Posted on

David and Goliath: What’s going on with CBD?!

What’s going on?

You’ve probably read some of our posts over the past year relating to the pending Novel Foods legislation.

This will come into effect from March 31st 2021. The entire UK CBD industry has been waiting with bated breath to find out what the ruling will be. There will be huge repercussions on the UK CBD and hemp market, for both producers and consumers.

It’s all pretty confusing so we wanted to wait until things were clearer before we updated you all.

Here’s a breakdown of the current situation:

NOVEL FOODS

Any food that hasn’t been consumed by humans before 1997 is classed as a ‘novel food’. The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) wants these products to go through stringent testing before releasing them for consumption. 

“But surely hemp has been around for thousands of years?!”

Yes – check out this article documenting the many historical uses of hemp. There was even a CBD soup made for the Pope as far back as the 14th Century!

That’s why CBD with strengths up to 5% (around the same levels as the natural plant extract) shouldn’t even be classed as novel. But according to the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), it is. 

There hasn’t been such clear documentation of higher strengths of CBD consumption pre-1997. So that part makes slightly more sense… But only slightly.

From 31st March 2021, any CBD supply for consumption has to be linked to a validated dossier with the FSA.

All our products are linked to submitted dossiers. Like the rest of the industry, we are waiting until the end of March to hear whether they have been accepted. No application is certain to be accepted, so the outcome is daunting for CBD companies across the industry. 

uk cbd legislation 2021

THC LIMITS

UK law currently permits 1mg THC per product – the limit for any controlled substance. The UK has tolerated open labelling of products as less than 0.2% THC (as defined by the level allowed for varieties of industrial hemp). 

In January 2021, the Minister of State for Crime and Policing – Kit Malthouse – proposed changing the THC levels to a proportion of the total volume rather than a fixed amount. As a concept, this makes sense because it means the limit of permitted THC would change depending on the size of the product. 

However, what makes far less sense is that the proposal was to:

EITHER increase the levels to 0.01%

… So for a 10ml product, 1mg would still be the limit but for a 300ml product it would be 30mg

OR decrease them to 0.0001%.

… This is basically impossible when working with natural plant extract.

What does that mean?

It means that with a 0.0001% limit, the only CBD permitted will be – astoundingly – synthetic isolate.

Synthetic CBD would not be derived from the hemp plant but developed in a laboratory. Synthesising different chemicals is the only way to guarantee absolutely no traces of THC are present.

Considering the current permitted levels of THC are trace at most, this ‘bombshell to the industry’ is unnecessarily strict, especially when the World Health Organisation’s position is that products with up to 0.2% THC pose no threat to human health… Never mind that synthetic isolate will have none of the health benefits of the whole plant extract, nor any of the environmental and agricultural benefits whilst producing it.

In February 2021, The Home Office stated that all businesses who import bulk CBD isolates or distillates must now secure a Schedule One Controlled-Drug Licence.

CBD has no negative side effects and can ease an astounding range of ailments. The plant itself does more good than any other crop that can be grown in this climate. 

Industrial hemp has very low levels (less than 0.2%) of THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. No matter how much industrial hemp you consume, you won’t get high.

So… Why are the rules changing?

UK CBD legislation is aligning to support the big players and crush the independents.

Under these new regulations, CBD will only be sourced from a small number of big suppliers. It will be limited to narrow spectrum (isolated CBD rather than full spectrum plant extract). 

We have seen countless examples of CBD helping people to live their lives freely in ways that were previously inconceivable.

Our hopes for the future of the UK hemp and CBD industry are not so far-fetched. We long for a regulated industry that places the wellbeing of its customers first, where farmers and UK businesses are consulted and welcomed in the debate. This industry could support farmers in doing what they do best, and genuinely promote the health and care so often claimed on the box.

uk cbd industry legislation

THE BOTTOM LINE

Hemp is a historic food. It should be free to be consumed to at least the natural levels of CBD (up to 5%) and THC (0.2% – 1%).

The novel foods process wilfully ignores this data. It is creating enormously expensive and unjustified barriers to a traditional healthy food. 

The proposed THC limits for CBD products are not evidence based and are highly destructive for the ethical development of the industrial hemp market.

These regulations are a betrayal of our heritage. They are a continuation of the coordinated demonisation and prohibition of the cannabis plant over the course of the last century. 

We demand that Industrial Hemp is removed from the Misuse of Drugs Act so that the whole plant can be freely grown and consumed. We also demand that the Novel Foods process is reassessed so that at the very minimum, whole plant extracts with natural cannabinoid thresholds can be sold and distributed on the open market.  

The Seed Our Future campaign have drafted a letter for concerned CBD users requesting answers regarding the government’s stance. We have also published our version of this letter below.

Please send it to your local MP, and feel free to adapt it as you wish.

We have complied with regulations so we could keep bringing you all the healthy alternative that we know is necessary for so many people. This legislation is a bare-faced attempt to stop us. We cannot let this happen.

Hempen Supporters letter

Hempen Letter

Seed Our Future Website

Seed Our Future Letter

Posted on

Another year, another licence

As many of you may remember, in July 2019 the licence here at Path Hill Farm to grow hemp was revoked by the Home Office, leading to the destruction of a crop worth £200k. We were faced with a decision: to grow or not to grow?

Since then, we have continued partnering with farmers across the UK to support hemp growers while we decided what would be the most effective solution to the issues we were facing.

As of last week, we have officially submitted our new application to grow hemp in our fields! It’s a very exciting moment in Hempen’s journey but we’re not celebrating just yet…

Why apply now?

Applications for licences are accepted from the beginning of January until the end of February. An answer does not have to be returned by the Home Office until the end of April, posing a significant problem to farmers planning their rotations for the year. 

In times of crisis, it is understandable to feel fear, judgement and anger. When faced with the most serious challenge to our business since we began, we chose to focus on solutions and worked to fulfil our mission to provide hemp solutions for the health of people, community and planet. 

Although our capacity to bring hemp products to our customers was threatened by the licence reversal, we believe in the power of community and collaboration to build resilience. Our belief may have been tested, but the results were clear: we’re so much better when we work together.

What’s been happening since the licence was revoked?

We connected with farmers across the UK who had an interest in growing hemp, supported them with their own licence applications and shared our industry knowledge and farming expertise to help them produce the best environmental impact and yields possible for their land and resources.

Our commitment to buy hemp seed and stalk harvests from them provided the stability of a return on investment, and we intend to develop new and existing partnerships regardless of the outcome of our current application.

More hemp was grown in the UK in the past year because we supported other farmers to grow it. That means more carbon was removed from the atmosphere, more nutrients returned to the soil and more ecological alternatives to outdated products were available for the health of our consumers. 

How have the processes at Hempen been affected?

To comply with UK law, we have been importing CBD from Europe, despite the significant financial and environmental costs involved compared with harvesting from the UK if that were possible. 

We have been diversifying our seed and fibre product range so that you – our incredible support network of volunteers and customers – continue to have access to UK-grown organic hemp products at a fair price.

With more seed and fibre products, we are less reliant on CBD, but to do this requires further investment. We are seeking additional finance to bring more of our processing in-house, to reduce our carbon footprint and create a production loop that is as local as possible.

Many hurdles remain for the UK and European hemp industry. All around the world, legislators are waking up to the potential of this booming industry. Hemp offers solutions to so many problems including the ecological crisis, job scarcity, food sovereignty and soil health. 

We are hopeful that our application to grow this most wonderful of plants will be accepted in time for us to plant this year’s crop. Our community continues to grow with more producers and industry partners each year. Show us your support for us by telling us why you think we deserve to be able to grow hemp here on the comments or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

When life gives us lemons, we make lemonade…

When life gives us hemp, we make Hempen!

Posted on

How can hemp seed oil help my health?

UK-grown organic cold-pressed hemp seed oil, oh how we’ve missed you!

So luxurious, with your emerald tones, nutty flavour, and heaps of nutritional goodness.

Omega oils galore! We hear your brains and muscles crying out with joy.

Just in the nick of time to start training for that marathon…

Where’s it been hiding?

Hemp is a relatively new crop in modern agriculture, even though it was one of the first crops cultivated by humans.

Somewhere along the way, we went from seeing the ease and versatility of this plant to losing sight of all the benefits it offers to the soil as well as the people.

Now we’re on a mission to bring it back! The health benefits of this wonderful seed just keep on coming. With a perfect balance of omega fatty acids, plus phytonutrients and vitamins, this oil is a must for anyone focusing on their nutritional health.

We are currently applying for a new licence to grow hemp on our farm*. Over the past year, we’ve been partnering with other farms across the UK to help them grow hemp all over the country.

We believe that cooperation and collaboration builds resilience. By supporting each other, we can build an ethical industry from the ground up!

Our organic cold-pressed oil is a deliciously simple way to consume hemp seeds.

Drizzle some over your warm meals, mix into a sauce for salads, or keep it pure as a tasty and vibrant dipping oil. What a treat to have in the kitchen!

Very few plants are as climate friendly as hemp. It’s a fantastic rotation crop, regenerating soils and trapping carbon from the atmosphere.

Hemp removes impurities from the soil, so it’s really important to buy organic. That way you know you’re getting all the benefits with none of the toxins!

We bring all our freshly harvested seeds back to the farm to be processed into products for you lovely folk.

How should I use it?

Hemp seed oil is affected by high temperatures so it’s best to avoid frying with it or overheating it. 

Did you know you can also apply this 100% pure hemp seed oil directly to your skin, hair and beard?

Our Hemp Seed Moisturising Oils have added fragrances (as well as one with CBD extract!).

You could even get creative and mix your favourite essential oils for a personalised scent.

All in all, this wonder oil is tasty, versatile and packed full of nutrients.

With a spoonful of hemp seed oil, you won’t need to help the medicine go down!

 

 

*Our licence was revoked in 2019 and we had to destroy our crop worth £200k:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49082533

Posted on

Top tips to update your routine for 2021!

A new year is upon us – a great time to update your routine!

It’s a time to step back, set intentions, look forward to the year ahead and witness all the possibilities that await us.

Is there anything you would like to improve about your lifestyle this year? Do you feel it’s time to update your routine? Which areas of your life could do with some more attention?

We’ve been thinking of a few ways to give new life to our CBD routine for the new year!

When should I take it?

Whenever feels right! Do you take CBD in the morning to start the day off or in the evening for a restful night’s sleep? Perhaps you prefer taking fewer drops more often throughout the day?

Try taking it at different times and see what suits you best!

Can I take more?

For those with more intense conditions, or with a higher tolerance to CBD or other cannabinoids, you might feel like you need to take more drops than the recommended dosage.

If so, take an extra drop when you feel you need it. This is called reactionary dosage. You can also increase your daily dose, which is called preventative dosage. 

Keep in mind that with a higher dose, you could feel more relaxed than usual! That’s why some folk prefer to take any larger doses of CBD in the afternoon or evening.

What strength should I take? 

Our most popular products are the REFINED Mellow Yellow 500mg & RAW Light 400mg. These are great starting points as the dosage is fairly low. That way you can move up to the higher strengths if you feel you need it.

If you find you’re taking lots of drops per day – or a few drops multiple times – you might want to explore a higher strength so that each drop is stronger.

Remember that when you move up in strength, the products become better value as you’ll be getting more CBD for your money!

What strengths do you have available? 

We have two ranges available: RAW and REFINED. The main difference is that the RAW CBD contains extra cannabinoids like CBG and CBDA with a more complete plant profile. They are also darker with a stronger taste.

The REFINED CBD is just that: refined! The CBD extract has been alcohol extracted and then purified, giving it a lighter colour and taste.

Which CBD Oil have you chosen? Have a look through our range and see if there’s something new you’d like to try out…

The RAW range comes in two strengths: the ‘Light’ RAW 400mg & ‘Original’ RAW 800mg

Our Refined range starts with Just Peachy 250mg and goes all the way up to our most powerful Red Spirit 2000mg. 

Just Peachy: Refined Organic CBD Oil 250mg Full Spectrum.

Each 10ml bottle of Organic CBD Oil 250mg contains approximately 200 drops, with roughly 1.25mg CBD per drop.

Mellow Yellow: Refined Organic CBD 500mg Full Spectrum.

Each 10ml bottle of Organic CBD Oil 500mg contains approximately 200 drops, with roughly 2.5mg CBD per drop.

Orange Zeal: Refined Organic CBD 1000mg Full Spectrum.

Each 10ml bottle of Organic CBD Oil 1000mg contains approximately 200 drops, with roughly 5mg CBD per drop.

Red Spirit: Refined Organic CBD 2000mg Full Spectrum.

Each 10ml bottle of Organic CBD Oil 2000mg contains approximately 200 drops, with roughly 10mg CBD per drop.

I don’t know where to start!

If you’re new to CBD or looking to try out different strengths before buying a bigger bottle, our self-care kits are for you!

The Self-Care Kit Beginner & Self-Care Kit Advanced both include a Coconut CBD as well as two mini dropper bottles.

They also make great gifts for anyone you know who might be interested in trying CBD for the first time.

As you can see, hemp is a fascinating and complex plant with ever-growing research and immeasurable benefits to discover! 

It can be confusing to choose which CBD is right for you so we hope not to have lost you in all this information. We also hope you’ve found some useful tips to update your routine for 2021!

As always, we are very happy to hear from you if you have any questions! Get in touch via email at shop@hempen.co.uk or on the phone at 07597 263702 

Wishing you a healthy and hempy new year from all the Crew!

Posted on

Winter Solstice

On the 21st December, the shortest day meets the longest night.

Winter Solstice is here! The trees are shaking off the last of their leaves and the garden heads into full hibernation mode.

We’re taking inspiration from the nature around us and easing into this reflective time with as many home comforts as possible.

We’ve been welcoming the winter months with open hearts and warming fires. We’re preserving food, organising the pantry and ensuring we’ve got all the nutrients we’ll need for the next few months.

winter solstice light
winter solstice snow

No need to fear the darkness and cold!

What a wonderful opportunity to rest deeply and look within ourselves at all we’ve managed to overcome this year.

With hemp seeds scattered all over our Yuletide feasts, we give thanks to the harvests of the past few months.

Whether we see our loved ones online or around the table, we feel the presence of those around us and send them love, warmth and light.

We are letting go of 2020 with gratitude for its many, many lessons and look forward to 2021!

chestnuts gratitude winter solstice