Truth behind cannabis oil and whether or not it can make you healthier



Truth behind cannabis oil and whether or not it can make you healthier


More and more products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are cropping up on the high street, as sales ­double in a year




ales of an oil ­extracted from cannabis ­are soaring ­as more people become convinced of its benefits. ­

And it is legal because it doesn’t make you feel high.

Products containing CBD – cannabidiol– are cropping up on the High Street more than ever.

From creams to getting a shot in a morning coffee, it is ­hard not to notice the trend.

Sales of CBD products have ­doubled in a year, according to data from Wowcher.

Ranges are even stocked in ­pharmacies and chains such as Holland and Barrett. Now Jersey has just ­become the first place in the UK where hemp for CBD oil can be grown legally.

But what is the difference ­between cannabis and CBD? And are the health ­benefits real? We give you the lowdown.


Cannabis vs CBD

Cannabis is an illegal class B drug, whereas CBD is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. But it does not contain the chemical that makes users high.

Expert Harry Sumnall, Professor in Substance Use at the Public Health Institute at Liverpool John Moores University, said: “The ­cannabis plant contains many different chemicals, including cannabinoids.

“This includes one called delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, THC for short. When someone consumes cannabis, THC ­interacts with brain ­receptors to produce the familiar effects of feeling high. We’re learning more about CBD but we know that this acts in ­different parts of the body from THC and probably doesn’t ­directly act in the brain, so doesn’t produce the same feelings as THC.

“CBD can still ­indirectly affect how the body and brain functions, and this underlies some of its medical properties.”


Put to the test

The use of CBD to treat ­conditions such as epilepsy is under the spotlight.

Professor Sumnall said: “There’s a growing amount of research into CBD as treatment for a wide variety of ­medical conditions.

“But it’s important to note that evidence is still quite limited and there’s a big ­difference between what might be shown to be ­effective in lab animals and what might be useful in humans. So far, the best evidence suggests it could be useful with ­epilepsy, especially used in conjunction with anti-epileptic medicines or where other treatments have not worked as well.

“There are also encouraging findings with regards to CBD as a treatment for inflammation, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and even psychotic symptoms such as those experienced by people with schizophrenia.

“Clinical trials are under way on CBD as a treatment for rare forms of brain cancer.”



Should you buy it?

It is not yet known how effective High Street CBD products are. Research into the medical ­benefits use far higher doses than those on shop shelves.

Professor Sumnall said: “The scientific basis for most of the claims is ­extremely weak and there is also a big difference between treatments tested in laboratories and High Street products.

“And because the UK CBD market is unregulated, ­consumers cannot always be sure of what they’re buying.

“It’s plausible that some High Street products could be ­effective in what they claim but almost none have been tested to see if they do actually help.

“Consumers would be advised to treat CBD products with the same degree of scepticism that they might do towards a ­“miracle” anti-ageing cream.

“By all means investigate products but don’t be surprised if you don’t get the results you are looking for.”




Behind the door of an unassuming property in Chorlton, police found a massive cannabis farm



Behind the door of an unassuming property in Chorlton, police found a massive cannabis farm




More than 250 cannabis plants were found at a property in Chorlton.

Cops made the huge discovery during a raid on Beech Road on Friday afternoon.

Officers tweeted photographs of plants.

The images showed dozens upon dozens of potted cannabis plants in a white room.

Lamps could be seen on the ceiling.


View image on Twitter



It is not clear how much the plants are worth.

Few details have been released by GMP.

The force hasn’t said if any arrests have been made.


Anyone found supplying and producing the Class B drug faces up to 14 years behind bars or could be slapped with an unlimited fine.



Builders are swapping cement for weed to reduce pollution



Builders are swapping cement for weed to reduce pollution


Around the world, builders are putting modern twists into ancient construction methods that employ the hearty hemp weed


Bloomberg) — The hemp fields sprouting in a part of Canada best known for its giant oil patch show how climate change is disrupting the construction industry.


Six years after setting up shop in the shadow of Calgary’s tar sands, Mac Radford, 64, says he can’t satisfy all the orders from builders for Earth-friendly materials that help them limit their carbon footprints. His company, JustBioFiber Structural Solutions, is on the vanguard of businesses using hemp — the boring cousin of marijuana devoid of psychoactive content — to mitigate the greenhouse gases behind global warming.


Around the world, builders are putting modern twists into ancient construction methods that employ the hearty hemp weed. Roman engineers used the plant’s sinewy fibers in the mortar they mixed to hold up bridges. More recently, former White House adviser Steve Bannon weighed in on using so-called hempcrete to build walls. Early results indicate it’s possible to tap demand for cleaner alternatives to cement.

“We have way more demand than we can supply,” said Radford from his plant in Airdrie, which is undergoing expansion and soon expects to churn out enough Lego-like hemp bricks each year to build 2,000 homes.


Greener alternatives to cement add to the pressure on companies including LafargeHolcim Ltd. and Votorantim Cimentos SA as the global economy pivots toward dramatically lower emissions.



Manufacturers say they’ve struggled to find markets for greener alternatives, giving easy entree to entrepreneurs like Radford who cater to customers concerned about their impact on the Earth.

“They love it once they understand it,” said Radford of the builders who’ve adopted the modular, inter-locking bricks he invented for their projects. “Our old practices have to change.”


While architects and developers have traditionally concentrated on the energy used by their buildings once they’re are standing, it’s actually the materials required in their construction that represent the brunt of a structure’s lifetime carbon footprint. Replacing high-carbon-intensity materials like cement with greener alternatives like hemp can dramatically reduce or even offset greenhouse gas pollution.


Hemp fields absorb carbon when they’re growing. After harvest, the crop continues to absorb greenhouse gases as it’s mixed with lime or clay. Hempcrete structures also have better ventilation, fire resistance and temperature regulation, according to their proponents.

Numbers across the industry vary depending on the process, but JustBioFiber says that its hemp captures 130 kilograms (287 pounds) of carbon dioxide for each cubic meter it builds. Those structures made with their bricks will sequester more greenhouse gases than they emit in production. By contrast, each ton of cement produced emits half a ton of carbon dioxide, according to the European Cement Association.


First developed in France more than 30 years ago, hempcrete was initially used for renovating old houses since it mixed well with stone and lime. That has progressed to new build homes, offices and municipal buildings some as tall as seven floors, according to Quentin Pichon, founder of CAN-Ingenieurs Architectes who specialize in hempcrete buildings.

Hemp growth in France has grown by fifth in the last decade as a result of an increase in its construction use but also because seeds from the plant that can be used to make cannabidol, he said. Hemp sales in Canada could hit $1 billion within five years from $140 million last year, according to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.


That ability to quickly ramp-up local cultivation virtually anywhere in the world is one of hemp’s appeals, according to Alex Sparrow, the managing director of U.K. Hempcrete.

“Demand is rising steadily but we need to accelerate this as currently the U.K. construction industry accounts for approximately 7% of GDP and 50% of total U.K. carbon emissions,” Sparrow said.

One of the principle challenges his U.K. company faces are legal hurdles imposed on hemp cultivation — British farmers can only grow hemp building materials but can’t profit from the oil extracted from seeds.


Back near Calgary, the black denim-clad Radford is already turning a profit from his hemp venture and is preparing to invest another C$37 million ($28 million) to expand production to 3.5 million bricks a year. He credits his children with convincing him to go green after four decades in commercial development.

“They think that finally it’s not about money, it’s about doing good for the planet,” he said.









‘Cannabis land for Rastafari’, Minister assures



‘Cannabis land for Rastafari’, Minister assures


Land has been set aside for the Rastafarian community to grow legalised marijuana, Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir has announced, promising the group will play a major role on establishing a medicinal cannabis industry.

Some 60 acres of land is to be provided to the group, according to Weir.

Members of the Rastafarian faith have long been singled out for criminal prosecution for growing and possessing the herb which is a central part of their religious rites.

Rastas have been heavily consulted on the Government’s cannabis legalisation thrust, Weir said as he introduced a bill before the House to legitimise the medicinal cannabis industry.

Speaking in Parliament this morning, Weir said Government had met on numerous occasions with at least two groups representing the Rastafarian community and agreed they would be included in the industry.


He said: “There have been absolutely good cooperation between myself at the Ministry and potential interest groups; I speak to the Rastafarian movement of Barbados.

“I have met with two different groups and I want to make it clear that we have indicated to them that they will be a part of this industry and that every effort will be made to make sure they are included, so we did consult with them.


“Their views were listened to and we had more than one meeting and up to last night [Thursday] we were in discussion with our Rastafarian brothers and sisters of Barbados in terms of how we would go forward and in terms of how we can work together.

“We have already made provisions for them to have access to land as well, so that 60 acres of land being made available in Barbados to the Rastafarian community is the first step towards ensuring that they will not be left out of this.”

The Minister’s comments have come one day after the president of the African Heritage Foundation Paul Ras Simba Rock pleaded with Government to allow Rastafarians to use marijuana for religious purposes.


But Weir ruled out further decriminalization, stressing that the bill spoke only to the use of medicinal cannabis.

He explained that discussions surrounding the legalization of recreational cannabis would come at a later stage.

He told the House: “I feel the responsibility to make sure that we make it absolutely clear that what we are dealing with here is medicinal cannabis and we ought not to introduce the confusion that most people seem to be going through with regard to what is the decriminalisation of recreational cannabis.


“In presenting this to the Cabinet of Barbados, I also raised that we ought to be very, very, clear with this conversation.”

But the Minister also promised that all Barbadians would benefit from the establishment of a medical cannabis industry.

He said any foreign investors interested in becoming involved in the industry would have to allow Barbadians to own 30 per cent of its business.

Weir said: “This is designed to make sure every last Barbadian is given a chance to participate.


“We’re not just singling out one group, but that every group that has an interest will be part of this industry.

“We want to clear the air and let every Barbadian know that this medicinal cannabis industry will also allow Barbadians and members of CARICOM countries to be up to 30 per cent ownership of any foreign direct investment in this industry.


“So that even if a foreign investor comes to Barbados to invest in cultivation, processing, in retail and distribution or spa clinics, provisions have to be made for Barbadians to own 30 per cent.

“So at no stage at all Barbadians will be left out of this.”

He said the industry would also provide job opportunities for Barbadians, as it required personnel in several sectors.

Weir also gave his assurance that the industry would be heavily monitored, with a solid and strict licensing regime.


Licences will be required for cultivation, research and development, laboratory, processing, retail and distribution, import and export and transport, he said.

The bill contains criminal sanctions for misuse of the drug.  These include a fine of 15 times the value of the medicinal cannabis, imprisonment of ten years, or both.



The steps you can take if your neighbours are smoking cannabis



The steps you can take if your neighbours are smoking cannabis


These are the laws you need to know


It produces an unmistakable odour, a pungent stench which cuts through the air wherever you smell it.

So if your neighbours are smoking cannabis it will not be something you easily miss.

And while you may not be bothered by what other people get up to in their own homes, there’s no denying the smell can be off-putting.

Despite moves to decriminalise it, and reports on the health benefits it allegedly has, cannabis is illegal in the UK.


So what action can you take if you suspect the drug is being used near your home? The Derby Telegraph and DevonLive took a closer look at the law surrounding cannabis.

Here are all the laws you need to know about the drug – including on what to do if you catch your neighbours smoking it.




No. Any suggestion that they can is a myth.

A police spokeswoman said: “The possession of cannabis is an offence and will be dealt with by police.

“It is a widespread issue across the county and we are focusing our resources to target those connected with the cultivation and dealing of the drug to help crackdown on the issue.

“We would encourage anyone who suspects drug activity in their community to contact us.”


If I call the police will my neighbours find out I’ve done it?

A spokeswoman said that police would “never give away a caller’s identity”.

She said: “We wouldn’t say information has come from a neighbour as that narrows it down. We’d just say we received a call about it x.”

She added that officers on patrol might also use tip-offs to inform where they go on patrol. If they were to smell cannabis themselves, they might knock on the door and broach the subject that way.

She added that people could always call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they wanted to remain 


What will happen to my neighbours if I call the police about them?


The police spokesman said this could depend on a number of things, including the amount of cannabis, and whether someone has had any previous convictions.


If they’re renting, what about telling my neighbour’s landlord?


That is also an option but you would need to remember that the landlord is not bound to avoid giving your identity away in the same way that police are.

As long as the tenancy agreement has been drawn up properly, anyone growing cannabis will be in breach of it. However, you also need to remember that there are limits on what the landlord can do.

A spokesman for the National Landlords Association, said that if landlords suspect cannabis use, they should “arrange a visit to the property provided they have given the tenant advance warning.”


He said: “If they see or smell what they believe to be evidence of cannabis use, they should remind or warn the tenant or tenants that such actions are in violation of the tenancy agreement.

“If, when they next visit the property, they see the same evidence they may then wish to resort to serving a section 21, or eviction notice.”


I am the landlord. What can I do to stop cannabis being used at my property?



Chris Norris, of the National Landlords Association, said: “While we recommend taking references of prospective tenants from former employers or landlords before offering a tenancy, it can also be necessary to make checks on the property after they have moved in.

“These should be carried out quarterly if there are any concerns but make sure that you give the tenant or tenants sufficient notice beforehand so as not to disrupt privacy.

“Lastly, get to know the neighbours and local residents, as they can help alert you should they either see or smell what they suspect to be cannabis use on the property.”


How can I find out who the landlord of a property is?

A good starting point is to find out who the Land Registry have as the owner of the property.

It will cost a bit but you can get the information from the Land Registry website.



After legalising medicinal cannabis, why are ministers shutting down harmless hemp producers?



After legalising medicinal cannabis, why are ministers shutting down harmless hemp producers?


After four years of producing legal hemp products, a cooperative’s licence for growing hemp was revoked by the Home Office this July. The company are still trying to get to the bottom of why it happened.  

Hempen – based near Reading – seemed set to capitalise on a huge boom in ‘CBD’ (cannabinoid) products. CBD products are legal to use in the UK as they lack effective doses of THC (which gives the ‘high’ of cannabis).  

Hemp is licensed by the Home Office. But after legalising medicinal cannabis last year, the Home Office made a strange policy change: they updated the guidance for industrial hemp, making it clear the government was not happy with companies extracting harmless CBD. Bizarrely, this meant companies would have to stop all domestic production and import CBD from countries with friendlier laws.

Hempen, which still wanted to grow the rest of the plant that was legal to use here (they use the seed for use in cosmetics and food), followed the new rules and applied for a license renewal. That was supposed to take up to two months. Instead, it took eight. The Home Office said ‘if you’re renewing, you should act as if you’re getting renewal until you hear otherwise.’ And so they did.  

Midway through the growing season, they heard the decision that the Home Office weren’t going to let Hempen grow hemp at all, because the cooperative had historically harvested CBD. They were denied a license to grow any hemp at all.

Legal advice advised the farmers to destroy the entire crop. They all took the hit – and now want to highlight the ‘madness’ of the policy. “This is an opportunity to show the system is not fit for purpose given the economic and ecological opportunity that hemp represents,” one of the cooperative’s co-founders Patrick Gillett tells LFF.


Clear benefits


The domestic UK market for CBD is reportedly set to be worth £1bn by 2025. If the law doesn’t change however, much of that money will simply move abroad. UK law makes growers actually remove and destroy hemp flowers in the field.

But if they were allowed to harvest the (lucrative) flowers, it would kick start other industries: including ‘hempcrete’. We could have a huge green boost for the construction industry, using the plant to sequester carbon faster than any other crop, and lock it in houses. And we could use the fibres for bioplastics to replace all the plastics they use. (Hemp can even make highly-efficient supercapacitors). All that would be required is slight legislative amendment.

But the government sees it as a problem – it is licensed by Drugs and Firearm unit in the Home Office. Instead, it should be with DEFRA, which regulates farming, producers say.  


Absurd decision


The absurdity of the rules is shown by the fact that the THC content of the cooperative’s plants was below 0.2%, according to Hempen. The World Health Organisation says all low-THC industrial hemp shouldn’t be scheduled as a drug at all: it can’t produce a psychoactive effect. Switzerland sets the limit at 1%.

UK producers are unclear what the Home Office policy actually is: the only company allowed to actually harvest CBD here is GW Pharmaceuticals…a firm whose largest investor is Theresa May’s husband, Philip May.

Hempen simply want to create a CBD product which the WHO says is completely safe. Why are the Home Office restricting a harvest that’s below 0.2%? What is the public interest?

Officials apparently haven’t said why, and appear to be inconsistent in their approach with different licensees. “They are penalising people for producing CBD” says Patrick Gillett from Hempen. Except, it seems, GW Pharma – the largest legal cannabis exporter in the world, and the only legal cannabis producer in the UK.


Change the law


Producers say they need a quick legislative change to harvest the whole plant, to move regulation over to DEFRA – who understand farming and its economic/ecological benefits – and implement sensible, clear limits on THC. If the rules were sensible, farmers could plant drought-proof and better climate-sequestering effective hemp, Gillett tells me.

At present however, all hemp in the UK – including hempcrete – is effectively illegal: it contains more than 1mg of THC.

So Hempen have had to destroy all their crops, or else risk a ‘cultivation of cannabis’ charge – which has a prison sentence attached. The value in (destroyed) potential sales was reportedly £200,000 in seed and stalk products. If the crop had been allowed to be used for CBD products it would have been £2.4m worth (though, as noted, they weren’t allowed to use it for CBD). At any rate, that’s £2.4m would have generated £480,000 in tax to the exchequer.


CBD campaign


There are a couple of key questions: what is the public interest in the government’s policy? But also…what even is the policy? One farmer has reportedly been allowed to harvest hemp flowers for essential oils without CBD for years. So is the actual policy that they do not want growers to harvest CBD?

Hempen now plan to challenge the Home Office decision through a judicial review – but they don’t yet have the funds. So they’re fighting the government the old fashioned way: campaigning. Save UK CBD will soon be launched as a coalition with the National Farmers Union and other hemp farmers and producers.

Hemp production is a win-win: tax potential, green jobs and clear environmental benefits. What’s stopping the government?



Cannabis factory found at Earl Stonham



Cannabis factory found at Earl Stonham


One person has been arrested in connection with the discovery of a cannabis factory at Earl Stonham near Stowmarket.

Officers made the discovery this morning (Friday 30 August) in a garage belong to a property on Norwich Road.

It is thought around 250 cannabis plants have been located – estimated to have a value of around £60,000.

On entering the building officers also found hydroponics equipment and associated paraphernalia.

A 39 year old woman has been arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning where she remains.


Photo On lInk



Regulated cannabis market would contribute an additional 1.6bn to UK



Regulated cannabis market would contribute an additional 1.6bn to UK


Recreational cannabis is now legal or decriminalised in over 30 countries worldwide, with Canada making headlines in October 2018 as the first G7 country to pass comprehensive legislation. With mounting political pressure for a similar review of the UK’s cannabis laws – and 42.5% of people supporting legalisation – it now seems inevitable that some form of regulated UK cannabis market will emerge within the next ten to fifteen years.



A lucrative market

Based on consumer spend data, GlobalData Retail estimates that the value of the UK unregulated cannabis market is £2.5bn in 2019. To put this in perspective, the figure is marginally less than the UK will spend on skincare this year.

Survey data suggests that only 10.4% of the populace have used cannabis recreationally over the last 12 months. However this figure rises to 19.3% for 18 to 34 year olds, demonstrating a clear demand amid younger consumers for the product, and thus presenting an opportunity for a regulated retail market.

This £2.5bn cannot be considered the amount that retail would benefit from post-legalisation. Under regulation price per gram would significantly drop, with open competition, economies of scale and legitimate distribution networks all contributing to an estimated 60% fall in price compared to the black market (falling from circa £10 per gram to £4*). However, assuming a 30% duty levy (on top of VAT), the regulated UK market would be worth £1.6bn in 2019, and would generate almost £490.4m for the UK government.

While there is copious literature both for and against changes in legislation, from a UK retailer’s perspective there are two pertinent questions: how would it be regulated, and who would stand to benefit?


The regulatory framework

With respect to regulation, cannabis would most likely sit somewhere between tobacco and alcohol. Age restrictions would apply, as would location restrictions (i.e. no smoking indoors). However, cannabis would also have to the additional complication of a THC (the principal psychoactive agent) threshold, with different bands attracting different taxation – akin to alcohol being taxed by ABV. However, any levy on cannabis would have to be lower than other ‘sin taxes’. Previous studies have shown that the unregulated cannabis market is more dynamic than other black markets, and any levy significantly higher than 30% (in addition to VAT) would risk accelerating untaxable sales.

Estimating the potential channels of distribution (and who stands to gain) in the UK is a harder task, mostly due to the possible variation in regulations. However, parallels can be drawn from activity in the North American market.


Canada’s largest food retailer, Loblaw, intends to sell cannabis products from behind the counter in its existing tobacco shops, independent of its central grocery store outlets. Meanwhile John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, stated (speaking about Texas specifically) that “chances are good that grocery stores will be selling it (cannabis)” if decriminalisation continues. He added that Whole Foods would open cannabis dispensaries rather than sell it from the main store.

So, despite the differences between US and British regulations, it seems likely that the major supermarkets would enter the cannabis market in some form.

Independent vs corporate vendors

Outside of traditional supermarkets (or any of their possible cannabis-focused fascias), legalisation would likely result in an eruption of small, independent stores and chains – provided that licences to vend were not too hard to come by. As such the market would initially be fragmented between the larger players trialling the proposition, specialist independents/small chains, and direct from manufacturers.

Interesting preliminary data from Canada also suggests that non-physical demand would be high, with an estimated 35% of Canada’s legal cannabis sales currently purchased through websites or mobile apps. While it is expected that a number of specialist cannabis retailers would arise, it is intuitive that legalisation would also see an increase in online pureplays, and add c£560m to the overall online market.


Given the high growth potential of the market, existing American and/or Canadian cannabis specialists (e.g. Canopy Growth, Aurora or Aphria) would likely look to expand to the UK should legislation change. Furthermore, traditional tobacco players may also look to capitalise as demand for non-electronic tobacco products continues to decline rapidly. This is a sector with significant financial authority, as demonstrated by the recent $200bn merger talks between tobacco titans Philip Morris and Altria.

Expanding a viable proposition across continents is not an easy task for any retailer, and difficulties would be exacerbated by the novelty of the market and the unpredictability in response from the general public. If a green-thumbed entrepreneur can establish a retail network that properly connects with its customers, there is room to gain a substantial share of an unexploited market.



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