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Wash Your Hands! Nourish Your Hands! Moisturise the NHS!

Important current advice by both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and our NHS is to wash our hands properly and frequently, and use sanitiser when out and about.

Soap has the power to wash away the mircobes, whilst sanitiser directly kills microbes.

Both are important ways to stop the transport and transfer of microbes in this crucial time.

Solidarity in these times can take many forms. One way is through upholding high personal hygiene standards. Unfortunately the chemicals that this might involve take a toll on our skin, often leaving it dry, sore and cracked. This in its own way, can have negative impacts on our health.

Moisturising is an important full stop in the hygiene process!

We’ve noticed we are making more of our Organic Hemp Seed Moisturising Oil… are you finding our moisturising oil helpful?

Why is our Organic Hemp Seed Moisturising Oil both Relaxing & Energising good for this…

  • Hemp seed oil is deeply moisturising and encourages new cell growth.
  • 100% natural, organic, and non-comedogenic, meaning that the oil allows the skin to breathe and doesn’t block the pores.
  • It contains vitamins A, D and E which help prevent premature ageing and skin disorders, by providing nourishment to all types of skin.
  • The unique essential fatty acids found only in hemp seed oil have therapeutic effects.
Organic Hemp Moisturiser Oil
Oragnic Hemp Moisterising Oil
Organic Hemp Moitsuring Oil

the nhs is a public service

Nowhere is hygiene more thorough than among our frontline workers, working around the clock to treat patients while minimising the spread of this virus. After a recent stint in hospital (welcoming a new baby to his family and our community!), one of our members noticed how dry the hands of maternity ward staff are becoming. 

We wholeheartedly believe that the NHS is a public service, not a charity, and that it is the duty of our government to properly fund this indispensable service. We worry that recent public fundraisers to provide PPE for frontline workers are needed only as a result of this woeful underfunding. While we do not accept this underfunding, we do recognise that as individuals and communities, we can try and fill the gaps.

Whilst clapping at 8pm on Thursdays are a great way to bring attention and show our support. We hope that the conversation around this continues. Clapping alone is not going to #SaveTheNHS!

Inspired by mutual aid groups and volunteer networks working hard, up and down the country to support vulnerable people, we are dropping off over £350 worth of our hemp seed moisturising oil to Royal Berkshire Hospital local to us.

And in this spirit, we will also be offering NHS Staff one third off our moisuristing oil or 15% off everything online. Thank you NHS!

Email shop@hempen.co.uk and send an image of your ID card to receive your own discount code. 

Your unique individual code will be valid for three months and reusable. 

NHS Workers
NHS Discount

And for the most fun way to wash your hands see Wash Your Lyrics, to add you favourite lyrics!  

And for a more textbook option see the NHS Page.

#protecttheNHS #clapforourcarers #mutualaid #supportthenhs  #StayWell #ThankYou

Washing Your Hands
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Growing hemp at Hempen in 2020

And now, in other non-virus-related news…

Hemp farmer in a field of hemp

You may have seen our news from July 2019 about losing our ability to grow hemp. Since then, lots of you have been keen for an update, asking us whether we’ve got our licence to grow hemp back. Well, it’s been rather a long and complex process of legal advice, back and forth with the Home Office, debates and scenario planning to get us to the point where we can give you a proper update. So sorry about that.

And unfortunately, for now, the short answer is no – Hempen are not growing hemp directly this year.

But don’t worry, it’s not as straightforward as that! 

Why aren’t Hempen growing this year?

Before I explain properly, just to clarify a detail. Technically, “Hempen” the organisation can’t hold a licence. Again, not as simple as it sounds – hemp growing licences are held in the name of the tenant farmer on the land or landowner, as growing hemp is a farming practice (we’ll ignore the fact hemp is regulated by the Drugs & Firearms division for the purposes of this point!) – in our case, this was the very brilliant, experienced organic farmer James, then one of Hempen’s directors.

OK, back to the main point.

Rest assured that our long term vision is still very much rooted in the cultivation of hemp. And that’s what we’re still doing on a daily basis. The only change is that there’ll be no plants growing on this farm, this season. 

The main reason is one of the complexities around growing hemp in the UK: in this case, the Home Office’s request for a compliance visit to the farm before deciding whether to issue the licence. Not only is this costly, it is also a challenge for James, who would hold the hemp growing licence. Here’s why:

Most arable cereals (e.g. wheat or barley) are sown in March. Hemp is generally sown in the UK in early May (after last frosts). Usually, organic arable farmers will grow more than one crop in their rotation (part of organic principles and maintaining soil health). In order for the farmer (in our case, James) to decide whether they can sow hemp that year, they need to know if they’ll have a licence to do so by March. Because if not, they will, quite logically, choose to sow another crop, rather than risk having their fields lay bare.

Hempen farmers prepping the hemp seed drilling

The Home Office requested their visit for mid-March. The risk was, that if the application was turned down, James would have missed his chance to sow other crops, leaving empty fields and losing all potential revenue. And no-one wants that, when it’s already such a challenge to be a farmer. So the decision was taken to sow other arable crops instead.

No hemp?! What are you doing instead? Where is all the organic hemp for your products going to come from?

Though it is a little disappointing that we won’t have beautiful acres of hemp flourishing here in our part of south Oxfordshire in 2020, it won’t have any negative impact on our business, and we’ll still be helping acres of hemp grow!

It gives us the chance to focus more on our goal of increasing the amount of organic hemp grown in the UK. Alongside our own harvest, we’ve been collaborating with other organic farmers around the UK since 2016. And while we’re not growing here this season, we will be continuing to collaborate – to help more farmers grow and develop, and also source our seed-to-shelf UK organic hemp, so we can keep up with the rising demand! And our aim is to have hemp blowing in the breeze here at Path Hill again next year.

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to continue produce locally-grown, organic nutritious foods like hemp to bring food security in difficult times. We’re grateful to keep having that opportunity. Love and peace to all.

We’re always looking for new partners, so if you're keen to grow hemp, do get in touch - email us! And follow us on social media for all sorts of goings on - links below.
#SaveUKCBD saveukcbd.org
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COVID-19 & Hempen – we’re open

In light of the quickly developing situation, we wanted to fill you in on what new government advice means for Hempen and our activities.

In common with most organisations dealing with the effects of COVID-19, Hempen is following government guidelines and enacting additional hygiene and cleaning standards to our usual procedures; we are proactively working to minimise the spread of the virus and promote the wellbeing of our members and the well-being of the wider community.

Covid-19 & Hempen

Mindful that many people across the country benefit from our products, we are aiming to continue our operations as long as it is safe to do so for us and for other people. This includes continuing to produce our hemp products and retail these online and at markets, but only where market level commitments have been put in place to facilitate social distancing (including limiting the number of people at stalls and  2m distance between people queueing). Our members are also working from home as far as possible (though for many of our members, this changes little as we live where we work!). 

We’re also putting more people power into ensuring that we can offer the best customer service possible at this time – our phone line will now be available on weekdays and weekends, for anyone having difficulties ordering online or with product questions. We will also be checking and responding to email queries with increasing regularity to ensure no-one is waiting too long for a response. Thanks for your patience as we put plans into place.

Customer Service Contact Details:
Telephone (7 days a week) – O7597 2637O2
Email (5 days a week) – shop@hempen.co.uk

Beyond producing our hemp goods, we are reviewing our resources in order to harness our possibilities to be a supportive presence in our community.

This will include increasing our capacity to grow food and contributing to a strengthening localised food supply chain. We want to recognise the strategically important position of farmers and landworkers to buttress our food supply.

The situation continues to develop and we will keep our operations under continual review over the coming weeks, in light of any new advice from the government. 

Hempen volunteers

We appreciate people’s thoughts and perspectives, we are all learning quickly in the context of this pandemic, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. 

We remain committed to our mission to cultivate locally-grown, organic hemp and through it, build socially just, ecologically sustainable and economically-resilient rural communities, which we believe the nation needs now more than ever.

Love & light, the Hempen community

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Pre-order the gift of plant-based healing

Let us never underestimate the importance of plants.

Whether that’s in the miraculous powers of their physical properties, or their long-held symbolic significance, recorded in folklore as early as the Ancient Greeks. From the “I love you” of a red chrysanthemum to the purity represented by an orange blossom, the language of flowers has long been spoken amongst sapiens.

Poppy in a flower meadow

On 11th November, for some, the Red Poppy is a symbol of Remembrance of the end of the First World War, a memorial to the fallen. The White Poppy was introduced by the Women’s Co-operative Guild in 1933, remembering all victims of war, of all nationalities, and as a lasting symbol for peace.

For us at Hempen, the flower that holds the most daily significance in our lives is Cannabis sativa. This annual herbaceous flowering plant has ancient historical importance – with hemp cultivation recorded in China as early as 2800 BCE. Though the uses of hemp could be listed for hours, the flowers alone are packed with phytonutrients like cannabinoids, with incredible healing properties.

Hemp "has been cultivated for millennia to exploit the plant’s toolbox of useful natural compounds it offers.”
Hand gently holding organic hemp plant

Today, as we remember those returned to the earth, we also give thanks for having had (and having, in the future) the chance to cultivate a plant as incredible as hemp, to offer nutrition, relief and well-being to people.

We’re chuffed to be launching our new range of Organic CBD Oil for pre-orders today!

Why on pre-order?

Excellent question. Well, as Rob described in our previous post, we’ve spent a long time searching for the best organic hemp growers and CBD producers in Europe, and formulating, testing and tasting our potential new organic CBD oil. Because if we can’t make CBD in the UK ourselves, then we feel responsible for bringing you the best alternative we possibly can.

And, as all the best things do, that takes time. After receiving the latest round of lab test results, we collectively decided we wanted to increase the levels of cannabinoids in the final oils, bringing a wider spectrum in higher ratios. This means keeping all of the goodness in during the extraction process. We believe that using the whole of the hemp extract brings the most benefit to the body, when all of the cannabinoids work in harmony together. This is the true essence of the hemp plant, and it is what we choose to offer you.

As our Zena so eloquently put it:

“It’s like going to a football match, but you only take your star player, and you don’t take the rest of your team. You’re not going to win, with only one player. You need the whole team, working together.”
Zena
Hempen Co-operative Member

“It’s like going to a football match, but you only take your star player, and you don’t take the rest of your team. You’re not going to win, with only one player. You need the whole team, working together.”

Right now, we’ve worked on the new formula, and are eagerly anticipating its arrival for us to mix and bottle for you. We had hoped, meditated and optimistically decided that it would, in fact, be in our hands and ready to share by now, but of course, our hard-working and ever-helpful partners need time to work their magic!

So rather than keeping you waiting any longer, we’ve decided to launch the new range on pre-order. While we’re getting it all ready, have a browse of the range, do some research, see what you think.

We’re hopeful that we’ll be ready to dispatch in two weeks time – but we don’t want to disappoint again, so we’ll update you as soon as we know for sure!

We're giving away CBD!

As a thank you for your continued patience, we’ve got a sweet, sweet special treat for everyone who orders from us this week.

All just for being beacons of patience!

Hempen 250mg Organic CBD Oil

These little gifts will be sent out along with orders placed between Monday 11th November and midnight on Sunday 17th November 2019 – with free delivery over £100.

In the meantime, read more about how we and why we chose our new CBD.

We can’t wait to hear what you all think about the new range – be sure to let us know!

And for those of you who love our UK CBD Oil, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to purchase it too (while stocks last). 

Blessings and love, the Hempen team.

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Sourcing the best organic CBD

Since the regulatory framework in the UK made it explicit that hemp farmers could not lawfully harvest the flowers and the leaves of the plants that they grow (meaning no-one can legally produce CBD for supplements in the UK), we’ve been busy changing the way we do things here at Hempen. We’ve had our heads down, focussed on finding the best way to supply organic, premium CBD to you all.

Here, Hempen’s Sales Co-ordinator Rob talks more about how we selected our new CBD source, and what that means.

Our new Organic CBD Range - how & why we chose it

Our intention at Hempen has always been to grow organic hemp locally, and to create high-quality organic hemp products for the UK market.

Growing hemp in the UK means that all the positive environmental impacts the Cannabis sativa plant provides us – such as enhancing soil health by reducing the need for herbicides and bringing diversity to crop rotations, and carbon sequestration – are happening close to where we all live. It also means that the UK has greater material and food sovereignty, given how versatile hemp is, making us less reliant on imports with high freight miles. It also means that we at Hempen have full transparency over our supply chain, and can track the production of our hemp products right through from seed to shelf. Hence, when the government made it clear that they did not want UK grown CBD products on the market we wanted to find a supplier as close to home as possible.

Proximity wasn’t the only factor when choosing our CBD source, though. We believe that hemp grown for food or well-being consumption should always be organically certified. Because hemp has the ability to draw toxic chemicals from the soil and store them in the plant material, growing on soil that may have been exposed to chemicals and pesticides increases the chances of toxic residue in the end product. Organic certification is the only way to know the integrity and safety of the hemp product from seed to shelf.

Ideally, we would have liked to have found a supplier who also subscribes to the not-for-profit, co-operative principles that underpin Hempen’s value system. We believe in community-led business that is driven by strong values rather than the bottom line. This means that we try to create a healthy way of life for our workers (us!), sharing wages equally and collectively making decisions that we believe are for the benefit of people, community and planet.

Unfortunately, at this time, other organically certified, not-for-profit hemp growers and producers are few and far between (although we have made contact with some new friends in Greece! Check them out here). Even fully organically certified CBD makers are a rare find! But after an extensive search we narrowed the field down to a handful of producers from Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

After a round of testing, tasting and discussions with the producers in terms of the traceability of their supply chain, we decided that the Swiss producers were creating the highest quality CBD oil we had tried. The farms that supply them grow their hemp organically using biodynamic and permaculture growing methods, which are often seen as “organic plus plus”. For us, this was hugely motivating factor, given that regenerative agriculture practices are crucial for the future health of our food system, planet and us. Additionally, they were able to offer the most flexibility in terms of tailoring products to our needs (such as mixing the CBD oil in high quality organic hemp seed oil) and tinkering with flavour profiles.

Hempen Organic CBD Range from above

Despite there being CBD oil producers in Ireland, to date none of them are organic, which means we have sourced the highest quality, organically certified oil, grown as close to home as possible. Additionally, our Swiss suppliers are able to offer us a wider range of strengths than ever before, which means we now have strengths ranging from a 250mg CBD in a 10ml dropper bottle (2.5%) up to 2000mg CBD in a 10ml dropper (20%). The feedback on our UK-grown 300mg 10ml dropper has always been incredibly positive in terms of its efficacy, but it is nice that we can now service those customers who have been asking us for higher concentrations of CBD. We are also able to bring a RAW CBD oil to the market which is produced using innovative low temperature CO2 extraction techniques, maintaining 50% of the raw form of CBD – CBDa. 

Part of what strikes me about working at Hempen is how much thought and time goes into every detail. And so, like many things that are well thought-out, bringing this new range to market has been an involved process. Hence, we are very confident in the quality of this CBD range and also very happy to bring organically certified CBD to the UK market – a rarity at the moment – at the most affordable prices out there. 

We look forward to hearing your feedback, safe in the knowledge that whatever the ups and downs of hemp and CBD legislation, Hempen will always be the place to find ethical, premium quality, organically certified CBD oil.

Prices are:
250mg Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil, 10ml dropper – £18.99
500mg Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil, 10ml dropper – £31.99
800mg Organic RAW CBD + CBDa Oil, 10ml dropper – £49.99
1000mg Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil, 10ml dropper – £55.99
1500mg Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil, 10ml dropper – £75.99
2000mg Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil, 10ml dropper – £99.99

(Edit: prices updated 10th Nov.)