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How Much CBD Should I Take and How Often?

How much CBD should I take and how often

Cannabidiol (CBD) comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and applications. From droppers to topical application or edibles. We’ve compiled all you need to know, including a method you can use to determine your perfect personalised optimal dose, no matter which form your CBD comes in. 

CBD is used to treat a wide range of conditions and ailments. It can be taken as a supplement as part of a balanced diet to enrich health. It may also be used in a when-needed (reactionary) application style; for example, during bouts of anxiety or applied directly on the skin for its anti-inflammatory properties in the case of a strained muscle. Due to its rich spectrum of uses, it can be tricky to know which dosage is right for you and your needs.

Dr Sarah Brewer, a UK medical director says: “For general well-being, the recommended dose is 10 mg to 200 mg per day as a food supplement.”

A broad range! Some studies show 300mg to be the optimal daily dose for people suffering from anxiety. This is a medicinal dosage. When used as a suppliment, most people experience positive health benefits at much much lower dosages than this.

Where do I begin?

WeightRecommended dosage for mild effectsRecommended dosage for moderate effectsRecommended dosage for strong effects
5-11 stone</sp12 mg18 mg22.5 mg
11-17 stone15 mg22.5 mg30 mg
17 stone18 mg27 mg45 mg

 

Let’s say you want to try using CBD to enrich your life, but you simply feel lost when it comes to choosing your starting dosage. 

To begin, use the table below as a rough gauge. The left column pertains to weight. The higher the cellular surface area, the higher the dose required. Consider first what you are looking to remedy. Are you healthy and looking to CBD as a supplement? Are you hoping to address symptoms? How severe are they? 

If you are taking other medication, don’t forget to check with your doctor about potential drug on drug interaction. Consider also any known tolerance of/ sensitivity to CBD. 

It is important to use this table as a modest starting point and approach your optimal dosage from below. Scroll down to find a step-by-step guide to how to do this. Dosage can vary from just a few milligrams to thousands of milligrams without dangerous side effects. Nevertheless, this does not mean that starting at a high dose is desirable. 

 “Most people are surprised to learn that the therapeutic effects of cannabis can be achieved at dosages lower than those required to produce euphoria or impairment”

– Dr Sulak, a renowned integrative medicine practitioner.

Why Does a Higher Dose Not Equal a Better Response?

Science tells us CBD dosage is not simply a case of more is better. In all human and animal studies, CBD has been shown to exhibit a bell-shaped dose-response curve. This means that after the peak of the curve, benefits reduce even at higher doses. 

The gradual resistance that builds in the body in response to taking a course of drugs is called tolerance. A high tolerance asks for a high dosage, a low tolerance for a low dosage. Tolerance build-up occurs with almost all compounds at different rates. Pivotal is that at this optimal middle point, tolerance will tend to not build. It instead tends to stabilise and settle. It’s thought this is to do with the cannabinoid’s interaction with the Endocannabinoid System that already exists within the body. 

The optimal spot lies at the peak of the dosage curve. Maximum benefits with minimal undesirable effects are experienced. This is called a bi- or multi- phase response. The curve is unique for every person. 

Graph Of The Bell Shaped Response Curve



What do I do if I already have a high tolerance?

 Starting immediately on a high dose could actually undermine your CBD journey slightly because the body’s tolerance will be already built up and it will be a slower process to accurately evaluate a decreased dosage. 

If this is the case for you, consider undergoing a sensitisation period. This consists of two days of CBD abstinence, and then 4 days of gently increasing dosage up to 50% (or even less) of your original CBD intake. Often, users will feel the effects to be even stronger on a low dose after a sensitisation period. 

Can I take too much? There is no scientific research currently indicating that a CBD overdose is possible. Evidence shows CBD is not associated with abuse potential and in fact reduces drug addiction induced cravings and anxiety. 

Moreover, CBD will not get you ‘high’, like it’s psychoactive partner THC. There is no need to worry about accidentally intoxicating yourself when finding your ideal medicinal dose. Studies have had subjects tolerate well amounts of up to 1500mg a day. This is considered a very high dose. However, common undesirable side effects include drowsiness, diarrhoea, and changes in appetite/weight. 

See below for a Dr to patient tried and tested method of applying micro dosing in order to find your optimal CBD dosage.



Is there such a thing as too much CBD? 

How To Find Your Perfect Dose

There is a popular method Dr Sulak developed and pioneered to find your perfect CBD dose. No matter your circumstance, weight, symptom, or tolerance level, this method will walk you through finding your very own optimal dose with no guesswork or equations needed. It can be used with whichever way of taking CBD you prefer- whether as a tea, edible, topical, or tincture. (See below for when to take your dose once you have found it.)

Begin by taking a small amount (1-5mg) in the morning and after one hour, you proceed to ask yourself the following 3 questions:

 

  • How easy is it to breathe?
  • How comfortable and calm does your body feel?
  • How easy is it for you to smile naturally?

You then rate your scores from 1 – 10 and do this every hour. He recommends dosing 3 to 4 times a day for optimum results. The process may take some weeks to reach its natural conclusion. Be patient and consider keeping a written account of your experience. 

Eventually, increasing dose will not result in higher scores. This is your optimum dose. The aim is to find your sweet spot on the response curve and check in with your body to do so. In support of this, it is important to remember that everyone’s body is different and when considering dosage – should be treated as such. 





When should you take CBD?

When you have found your ideal dose – taking it 1 to 4 times a day is recommended. Some prefer to take their daily dose just before bed to help them sleep – others prefer the gentle support of a segmented consistent intake throughout the day. It is a matter of preference. And of meeting your unique needs. 

Practitioners are seeing that CBD interacts uniquely with each patient. For some very little is needed to achieve the same advantage that a patient under a much higher dosage is receiving. By using a method of holistic enquiry that is in conversation with the body, you will likely discover your own preferred time to take it. 

Every year, new studies reveal more about the collaboration of mental and physical benefits of cannabinoids. This is especially true for full spectrum CBD products. Read more on the difference between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate here.

 The amount of CBD in a single product will be disclosed on the packaging as a weight unit of measurement. Nearly always, this is in milligrams (mg). This is the most popular metric and the clearest indicator of the true amount of CBD in the entire product. From there, find out how many milligrams are in each serving size. This could be per drop, scoop massaged, serving of tea, or edible potion size. 

Use an online conversion calculator if a different measurement is used, and be wary of manufacturers deciding against displaying information in the clearest way possible. 

Our 100% Organic CBD Oil comes in concentrations varying from 250mg to 2000mg per bottle. Lab tested and ethically produced to the highest possible standard right here in the UK –  we value premium quality over maximum profit. Milligrams per drop are labelled clearly too – making it easy to work out which product you need when you are finding your feet on your CBD journey.

How do I know how much CBD is in my product?

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What is CBD and Should I Take It?

mix_of_drops

With so many CBD products on the market, it can be difficult to match the correct product to your needs – or indeed deduce the tangible benefits CBD could bring to your life. Let’s make it simple… here is the basics of what you need to know.

What is CBD?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, and is one of over 100 active compounds found in the cannabis plant. Hemp refers to strains of Cannabis Sativa that are low in a compound called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp products are safe and widely available, hence why CBD Oils are now becoming very popular. There are cannabinoid receptors all over the human body. Cannabinoids play a crucial role in regulating our physiology and mood. CBD is not psychoactive like its more famous sibling THC and therefore will not get you ‘high’.

The uses of CBD span across mental and physical health aids. Common psychopathological conditions such as anxiety and depression are among those that studies have shown CBD significantly helps remedy the symptoms of. Check out some of that research here. CBD is also known to alleviate inflammationpain, and nausea, and research shows unlike many over-the-counter drugs, it is safe to be taken by pregnant women. CBD could provide relief without damaging side effects associated with other alternatives, against many of the most common conditions.

The symptoms of brain disorders like Epilepsy and Parkinson’s, and chronic psychiatric disorders also show to be notably positively affected by the regular use of CBD products. Included under this bracket are schizophrenia, difficulties regulating sleep, cognitive impairment, personality disorders, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, post-traumatic stress/PTSD, and dissociative and somatic disorder symptoms.

This is because these disorders are, in part, experienced through a disrupted or traumatised nervous system. Ever heard of serotonin? It is known as the ‘feel good chemical’. It occurs naturally in the body and is controlled by the central nervous system. And so, because CBD interacts directly with both the immune system and the central nervous system through the endocannabinoid system (more on that below), it can bring balance to essential otherwise imbalanced systems. Different dosages of CBD have different effects, and therefore the variety of its uses are broad.

How to take it?

As with most things concerning the body, if you are taking other medication, it is a good idea to first consult your doctor before starting a practical consultation with the body.

When you start taking CBD Oil, begin on a low dosage and increasing it until the desired effects are achieved. Everybody is different. More is not always better. 

Give dropper bottles a good shake before each dose so the plant extract is evenly distributed, ensuring each drop has equal amounts of CBD inside. Starting slowly could mean between 5-10 mg a day, see how you get on with it, the main thing is to be comfortable when taking it. After a couple of days, increase your dose if required. To use, put the desired number of drops under the tongue, once or twice a day, or as needed. CBD can also be absorbed topically. If you find yourself requiring many drops each time you come to take it, then consider increasing the strength of CBD you purchase. This way you will need fewer drops for the desired effect and you also get a better value product. If you are taking prescription medicine, please consult with your medical practitioner or GP to find out whether there may be any interactions with CBD.

How does it work?

Like all cannabinoids, Cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with cannabinoid receptors in your brain and body. Specifically, it interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are part of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which plays a crucial role in regulating our mood, appetite, digestion, memory, sensitivity to pain, hormones, motivation, sleep, and much more.

The ECS was only discovered in 1992 and is proving to be one of the most vital bodily systems! This is why scientific research is very new and ground-breaking. In fact, we have been using hemp since ancient times, and throughout history. (Interested in the history of hemp? Click here). Scientific studies are catching up to fully understand the benefits. There are now thousands of research papers on CBD alone! Hence, why we are starting to see practitioners prescribing hemp  products.

Is CBD for you?

The choice is one of personal nature.

We encourage a holistic approach to diagnosis and supplementation. The lived experiences of others can be found in accounts across the internet. Check out our reviews section on product listings.

Taken regularly, CBD could be a disease preventative supplement too. The rich nutritional profile of the entire hemp plant, reveals it to be a fantastic supplement and superfood. Hemp seeds for example are incredibly rich in iron, zinc, and fibre; and contain more protein than chia and flax seeds.

This nutritional complexity is found in the CBD producing part of the plant too. Cold pressing hemp to extract oil (instead of extracting it through heat or solvents) maintains more of its various natural compounds – from different cannabinoids, to nutrients and vitamins. That is why Cold Pressed CBD is believed to be most effective, especially when taken for prolonged periods at a low dosage as a food supplement. The different compounds have evolved together to grow into the plant we know today and work together also in the body via the ECS.

There is a huge gap in research and development of the hemp plant because it has been illegal for almost 100 years in the UK – but slowly studies are compiling into understanding. The human body itself naturally produces cannabinoids. Breast milk for example, contains cannabinoids that aid in brain development. Cannabinoid receptors are most plentiful in our central nervous system. Since the CNS plays such an important, pivotal role in many bodily functions, hemp could be an incredible asset to modern healthcare. Much like people becoming vitamin D deficient in the winter, many believe that we are cannabinoid-depleted, because we are lacking hemp in our diets. Hemp has a rich history of cultivation dating back to 8,000bc due to its ease of plantation and vast array of uses.

Feeling swamped in the CBD market?

It can be hard to get to the bottom of the question of quality when shopping. In 2017, a chemical analysis on 84 products purchased online from 31 companies, found that only 31% were accurately labelled with regard to CBD content. Here at Hempen, we provide public laboratory test results to concretely support that our CBD products are of an exceptionally high standard. Organic ingredients certified by the Soil Association are ethically sourced and climate conscious.

 Moreover, in order to give our customers the most transparency that we can achieve, we conduct quarterly third-party tests to quality check CBD levels. Each batch of “CBD Oil” that we sell is supported by a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) to prove the CBD and THC (residual and microbial levels) to ensure customer safety. For example, if your Hempen product says 500mg CBD, that means we guarantee there is at least the minimum of 500mg weight of CBD in that item. This is why we refer to our products based on weight rather than a percentage of CBD. We feel this is a more exact and transparent way to communicate exactly the strength of oil that you have.

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Cannabis and Covid-19

Cannabis and Covid-19. Field of hemp with the sun setting behind.

Cannabis and Covid-19, what’s the link? Articles are doing the rounds across the internet, including some very interesting ‘clickbate’ titles with salacious wording. Most seem to have been created in haste by people who don’t actually understand the hemp plant.  Suggesting Cannabis could be the answer to all our Coronavirus problems might be a bit of a stretch, but at least its got people talking.

This all began on the 10th of January with a peer-reviewed study published in  The Journal of Natural Products. Proposing Cannabis compounds CBDA and CBGA ‘Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants’.

'Study finds Cannabis compounds prevent infection by Covid-19 virus'

At Hempen, we can’t give out medical advice or support these claims. However, we can help separate fact from fiction and provide you with the information from recent studies, so you can make up your own mind.

Full spectrum CBD Oil products contain a variety of compounds. CBD is often considered to be the strongest, which is why it’s used as an indicator of strength in an oil. Some companies choose not to value other compounds and only focus on the most popular one, CBD. The compounds which are now gaining attention are CBDA and CBGA, which are found in our Organic Cold Pressed CBD. Good thing we value all those compounds equally.

Heating or smoking cannabis, is not an efficient way of consuming these compounds. When heating or burning the plant, the CBDA and CBGA nutrients are lost. Therefore, companies that use solvent or heat in their oil extraction process will not contain CBDA or CBGA. These compounds are harnessed best through a cold pressed extraction method, using mechanical pressure to release the plant’s natural oils. 

Hempen Hand gently holding organic hemp plant


Can cannabis prevent covid-19?

The recent study does find that CBDA & CBGA found in full spectrum CBD Oils prevent Covid-19 and in particular new variants, though researchers suggest more studies are needed. Though this study is not the first of its kind, back in January 2021 a ‘study found cannabis may “tame” or reduce the severity of Covid-19’. In October 2021 researchers found ‘potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)’. Behind mounting evidence that cannabis regulates how our immune system responds in general with its innate ability to regulate homeostasis, a state of balance in the body.

Cannabis is a complex plant, with over 400 organic molecules or compounds of which around 100 are cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, CBDA & CBGA. All these compounds continue to prove their importance to our overall wellbeing. Yet, there’s still not enough research on the subject. Many papers have raised the point that ‘more studies are needed’ in order to be absolute on the scientific benefits of Cannabis.

So what does the science say in one of the more recent studies? ‘By increasing the bodies apelin levels, inflammation is reduced while oxygen levels are increased. Apelin works alongside the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor which controls blood pressure. ACE2 is the main way the Corona Virus enters human cells and disrupts their normal function. Covid-19 interrupts the natural relationship between ACE2 and apelin, by preventing the blood vessels from relaxing and hijacking the cells, in order to produce more of the virus. It is suspected that CBD oil helps to block the ACE2 receptor which the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to gain access to human cells, before beginning to self-replicate.’ If what we already know of this plant is anything to go by, then we are hopeful and wait with bated breath.



These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” said lead author Richard van Breemen of OSU’s Global Hemp Innovation Center.

The research so far is very promising. If you also take into account all the people who are currently taking CBD Oil and speak out of the incredible ways in which it’s helped them. We have to question why more research and credibility is not given to hemp and its effect on our bodies.

For this reason, we want full spectrum natural products to gain the recognition they deserve and protection in UK legislation and food standards, to stop the move towards synthetic, manipulated products. All our products are lab tested and certified organic by the Soil Association. We need top quality standards for clean food, water, air and soil to provide us with sustenance for a healthy life. We must be able to access the best that nature has to offer, especially in these trying times.


What is CBDA & CBGA?

When you are consuming raw hemp, you meet the ‘mother of all cannabinoids’ the aforementioned CBGA! Hemp tends to contain more CBGA than other cannabis strains, which have higher levels of THC. CBDA is actually one of the most prevalent cannabinoids in Cannabis.

The techy bit, CBGA is a more acidic form of cannabinoid, which is why mechanical pressure is needed to preserve the plant’s natural oils. Converting inactive compounds into active ones essentially unlocks the potential for your body to absorb it all. All whilst protecting the raw and delicate nutrients. CBGA is a critical building block in the formation of cannabinoids THCa, CBDa, CBCa, and CBG. There have been a number of studies sighting neuroprotective effects to its potential to treat acute nausea.

Organic hemp plant in the open field grown by Hempen

Hemp or Cannabis?

Hemp is a type of Cannabis, it’s just the low THC stain and currently what’s legal to consume in the UK. There are many strains of Cannabis and hemp, from all over the world.

Hemp is, essentially, a leafy green vegetable or, as we like to say, ‘an essential herb.’ It is loaded with protein, fibre, good fatty acids, iron, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. For this reason, it’s an essential food source. 

The recent studies of compounds found in Cannabis are further arguments for moving beyond inhaling or burning Cannabis for its benefits. Instead, seeking new methods of processing the plant, for a more organic, raw nutrient rich way to enjoy what the plant can offer us.

The potential for all strains  of this plant seem unlimited, just held back by investment into studies and strict regulations that also delay research.

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Hemp Licensing. Overgrow the regime.

Hemp Licencing Crop Destruction. UK Hemp.

On the 16th July 2019, we had our hemp licence revoked for producing CBD from the hemp flowers. The UK hemp industry is lagging behind, with mounting concerns towards the hemp licensing regime. It’s time the hemp licensing regime was scrapped and if the government won’t do that then hemp growers will have to go ahead and grow hemp without permission from the Home Office.

Watch the video of the July 2019 hemp crop destruction below.

Hemp Crop Destruction. UK Hemp.

It has been two years since the destruction of our crop.

To stay on the right side of the law (as we always want to do – our livelihoods are built on growing hemp, and we rely on the support of the industry and officials), we had to destroy our beautiful hemp plants growing in the field. We were forced to destroy a perfectly healthy hemp field worth £200,000 as seed and fibre products, which drew international attention on how the UK are regulating hemp. If we were allowed to sell the same field as CBD products  it would have been a £2.4 million loss.

This event, was a damning day for the UK hemp industry. At Hempen, we felt the love and rage from those around the world who were upset by the destruction.

Hempen Co-operative. UK Hemp.
Hemp Licencing Regime UK Hemp.

Due to the UK Hemp licensing regime, our recent hemp licence application has been rejected…for a second year.

This is despite our very best efforts, and legal advice, to follow every request of the Home Office. The application process is complicated, lengthy, judged on a case by case basis, meaning the goal posts can be moved at any moment. The pathway for gaining a hemp licencing is unclear and unsupportive. UK farmers can now only access a hemp licence for industrial seed and fibre production.

All UK CBD is now imported. Hempen was made an example of by the Home Office as a warning to the industry. The message was clear, UK farmers cannot access the CBD market. With our company solely focused on UK hemp production, we have endeavoured to secure a UK hemp licence on our home farm in Oxfordshire, for seed and stalk only. We are successfully partnered with farmers across the UK to continue our production of UK hemp products. Today, every product we organically produce on our farm in Oxfordshire is nearly all UK grown hemp. Our CBD has to be imported from, European neighbours with sensible hemp farming regimes.

International law strongly suggests that industrial hemp should not be a controlled substance.

Two years ago, the World Health Organisation recommended that the United Nations end the scheduling of industrial hemp as an internationally controlled substance as it posed no public health risk. Furthermore, under article 28(2) of the UN’s  1961 Single Convention on Narcotics the whole plant is fully exempted from all the provisions, when used for “industrial” and/or “horticultural” purposes. As such, hemp is not a controlled substance under international law. The UK is a signatory of this convention and yet still classifies industrial hemp as illegal cannabis.

The hemp licencing regime is outdated, not for fit for purpose and is stifling the Green Economy, British Farming and Public Health. We are calling for an end to the industrial hemp licensing regime.

Grow Hemp. UK Hemp Field.

Grow Hemp for the Green Economy

Grow Hemp for British Farming

Grow Hemp for Public Health

Join the campaign to Grow Hemp

 

Hempen requires more hemp production than the Home Office is willing to dish out. We have adapted our business to every request made by the regime. Yet it’s still not enough for them. We are willing to buy hemp produced by anyone in the UK, as it’s time to overgrow the hemp licencing regime.

Unjustified, archaic hemp licensing regulations.

Licences are regularly issued too late in the growing season for farmers. This year licence applications could not be submitted until January which puts farmers at risk of being left with empty fields, should they be refused. Our partner growers complain of having as many as 4 separate logins and passwords per application. Many farmers are keen to grow hemp for its many benefits to soil health and lucrative end products, however are put off by the process and the associated risks.

The hemp licensing hypocrisy is deafening.

Not only is Medical Cannabis restricted to those who can afford it, UK farmers are cut out of industrial hemp production for the wellbeing aspects of CBD. And not only does hemp provide CBD, but it is one of the most versatile plants out there. It provides sustainable solutions to so many of the world’s problems, including bringing important environmental and economic benefits to UK farmers.

Beautiful feild of hemp growing in South Oxfordshire.

We want to Grow Hemp!

At Hempen home farm in Oxfordshire, we are witnessing our hemp licence applications being continually blocked, as the Home Office rules around industrial hemp threaten the UK hemp and CBD industry as a whole.

We are not the only ones. Farmers are limited in accessing the rights to grow hemp. Despite hundreds of applications, there are only about 20 licensed UK growers, totalling just 2,000 hectares.

It’s a shame this wonder crop is hardly used, or accessible. Especially in times of economic, social and environmental crises.

Hempen’s Co-Founder Patrick Gillett said:

“The UK’s licensing regime has no obvious public benefit and is stifling this emergent green industry at a time when we desperately need jobs which care for our communities and the planet.” 

“If the government won’t get out of the way, then it’s time farmers take direct action to grow this wonder plant without their permission. Hempen needs a bigger supply of organic hemp than we can currently source from farmers who have managed to jump through all the government hoops. There is more demand for organic UK hemp than the Home’s office has licensed.” 

If you are interested in growing hemp or supporting others to grow hemp without a licence, contact us on info@hempen.co.uk

Please share your support for this campaign on your social channels to build up the pressure! Share your stories of why you think hemp should be accessible to all, or how hemp as already helped your life journey. Together we are a movement.

It’s time to #GrowHemp and #OvergrowtheRegime

#OvergrowtheHempLicensingRegime

Support the movement – Donate

We believe hemp to be the most important plant on earth. It promotes many, very different uses that promote a more sustainable world, which is coming ever closer to breaking point. 

We have been on a mission to ‘Co-operatively cultivate hemp solutions that enhance the health of people, community and planet.’ 

Our vision is for a better world, where the full potential of hemp can be readily accessed by all forms of life.

The UK has been slow to take up the great opportunity that hemp provides our species, we are stunted without this plant being freely accessible and useable. As a social enterprise and not-for-profit, Hempen’s profit goes towards increasing hemp growing in the UK because we believe in the power of hemp.

We are a not for profit worker’s co-operative. To make a DONATION to Hempen, click HERE.

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UK Hemp Farm and Co-operative

UK Hemp Farm and Co-operativeHempen Organic is a UK hemp farm that is set up as a worker co-operative. This means that the employees run the co-op, the workforce are also the members and directors. There are a few different types of co-ops! Last week we sat down with Hempen’s Marketing Coordinator, Sophia Lysaczenko and Hempen’s Primary Production Coordinator, Theo Chambers. Two, very valued members of our co-operative who shared their opinions and experiences about being part of a co-op on a UK hemp farm!

Hempen is proud to be a cooperative and here’s why…

Co-operatives or ‘co-ops’ are organisations that are owned by its members, working cooperatively to meet their goals. Anyone can be a member of a co-op! From customers to employees, residents or suppliers, anyone who is passionate about a co-op can have a say on how the co-op should run. Co-ops across the nation must follow these sets of principles and values. For Co-op Fortnight 2021 celebration, co-operatives around the UK are working together to show people what it truly means to be a member of co-op. What better way to hear about it from our very own members here at Hempen? This fortnight we will be getting to know different members of our co-op and what their personal experience has been.

How did you hear about Hempen?

Sophia: I was talking about Hemp to lots of people, and they suggested I should go to Hempen. The Hempen Harvest was on at the time. So I volunteered and got involved further ever since. Theo: A good friend of mine introduced me to Joe and Paddy in October 2015. Then by the end of the year we decided on Hempen as a co-operative.

Why did you join the Coop?

Sophia: I thought the project was very inspirational. For me, it was very important to have some sort of ownership in what I’m doing. To have the decision-making power, to learn about the business and to know how the main business functions. It’s a way of being involved in what you’re working with, in much a deeper way. Theo: It felt like a good thing to do. Dedicating my energy towards something that would bring a meaningful impact to the world and be beneficial to people and provide a set of solutions to many of the world’s problems like climate change and people’s health. It felt like a worthy dedication of my effort.

What makes Hempen unique?

Sophia: We are working with such an interesting plant, and it’s still early for UK Hemp Farming. That’s incredibly challenging in itself, and then you also have the fact that we are a co-op, which can be very difficult for people to understand. Theo: I think all co-ops are unique in their own way. But what makes us unique is that we are surrounding one plant, as a UK hemp farm. Our way of bringing health and happiness to the world is growing it, then giving it to the customer at the end of the day.

What does the Coop have to offer to someone?

Sophia: A co-op means you can voluntarily join, so anyone who is an employee at the co-op can actually apply themselves to become a member if they wanted to. We’re drafting up what our membership really means to us and getting that more defined. The coop can also provide more training for its members. Theo: I think a co-op offers a piece of mind to an organisation which you won’t always get out of more conventional organisations. By that, I mean we are ultimately all equal, and we have an equal amount of responsibility to.

What would you advise people who are wanting to join a coop?

Sophia: Do it! Co-ops support one another, that’s the idea! It’s always very friendly and open. How I see it, is that it is a model that already works in the system that we already have. It’s where an employee in a company or business can feel more empowered. Theo: I would say take pride in the fact that you are subscribing to a model that is going to bring much more happiness to your heart, rather than some other models that are unsustainable and are unethical.

How did Hempen and its members respond to the Covid-19 Crisis?

Sophia: We didn’t think the change was going to be so dramatic at first, but it was. We normally have regular business meetings together, but we actually had to have more (online) meetings to make sure we were all looking after each other and communicating well. We do have a live-in community as well as the business. So it was tricky finding the balance between the different sides. The needs of the business came first a lot of the time. But we really needed to think of safety, and how we can continue working together differently. There was some resistance to having meetings online, so we had to try and work out a way where everyone was comfortable and that we could still come together and make decisions. Theo: We are a community that live on the grounds, so we gave each other a lot of support. We tried to respond to it in the correct way we knew how. Making sure our products were safe for our customers, but also that we were too. We felt a lot stronger as a co-operative having gone through it together.

Where is Hempen heading?

Sophia: There are lots of opportunities and challenges with hemp. But we are constantly adapting with whatever is happening so far. We would like to see hemp and CBD be household products! We are launching our hemp seed products very soon and hope that will be a household product. People need to understand the value of the food and well-being aspects of hemp, in general. We would love to help grow hemp in an ecological way around the UK, as it would be of great value for the UK’s hemp farmers and the economy. Theo: I think the future of Hempen is bright! I see hemp is such a great way of being a solution to so many problems, and if we can educate the world and help them understand that, then I think the future of Hempen is bright. So if you would like to know more about how to be a member or different, head on over to Co-operatives UK