History Of Hemp in UK
The history of hemp use can be traced back to 2800 BC, when Chinese farmers started growing hemp. UK laws regarding the use of hemp, on the other hand, prohibited the UK population from using it in the 1930s.
Since then, attitudes have changed towards hemp. UK law makers, however, have remained indecisive. All of which has left people wondering – is it legal to grow hemp? UK hemp farmers will be happy to find out that indeed it is. However, there are certain rules that should be followed. Here’s everything you need to know about hemp. UK laws may have changed over time, so let’s provide a little clarity.
Where Does Hemp Come from?
Before we go into the history of hemp use in the UK, let’s answer one of the most frequently asked questions regarding this plant – Where does hemp come from?
Otherwise known as the Cannabis sativa plant, hemp is actually an industrially-grown variant of cannabis. Many people tend to mistake hemp for the cannabis plant, which is the main source of marijuana. This distinction wasn’t pointed out until research was conducted to differentiate CBD and THC. Today, we know that CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties (unlike THC) and that using it can’t get a person “high.”
The hemp plant originates from Central Asia, dating back to 2800 BC. But it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the hemp plant started to spread all over Europe. For the last 700 years, countries like France, Spain, and Russia have been growing hemp. UK farmers quickly caught on, and started following this tradition.
Aside from its health benefits, it didn’t take long for people to realise that hemp is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, along with bamboo. Hemp was also one of the first plants to be used as fibre. Thus, the versatile history of hemp use began, as it was used to make textiles, clothing, paper, rope, insulation, paint, food, biofuel, and biodegradable plastics. In China, it was even used as a type of tea that helped alleviate aches and pains.
The History of Hemp Use in the UK
During the Middle Ages in the UK, it was common to find hemp farms. UK monarchs, like Henry VIII, even praised growing hemp. UK laws at this time required every farmer to sow a quarter of an acre of hemp for every 60 acres of land they owned. Hemp gained popularity in the 17th century, when it was used to make rope, sails, and clothes, which was very convenient for the British Navy.
Since people couldn’t tell the difference between hemp and cannabis, hemp was branded as highly addictive by the 19th century. In fact, it had got so concerning, that a major part of the population had issues with overusing what was thought to be the hemp plant at that time.
This led to changes in the way people perceived hemp. UK law prohibited its use in 1928. It was not until research was conducted on the endocannabinoid system, that making the hemp plant legal again was even considered. Not only did this research explain the difference between CBD and THC, but the relationship between cannabis and the human body and the potential health benefits that stood behind it.
Cannabis was labelled a Class C drug in 2004, and a Class B drug in 2009. Finally, in 2018 a new approach was taken to hemp. UK law made the hemp plant legal, as long as it was used for medical and therapeutic purposes.
Is it Illegal to Grow Hemp in UK regions?
You might be wondering, “Is it illegal to grow hemp in UK regions?” Well, now that people understand the difference between the industrially grown hemp plant and cannabis with a concentration of THC, it’s possible to find the hemp plant in various forms. According to the most recent law, if a hemp product contains under 0.2% of THC, then it’s legal to sell and buy it.
With this new rule, you could say that hemp farms, UK-based at least, have made a comeback. In fact, in the UK, over 235 tons of hemp-derived medicines are produced by hemp farms. UK production of the hemp plant has thus increased by 500% in the past ten years. This makes the UK the world’s largest producer of legal medicinal cannabis.
How Hemp Is Used Now
Today, hemp is used to make a variety of CBD products. The most common type of hemp, or CBD, is CBD oil. Similar types of hemp include CBD tinctures or CBD sprays, which are all consumed sublingually. CBD oil is also the most effective form of hemp, as it has the biggest bioavailability.
Hemp is also available in capsule form, which contain a smaller dose of CBD. It can also be applied topically, through the application of creams and lotions. In fact, Hemp can be consumed in the most creative ways – you can find CBD edibles, CBD coffee, vapes, CBD flowers, and various other types of products.
Hemp is used to alleviate the symptoms of painful conditions and illnesses. It can be used to help with Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, insomnia, cancer, and inflammation. It can also help with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and similar mental illnesses. Hemp is even a popular product in the skincare and beauty industry, as it’s used to treat acne and dry skin conditions. Plus, Hemp is commonly used as a dietary supplement.
Growing Hemp – UK’s Medical Marihuana
If you live in the UK, you might be wondering – is it legal to grow hemp? UK laws regarding medical cannabis allow this, as long as the hemp product in question contains less than 0.2% THC. Since hemp has become legalised, there has been an increase in hemp farms, UK-based hemp farms specifically, leading to a wide variety of hemp-infused products. From CBD oil to creams and ointments, you can find hemp in almost any form today. Taking into consideration that there’s more and more research into the hemp plant, there’s no telling what type of CBD product might come next.