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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

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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!

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8 ways to support your wellbeing this winter!

It’s wonderful to tune into the changing seasons!

We are welcoming our hemp seeds into our processing barn at this pivotal moment in the year.

What a time to appreciate the long summer days when all the plants were growing and to be grateful for the bounty the fields have produced. With the harsh winter months arriving fast, it’s a time to turn inwards and slow down the ever-increasing pace of modern life. It’s also an opportunity to take stock of what we have and invest in ourselves to get through the colder, darker days with warmth and light. 

What have you been doing to prepare for the season? Have you made changes at home for your wellbeing? Whether you’re an expert or a novice, here are a few of our own winter wellbeing tips to keep the blues at bay:

 

1. Get prepared! 

Storage spaces are cleared, labels are written and jars are filled.

We’ve been organising our food stores to make sure we have all the staples we need to get through the winter. With the potential for another lockdown and possible Brexit delays, it’s important to plan ahead.

Being smart about what’s in your pantry is a good way to avoid any surprises or panic buying, making sure there’s still enough for everyone to go around.

It’s also an opportunity to check in with the variation of your diet. Make any modifications if you have diet requirements, and to take the time to reconnect with all the food and nutrients you’ll be needing for good health maintenance.

wellbeing tips

2. Vitamins

We know how important Vitamin C and D are for keeping our immune systems on top form. Did you know you can get these magic supplements in other ways than eating your weight in oranges?

Our favourite wild-foraged vitamin-stores are elderberries and rosehips. Preserve these beauties as elderberry tincture or in a winter elixir. Take a moment to think about what you might need over winter and plan ahead to preserve if fresh produce will be more difficult to access.

elderberry tincture
vitamin foraging
elderberry elixir

3. Food supplements

CBD can be taken as a food supplement, either in dropper format or our signature organic coconut oil.

Another timely benefit of this cannabinoid is that when taken regularly as part of a healthy diet, “Cannabis can reduce the virus’ entry points to the body by up to 70 percent.’’

Researchers (and we!) are very excited by this discovery. More time is being invested to better understand the effects. Although it might feel like a luxury, it’s a great reminder to keep up with your regular dose of CBD oil. 

4. Stay hydrated

We need to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, with more if we exercise.

Not a fan of plain old water? It can be hard getting in all those glasses!

Herbal teas are hydrating and a great way to ensure winter wellness.

Be conscious of drinking too much caffeinated or sweetened liquid as this can be dehydrating.

Water is such a simple way to boost your mood, keep you energised and feeling healthy.

We’ve all seen a sad looking plant that needs a drink.

Humans aren’t that different!

5. Kraut it up!

Oh, how we love probiotics!

We grew a LOT of cabbage this year, so preserving them as sauerkraut and kimchi in extra large jars was a great way to avoid wasting it. It also means we get to enjoy vegetables long past autumn.

We make a fresh batch of Kombucha every couple of months, using a second ferment of hemp stem tea mixed with something tasty and seasonal.

We’ve had elderflower, meadowsweet, even cherry! Our last batch used hemp tea and apples from our apple picking day. Make it all the merrier by getting creative with your winter preserving.

We’re very happy to keep a good stock of products by our local fermenters, the wonderful Pama Creations. What’s your favourite fermentation? 

cabbage probiotic sauerkraut

6. Plan your planting 

If you have any garden space, or even a little veg box on a windowsill or patio that gets some daylight, take the natural pause of winter to plan your growing calendar.

Most plants are now dormant, but you can still get excited about what will blossom next year. Deepen your connection with the seasons and create something you can look forward to.

Honouring the soil, feeling the hopefulness of spring to come and even getting a bit dirty now and then can boost your immune system as much as all the vitamins in the land!

stroll winter wellbeing

7. Take a stroll

Head outdoors and embrace the crisp air. Even a short time outside each day can make the world of difference.

Time spent in nature helps us to relax and is great for our mental health over winter. It’s also wonderful for our immune systems as anytime spent under the sun (even a milky one!) helps the body catch natural vitamin D.

Wrap up warm before a gentle walk or get your blood pumping with some faster exercise. The cold weather doesn’t have to be a deterrent, it just means we need to change how we interact with the outside world.

8. Nourish yourself – inside and out!

In these colder days with biting wind, it’s important to protect your skin from the winter chill and the dryness that comes with it.

Keep your skin nourished and glowing with our special bundle Nourishing Winter Hemper – nothing quite like a shameless plug for a finale…

What are your winter wellbeing tips? We’d love to hear from you!

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Why CBD helps with Anxiety (and why its not the ultimate solution)

Anxious? Depressed? You might be suffering from capitalism

Note: This blog was written by Sophe a while back, before ‘coronavirus’ was a word we all knew. This moment we find ourselves in provides a lens for reflection. How can we embrace lockdown and the different forms of impact it is having on our lives, as an opportunity to connect with ourselves, and observe the experiences of our body, our mind, and our heart and at the same time be curious to meet and navigate the bigger forces at work? How can we understand the interactions between our individual lives and the structures, both enabling and oppressive?

The title of this blog is also the title of recently published research from the journal of Sociology, Health and Illness. It suggests that society’s mental health crisis is strongly related to the capitalist system. We are living in a time where politics is often framed by polarising narratives that simplify and divide, where vital services such as hospitals and schools are being battered by austerity, where tech and social media tend towards sideline human-to-human connection, lengthening our working day and providing us with round-the-clock stressful media updates – all set to the backdrop of looming climate breakdown. (It is important to note that tech is also a huge enabler for many of us affording vital and empowering possibilities for meaningful connection, creation and organising for people of all walks of life.) It’s a lot to take in, to say the least, and we would be remiss to not name the system that pulls the strings in which all of this takes place: capitalism.

Lots of different things affect how we feel. We can do a lot to help ourselves. But it is important to keep in our sight the larger forces at work

Feelings of anxiety and helplessness in society are on the rise and it is no wonder. Anxiety can be felt in the body as much as in the mind and can be described by feelings of restlessness or panic, and difficulty making decisions, taking criticism, or taking risks. In our target-driven culture, where more value is put on our ability to produce than on our wellbeing, there can be little space left to notice and untangle our feelings, let alone, make steps to understand where they’re coming from or address them. 

The options available to tackle anxiety are wide-ranging. But pharmaceutical options bring side effects, while the suggestion of a “mindful minute” from your boss at the start of an 8 hour working day can feel tokenistic and a cynical attempt to improve economic performance. The wellbeing movement is soaring, with gong baths, yoga retreats and cacao ceremonies being an increasingly mainstream go-to for people feeling the need to duck out of their day-to-day. Meanwhile, more and more people are reconnecting with the power of plants to help them feel well.

Ancient folk wisdom teaches us the benefits of integrating cannabidiol (CBD) into our lives, as a way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. CBD, extracted from the flower of the hemp plant, works in a way very similar to the psychiatric option of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. CBD impacts the brain receptors responsible for our body’s response to anxiety, bringing your serotonin to a normal level. At Hempen, we’re constantly moved by our customers’ accounts of the impact that CBD has had on their wellbeing. 

But despite the many options we, as individuals, have at our disposal to treat our malaise, it is so important to remember that mental illness is not a personal failure. We all live in the world. We all have to cope with all the things that happen in it. And we are all less in control of our lives than ever before. The psychiatrist Peadar O’Grady explains: “The term ‘anxiety’ is used particularly when the threat is not immediate or is unclear but it is fear by another name”. Our wellbeing cannot be solved simply by us working to change ourselves. Beware of the many ways that wellness solutions can distract us from honest conversations about the system we live in and the anxiety that stems from its toxic roots. Capitalism is making us sick. A small example: how easy is it to find a place outside of your home to sit down and catch up with a friend without having to buy a coffee or fork out for a venue? The monetisation of everything, including just being, is an inhibiting vice.

Some sound advice from @Emilyonlife

If you’re feeling low, struck by a sense of isolation or lack of meaning, it is ok. You’re not on your own. CBD can offer you effective relief. But it is not necessarily the elixir to solve all. We need to directly challenge the systems that pedal our problems – though being an important part of wellbeing practice for many of us, no amount of pills, pipettes, gongs or yoga mats will get at what is really going on. There is a stark gap between what we need as human beings and the conditions that we live in, under capitalism. It’s important to keep in mind that so many of us are raised to understand our value as being attached to how hard we work. And that this notion is convenient to productivity and profit.

Human beings need connection, they need safety and they need meaning. Luckily for us, this trio is highly compatible, if not fundamental, in what is needed to counteract the forces underpinning our unwell society. Stop to reflect on what actually brings you feelings of connection with others, a sense of security, a sense of meaning. Is it really ticking off a long to do list?  In her podcast, Krista Tippett explores “how settling inside ourselves right now, and kindness towards ourselves, are gifts to the world we want to make.”

Have a break. Get your body engaged. Sit down. Hang out with a tree. Do nothing for a bit, like Tom!

Also think about how your actions could feed into a bigger picture. What struggles can you offer your energy to? What resources can you give?  What perspectives could you bring to what gathering? You and your wellbeing are important. And so is the wellbeing of the people around you. A good balance is there for all of us, and for all us the balance is going to be different. Let’s stick together, look after ourselves and each other and join in the struggle for a better world. Collective organising and mutual aid is more powerful than the highest-strength CBD.

You are important and you have power .
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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.