does the range of products.
- The addition of both hemp seed products and extracts from the hemp plant (CBD products) to a varied diet and healthy lifestyle will help to restore overall health as these supplements help the Endocannabinoid system to create a homeostatic balance.
- The CBD industry in the UK (the largest in Europe) is self regulated by the Cannabis Trades Association UK. During 2017, over 90% of the industry self regulated to ensure that CBD products are of high quality, meet legislative requirements as set out by the Food Standards Agency and each batch is lab tested to ensure safety for consumers. It is estimated that over 250,000 people in the UK currently use CBD products.
- “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”
- Constitution of the World Health Organisation, drawn up in 1946, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.