Cannabinoids… Surely you’ve heard of them by now. These highly beneficial (and equally overlooked) compounds naturally occur in plants of the cannabis Sativa genus. As the plant grows through its life cycle, it will begin to develop cannabinoids unique to its genetics. But first, what are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are compounds found in the cannabis plant that can create a range of effects on humans when consumed. The endocannabinoid system is renowned for regulating the central nervous system, and in turn, the whole body. It’s no wonder that ‘superhumans’ like Wim Hoff have partially attributed the control they have over their body to their endocannabinoid system!
But cannabinoids aren’t just crucial to humans. All mammals have endocannabinoid systems that have evolved so that their bodies naturally interact with cannabinoids. Dogs, cats, mice, apes, and humans are all receptive to the compounds within the cannabis plant. Cannabis is said to display any combination of up to almost 150 cannabinoids.
Cool, huh? But where does the cannabinoid puzzle begin?
Well, it all starts with CBGA.
CBGA is considered the ‘Mother of all cannabinoids’ because it’s the first stage of developing the rest. Yes, that’s right. All cannabinoids come from the same source cannabinoid! Even THC is created throughout the life span of CBGA. Just to reiterate, that means every cannabinoid we cover today started as CBGA and eventually degraded into its final form. However, we won’t go too far into that until later in this article!
For now, let’s get started with understanding cannabinoids.
There’s no better place to start than with the cannabinoid that is likely most familiar to all of us! If you haven’t been under the influence of it, you’ve undoubtedly been warned about it in your drug education classes. It’s found most prominently in the dried flower of the cannabis plant. And if you’ve moved past that stigma, you probably recognise it for the genuinely incredible compound that it is. THC is infamous for its psychoactive properties, but despite the potential for recreational abuse, it also offers remarkable therapeutic and medicinal benefits.
So what are the medicinal benefits of THC? This might take a while…
We’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of what can be done with Delta-9 THC. Legislation and red-tape have prevented research into clinical applications, but the last ten years have offered new hope. The laws around cannabis are slowly being broken down, and beneficial cannabinoids can finally be studied.
Delta-8 THC is one of the most commonly found cannabinoids in the cannabis species. It results in different effects than the more-known Delta-9 THC (which we spoke about above!). Results from both anecdotal evidence and studies conducted have shown lower levels of intoxication through the use of Delta-8 whilst still offering a range of benefits to the body. The similarity in its name comes from the similar molecular structure to Delta-9 THC. Although less potent, it’s worth noting that it still invokes a psychoactive effect of its own!
The known benefits of Delta-8 THC;
THCA might sound similar once again, but it too has differences that set it aside from the last couple of cannabinoids we’ve discussed. THCA is found in living cannabis plants and contains absolutely no psychoactive properties… well, until you expose it to temperatures above about 85 degrees celsius and decarboxylate it – That’s when THCA becomes THC.
Let us explain a bit more.
THCA contains an additional carboxyl ring in the molecular structure, but the easy way to remember it is as the non-psychoactive THC with all the benefits. As the plant dries or is heated, the carboxyl rings degrade into THC. Many other cannabinoids are also created through the same process. If the plant is being grown for medicinal or recreational use, it’s bound to contain both THC and THCA (along with a whole bunch of other cannabinoids!).
THCA hasn’t been studied a whole lot yet, but reports from people who have used it suggests the benefits include;
THCV is yet another cannabinoid often found in cannabis flowers. However, it must be isolated through extraction or ignited to 220 degrees celsius to utilise the benefits of this lesser-known cannabinoid. It doesn’t invoke as many psychoactive traits as other cannabinoids but is not entirely free of intoxicating effects. Clinical studies have compared the effects of THC and THCV in possible treatments for specific life-threatening diseases.
The benefits that can be leveraged through the use of THCV are;
Researchers who participated in these experiments speculated that THCV is an up-and-coming option to treat obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
A cannabinoid more potent than THC is likely to intimidate some people… possibly even more-so when they hear that THCP is said to be as much as 30x stronger than the infamous THC. So what’s the go with THCP, and what do they mean by stronger?
It seems that when scientists say THCP is 30x more potent than THC, they mean that it is 30x more effective at ‘switching on’ biological receptors in the body. Some are theorising that the presence of THCP may be a critical factor in the different strengths of ‘high’ in medicinal and recreational cannabis flower. To be more exact, in vitro studies have shown that THCP was 33x more active than THC on human CB1 receptors and 10x more active on CB2 Receptors.
The effects of THCP are the same as THC;
It would be correct to assume that if there’s THCP, there must also be CBDP – and we’ll touch on that one later!
CBD is one of the most prominent cannabinoids in the field today. It’s hailed as a miracle molecule due to its ability to help cure or reduce the symptoms of many life-threatening diseases. Most importantly, it’s 100% non-psychoactive. That means you won’t even get a ‘slight’ or ‘different’ high. Unlike THC-derived phytocannabinoids, CBD is perfectly safe to consume – and you run no risk of becoming intoxicated upon use.
CBD is said to assist many things, from mental to physical disease across all severity levels, moderate or extreme.
Some of the mental illness’ that CBD can assist with are;
Some of the more serious physical illness’ that CBD can help treat are;
There is still much more research to be conducted on CBD before we can say that it’s certainly responsible for these outcomes. Still, there is a staggering amount of anecdotal evidence to suggest CBD’s effectiveness.
The cannabinoid known as CBDV is renowned for the possible effects it can have on seizures. The first-ever CBD-based pharmaceutical drug called ‘epidolex’ is derived from CBDV and is promoted to reduce or prevent epileptic (and other forms of) seizures. CBDV is also showing promise in treatment for other diseases such as;
The discovery of CBDV occurred over 50 years ago, but research has been hard to do due to legal restrictions surrounding cannabis and related compounds. With the current medicinal cannabis research and advocacy trend, we can only assume we’re just hearing the start of this one!
CBC is another cannabinoid that doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects upon consumption. The reason for this is because it binds poorly with the CB1 receptor in the brain. With much of the spotlight on THC and CBD, CBC flew under the radar until the dust settled. However, with a ‘green rush’ in research and development for medicinal cannabis products, CBC has started to garnish a bit more of a reputation.
CBC binds with receptors in the endocannabinoid system that increase cannabinoids being released into the body (such as anandamide). Whilst likely having its special effects, CBC is most notably recognised as the ‘collaborative cannabinoid’ due to the way it enhances and encourages the production of other cannabinoids through your body’s endocannabinoid system.
Despite a lack of significant research, scientists and activists speculate that the therapeutic benefits of CBC include;
CBDA is yet another highly promising phytocannabinoid recently put in the spotlight for potential therapeutic use. There hasn’t been much research conducted on it, but like any cannabinoid, it has come out as a significant contender in the race of cannabinoid therapy. In 2008, researchers noticed that CBDA resembled other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Previously considered pharmacologically inactive, the scientists proceeded to show that CBDA was 1000x more potent than CBD at binding to a particular serotonin receptor that fights anxiety and nausea. Since then, it has been administered to counteract chemotherapy’s side effects.
CBDA has been particularly difficult to isolate due to it’s highly volatile nature. It degrades quickly at room temperature, so stabilising it has been the greatest challenge. However, there is headway being made in this field!
CBGA and CBG
CBGA is the ‘mother’ of all cannabinoids. CBGA develops on the plant and eventually turns into either CBDA, THCA, and CBCA. These proceed to turn into other cannabinoids that we have discussed in this blog. Hence, it’s arguably the most important cannabinoid in the plant. CBGA that doesn’t convert into any of the cannabinoids mentioned above also degrades into CBG.
CBG has a range of benefits and applications on its own. The possible therapeutic and clinical uses for CBG include;
CBGV also has a variety of potential therapeutic applications such as;
Currently, there is a mix between anecdotal evidence and scholarly research into these cannabinoids. However, as the world starts to open up to cannabis-based medicines, we hope to see a lot more research done in the field!
CBN is one of the favoured cannabinoids of the masses due to it’s non-psychoactive nature. It’s most commonly found in older cannabis flower due to it appearing as THC ages. Like many other phytocannabinoids, CBN is simply aged THC. The more oxygen the cannabis was exposed to after being harvested, the more CBN will be present. Countries like America, which have legalised cannabis, have started offering CBN-isolates and high-CBN products.
So what are the benefits of CBN?
There isn’t as much to cover when it comes to CBDP due to the spotlight that’s been shone on THCP since the recent discovery made by Italian scientists. However, primary observations have suggested that, like THCP, CBDP is a hyperactive variant of CBD. It’s been shown that CBDP has similar properties to CBD. Based on the exacerbated effects when it comes to THCP going up against THC, it’s reasonable to assume that CBDP will be a more impactful treatment for anything that CBD can help with.
This includes but is not limited to;
If CBD is the closest thing to a silver-bullet for things like epilepsy, then CBDP might just be the one-pot-wonder!
We hope to have cleared some uncertainty regarding an understanding of the many cannabinoids that cannabis can produce. Hopefully, some light has been shone on the fact that there are so many cannabinoids that don’t have psychoactive effects yet still offer remarkable therapeutic benefits.
With so many cannabinoids to choose from, it can be hard to decide what is best for you. Due to the lack of research in the field, we recommend approaching medicinal cannabis with a straightforward tactic: Try, try, try. There is no one-size-fits-all, and everybody’s endocannabinoid system is different. One day, we’d like to see science and medicine catch up and contribute more to exploring how our bodies interact with cannabinoids. But until then, all we have to go off is scholarly research and the experiences of people who have seen substantial results from cannabinoid-based treatments.
If you have any questions, please reach out through the contact form or drop a comment. We’d love to help!
The benefits of Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil… Where to begin?
Whether you’re striving for healthier skin, hair, internals, or just an all-around improvement of your general health and wellbeing – Hemp can help with anything you could need.
…We know. It’s a stretch to claim a ‘one-hit-wonder’ – and that’s not what we’re doing. When it comes to the message we spread, we’re merely trying to promote everything it can ‘help’ with. Can you blame us for trying to point out every possibility?
This week, we’re going to be embarking on a journey through the world of Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil. This week it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. We’ve got something you can relate to when it comes to hemp – and it’s a no brainer.
Are you on a diet? Do you have nut allergies? Maybe you’re pregnant. You might suffer from skin conditions and be curious about how Hemp Seed Oil can help with things like Eczema, Psoriasis, or if Hemp Seed Oil can reduce acne symptoms.
You’ll probably want to read on!
Nutritional Facts about Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil
Why Should I use Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil in my diet?
The nutritional benefits of Hemp Seed Oil are second to none. Why should you use Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil in your diet?
Will I fail a drug test from Hemp Seed?
You cannot fail a drug test from using Hemp Seed. The restrictions for Hemp as food means that nobody can include cannabinoids in their products – THC, CBD, or anything else you could name. The only desirable compounds are in nutrition. There’s no way to get a buzz other than through being healthy!
Can I use Hemp Seed Oil during pregnancy?
You certainly can. As mentioned before, Hemp Seed Oil contains no cannabinoids. The most beneficial use for this part of the plant is in nutrition. Just because it’s from the cannabis plant doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to get you high! However, it’s worth doing your research on any cannabis-based product that you decide to buy. If you’re pregnant and thinking about using products derived from the cannabis Sativa genome, make sure you’re consuming Hemp Seed or Hemp Seed Oil. There has not been enough research done into the effects of cannabinoids on developing children, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. But when it comes to Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil for pregnant women… let us reiterate;
It’s a resounding YES. There are no cannabinoids in Hemp Seed or Hemp Seed Oil.
Hemp Seed Oil in plant-based diets are considered to be ‘a nutrient-rich food considered especially beneficial for health and wellbeing. But at the end of the day, unless you’re using Hemp in your diet, you’re missing out on the true potential benefits.
It’s not just hype.
What is a ‘superfood’?
The term ‘superfood’ is an umbrella term for consumable plants that contain a variety of beneficial nutrients that boost overall health and wellbeing. When it comes to nutritional content, Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil are highly overlooked superfoods. They contain almost everything that the human diet needs, to the point that some say Hemp Seed has pulled several countries through food shortages and famines.
Hemp Seed Oil For Acne
Despite being an oil, Hemp Seed Oil has a comedogenic rating of zero. This means that it won’t clog pores. In fact, it can help with acne due to the way that it helps regulate oil production in the skin. If your skin is too dry, it will produce excess amounts of oil, in turn, causing breakouts.
Hemp Seed Oil For eczema and psoriasis
The high content of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids helps aid skin repair and reduce the symptoms that come with dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, and a number of other skin conditions.
Why use Hemp Seed Oil in Skincare products?
Once again, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids accompanied by the famed gamma-linolenic acid aid in hydrating and reducing irritation in the skin, whilst simultaneously stimulating the growth of new skin growth and cell rejuvenation. We use Hemp Seed Oil for products like face serums, face cleansers, and our fine-pumice infused Hemp face scrub.
Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil For Hair
Much like any other part of the body, the most significant benefits to your hair come from the omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. A wide range of beneficial vitamins, nutrients, proteins, and other desirable compounds like Gamma-linolenic acid help stimulate new hair growth whilst strengthening and repairing what’s already there. Including Hemp Seed Oil in shampoo, conditioner, hair serums, and other treatments is a sure-fire way to ensure that your hair is bouncing, shining, and finally combating the frizz.
Industrial uses of Hemp Seed Oil
After being cold-pressed, Hemp Seed Oil can be further processed into a state with an even more comprehensive range of applications. After exposing the cold-pressed hemp seed oil to heat, you will yield a ‘refined’ product with no nutritional content. This can be used to create paints, varnishes, lubricants, and so much more. Refined Hemp Seed Oil is a future market that we’ll look into more once our society is growing Hemp on a larger scale.
Making Hemp Biofuel out of Hemp Seed Oil
One of the most incredible but overlooked uses for Hemp Seed Oil is the ability to supply ‘Biofuels’. A study from UConn showed that Hemp Seed Oil converted to Biodiesel directly utilised in a Diesel engine. Most notably, it converted to biodiesel at a rate of 97%. To put that into perspective, for every 100L processed, 97L of biodiesel could be yielded. Unlike other biodiesels, you won’t need to add any heating elements to convert your engine! It’s plug-and-play.
What’s the difference between Hemp Oil and Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp Oil is often mistaken for Hemp Seed Oil. It’s understandable! Hemp Oil is derived from hemp flower, which means it has minimal THC and many other beneficial cannabinoids. Extracted from the flower, it’s important to remember that Hemp Oil is the ‘medicinal’ one. Hemp Seed Oil is different from Hemp Oil because it is derived from the seed instead of the flower. Once the Hemp Seed is harvested, it is put through a mechanical cold-press process that essentially squeezes the oils out of the seed so it can be used to produce that range from food to skincare.
So there it is. Do you feel like you could make use of any of these benefits? Have you already? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you!
It’s the dawn of a new era in the field of sustainable production and consumption. While some are clinging to old destructive practices, others are leading the charge forward in eco-friendly innovation and developing products that are less harmful to the environment. Hemp plastic is one of the most promising
It’s no surprise that Hemp, with a wide array of applications, is at the forefront of this revolution.
If we asked you to guess the most detrimental product to our environment, what would you say? We don’t even have to think twice before shouting “plastic!”. What’s equally unsurprising is the demand for biodegradable, environmentally-friendly packaging alternatives. But is this a realistic hope?
Plastics and micro-plastics are polluting our bodies, waterways, oceans, and ground like never before. And it’s not just harming animals any more – it’s humans too. Did you know that the average person consumes a credit card of microplastics every week? That’s around 20 grams of plastic going through our bodies by eating food and drinking water that our bad decisions have contaminated.
This week, we will look at Hemp Bioplastic’s benefits and why Hemp packaging is a better alternative to Normal plastics.
What is regular plastic made from?
We’ll refer to regular plastic as a plastic made from non-renewable resources like coal, oil, gas, and minerals for this article. Plastic is made from long-chain polymers, and are most often composed of compounds called ‘hydrocarbons’ – hydrogen and carbon chains. Plastic is used everywhere from the bags at supermarkets to your cars’ panels; to the point that humans have quite an unhealthy addiction to using it! This addiction has ended up being a detriment to the ecosystem in which we live.
What is the primary material for plastic?
There are two major categories of primary materials for plastics: Natural materials and synthetic/human-made materials. Hydrocarbons derived from non-renewable resources and used to make plastics are classed as synthetic/human-made due to the chemistry involved in the process.
How are fossil fuels used to make plastic?
Fossil fuels get turned into hydrocarbons through various forms of heat treatment that isolate the desired compounds. Then materials called ‘propylene’ or ‘ethylene’ are used to produce multiple types of plastic.
What types of plastic are there?
We use seven main types of plastic all around the world. Each of the following classes is derived from non-renewable resources (coal, natural gas, oil, etc.)
What is Hemp Bioplastic Made From?
Hemp bioplastics are made from leftover plant matter of the harvested cannabis plant. This leftover material is most commonly called ‘biomass’. Hemp plastic can also be made with cold-pressed and refined Hemp Seed Oil, but this is the less-regularly used production method. When being made from Hemp biomass, Hemp cellulose is the cornerstone of manufacturing. The cellulosic fibre can produce a range of viable plastic substitutes and has recently seen a sharp increase in commercial interests.
What kinds of Hemp Plastic currently exist?
Environmental Factors: Normal Plastics vs Hemp Plastic
Is regular plastic biodegradable?
Technically yes, but it takes tens to hundreds of years to break down to a harmless point. This means that once you dispose of a single-use plastic item, it’s going to stick around and cause damage to the planet longer than you are. Your body will likely have broken down in the ground before the first piece of plastic you used in your life has.
How’s that for perspective?
While your single-use plastic is floating around in the ocean or being consumed by animals who don’t have the digestive systems to process it, millions of others are also oblivious to the damage being done. The bottom line is that single-use plastics harm humans and animals alike – our whole ecosystem is suffering. We’re at the point where microplastics are being found in the placenta in early-stage fetuses.
We’ll just leave that there.
Is Hemp plastic biodegradable?
Technically yes, but how long it takes hasn’t been studied too much yet. People often assume that Hemp plastics will break down in shorter timeframes, but this is still based on anecdotal evidence. However, even when we have more answers for this, it’s going to depend on whether or not we can stop bioplastics from making it into the environment. Plastics don’t just break down in landfill – they have to be exposed to elements. Plastics must be broken down through heat treatment processes or risk polluting the environment for years to come.
The other thing to consider is that even if Hemp Plastics break down in the environment as quickly as some sources claim, we can’t just have water bottles leaking after six months in storage. We’re going to need to make sure that they are sturdy for at least a year before breaking down! Otherwise, we’ll have more plastic waste than ever.
Whether you’re using traditional plastics or bioplastics, it’s best to practice the packaging’s responsible use and disposal even if it’s biodegradable. Although Hemp Plastic is a much safer option for our ecosystem, using these alternatives won’t fix all of the problems we’re facing due to this unhealthy addiction to plastics. Hemp bioplastic made from biomass or Hemp Seed Oil may very well be a part of the future of packaging, but we’ve still got to make sure that we are using it the right way! Otherwise, we could just find a temporary fix to the real problem – our mentality on consumption.
Learn more about the basics of Hemp Bioplastics in our other blog What’s So Great About Hemp Plastic?
Unfortunately, many people still associate the term “hemp” with intoxicating cannabis plants! What is often overlooked is that this versatile plant has become an indispensable part of the health and cosmetics industry. Believe it or not, Nutrient-rich Hemp seeds are actually considered a “superfood“ for skin and hair!
The benefits that hemp seed oil offers skin and hair are remarkable. The high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids make it a real game-changer. And of course, there are no cannabinoids to worry about! (CBD, THC, etc…)
In addition to its health effects, it has become an aromatic and popular edible oil. Find out everything you need to know about the health benefits of Hemp Seed Oil here!
Hemp food has been very popular as an alternative food for a long time, especially among vegans. As a hemp flour powder, it is one of the so-called “superfoods”. It contains an above-average amount of protein and other valuable nutrients, minerals and fibre. You can use hemp seeds powder in your muesli or otherwise use them in your food. The processed hemp seeds are also used to make milk alternatives. Like soy and rice milk, hemp seeds milk does not contain any lactose or other animal products and is particularly digestible. If you want to buy Processed Hemp Seeds, be sure to check whether the shop is reputable!
Scientific studies have shown that certain active compounds in Hemp Seed Oil called Polyphenyls can protect the brain from inflammation. Research is still in early days, but scientists are excited to look more into this promising potential benefit of Hemp Seed Oil!
Thanks to the ingredients, the oil can positively affect the health of the heart and cardiovascular system. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are said to lower the risk of arteriosclerosis and lower cholesterol levels. However, you should be aware that you cannot relieve illness with just a little hemp seed oil. Remember, the total omega-3-to-omega-6 ratio in the body is influenced by your overall diet, not only one factor!
The hemp plant is a particularly valuable additive for natural cosmetic hair care. The plant contains many omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which soften brittle or brittle hair and give it a new shine. The resistant fatty acids protect the outer hair layer, which means that the scalp hair can cope better with external environmental pollution.
For this purpose, it is recommended to mix the shampoo with hemp seed oil and lightly massage a handful into wet, damaged hair. It is then essential to rinse the hair thoroughly with water to not appear greasy instead of healthy and shiny. If you think it is a tedious process, you should have a look at our vast range of “Hemp Hair Care” products and choose from any of our readymade hemp seed oil shampoos, conditions, and serums.
If you want to do something good for your scalp like get rid of a dandruff issue, give your hair more volume, encourage it to grow faster or let it shine silky, then organic hemp hair treatment can be the solution for you. Hemp seed oil (cannabis Sativa) stimulates cell formation, increases oxygen supply, and supplies the hair follicles with moisture. This counteracts hair loss, creates new hair roots and accelerates hair growth. The vitamin B5 it contains also supports the build-up of keratin, which is particularly beneficial for long hair. Massage a few drops of the oil into the scalp and spread something on the hair’s ends to achieve the best possible result.
There are two other significant areas in which hemp seeds oil can be beneficial in skincare: reducing acne and treating autoimmune dermatological conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or atopic dermatitis. Anyone with susceptible and dry skin that reacts quickly to skincare products and environmental influences with redness and itching can alleviate the symptoms with regular care with hemp seed oil. In summary, Hemp Seed Oil can reduce inflammation caused by acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, broken capillaries and sunburn.
In addition to the secondary plant substances, hemp seed oil is rich in vitamins B1 and B2, vitamin E and beta-carotene. The latter is a precursor of the A vitamin and very important for our eyes. Vitamin E, which is also celebrated as a beauty vitamin, thanks to its antioxidants, ensures the destruction of free radicals and prevents premature aging of the cells.
Asthma is an atopic disease. This means that it causes immediate allergic reactions, a chronic condition that causes the airways to become inflamed more often, resulting in airflow restriction. While asthma can be a minor health problem for some people, it can be a severe problem to others, drastically affecting daily life. Unfortunately, there is currently no conventional asthma treatment available. According to the researchers, consuming hemp seed oil can improve your immune system and curve your asthma symptoms.
The new star in the beauty world is hemp! In the form of valuable hemp seeds oil, it is an absolute must-have for a flawless complexion. It is said to make sensitive skin supple and even help with severe skin problems. Minerals and trace elements such as zinc, manganese, potassium, iron, phosphorus, iron, and sodium help the skin form new collagen and keep it elastic and supple.
They can also penetrate the skin better and help our body to improve blood circulations. You can use hemp seed oil pure, as a serum and in the form of face cream. Beauty experts recommend gently massaging the product into the skin with your fingertips after a thorough cleaning. If you like, you can mix the oil with a face mask and let it soak into the skin for a few minutes as an intensive care product.
Does Hemp Seed Oil Have Any Side Effects?
Hemp seed oil is an all-natural product with no known side effects when applied to the skin. Of course, as with all-natural products, allergic reactions can occur in individual cases. So there is no harm in testing the oil on a small area of skin before using it all over the body. Additionally, you must buy an oil that is as natural as possible from reliable stores, which can secure you from allergic reactions or the like, especially with sensitive skin.
Hemp seeds oil is a healthy and tasty addition to the kitchen. Few edible oils are as aromatic, nutritious and versatile as hemp seed oil. Along with linseed oil and olive oil, it is one of our favourite oils. It should come from good quality seed that is cold pressed. Hemp seed oil must not be overheated. Get in touch with us, and we’ll tell you what you need to know about how to use hemp seed oil in the kitchen!
Did you know that the cannabis plant is a powerhouse in the field of sustainability?
Our environment is currently hanging in the balance, and the only way to tip the scales in our favor is to start doing more healing the planet than harming it. To us, there’s no surprise in the fact that just when we need it most, hemp is coming through to save the day. But what does this simple plant offer that’s so critical to our survival?
Aside from being used in the manufacturing of sustainable products and absorbing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, hemp has another use: it can help the soil.
But how? And are there actual solutions that can be applied on a larger scale here? Today we have a look.
Hemp Has a Deep Taproot
The roots are where a plant uptakes much of its water and nutrients. Some plants have shallow roots, and some have deeper roots. Plants with deeper roots tend to be more drought resistant, as they can draw water from deeper in the soil. But the plants aren’t the only thing that benefits from deep roots…
A deeper taproot can also nurture the soil by turning up fresh soil every harvest… Not to mention the fact that such roots can help clean contaminants from deeper layers of soil.
Yes, you heard that right. Plants can clean the soil. In this case, hemp performs especially well at such tasks! But how?
It’s called phytoremediation. Say it with us… ‘phyto-remediation’. So, what is it?
WHAT IS PHYTOREMEDIATION
When the plant is used in the process of cleansing of the soil, sediments and water bodies (whether surface water or groundwater) by removing, transferring or stabilizing contaminating materials, it is known as phytoremediation. This falls under bioremediation, which is the use of organisms to remove contaminating materials from the soil and water. Examples of plant used are hemp, poplar trees, and cotton trees
HOW DOES PHYTOREMEDIATION WORK
It depends on what your goal is. There are different types of phytoremediation, and each has specific application to different types of cleanup projects. These are called phytoremediation mechanisms.
Different plants display different mechanisms, all of which can help heal soil in their own way.
Here’s a little overview on what we know…
Rhizosphere biodegradation: The act of using plants to produce nutrients that feed microbes living within contaminated soil. In this mechanism, the microbes being fed do all of the cleaning. They proceed to break down materials that have polluted the soil.
Phyto-stabilization: Plants feed off the contaminating substances, but do not degrade the compounds. Rather, it inhibits the movement of the materials and isolates them within the plant. This is not a degrading process, but the contaminated can be disposed of correctly once the waste has been absorbed.
Phyto-accumulation: This is not a degrading process, either. Also commonly known as ‘phytoextraction’, this method is primarily for waste containing metals and suitable for use when talking about industrial wastes.
Hydroponic Systems: This mechanism works exactly like rhizosphere biodegradation but can be used to clean up polluted bodies of water.
Phyto-volatilization: A mechanism in which plants absorb the contaminating materials through the root and release them into the air using their leaves.
Phyto-degradation: This is a degradative process in which plants can be used to absorb contaminating materials and destroy them in their tissues.
Industrial hemp demonstrates ‘Phyto-accumulation’ (also known as phytoextraction), which can be used to clean up heavy metals and industrial waste.
WHAT TYPE OF WASTE CAN ‘PHYTOREMEDIATORS’ CLEAN UP?
Metals most commonly used with this process are grouped into three based on their availability and they are;
iii. Not readily available: these are heavy metals and nuclear materials such as lead and uranium
The availability of the metals can be heightened using boosters on the soil. Examples of boosters used are ammonium nitrate NH4NO3 and citric acid, which are said to boost the ability to intake the nuclear materials ‘cesium’ and ‘uranium’.
After the total accumulation of the contaminating materials/metal, the plant used must not be consumed. Once the plants have been removed from the site, one two things must be done with them:
WHAT PLANTS ARE USED AS PHYTO-REMEDIATORS
There are many plants used in Phyto-remediation. While there are no general properties to take note of, most of them have a very long taproot in common. As we spoke about earlier, a long taproot can benefit the soil by absorbing the waste within it. Then whether it degrades, accumulates, or release the contaminated materials depends on the physiological properties of the plants themselves.
So, let’s talk about hemp for a second.
Hemp is basically a modern word to describe low-THC cultivars of Cannabis sativa. Has a lot of purposes due to its unique chemical composition, it is a very good phytoremediator due to its very long taproot. It is used in the removal of heavy metals and nuclear waste
HEMP IN CLEANING NUCLEAR WASTE
Hemp has been used in numerous areas around the world to effectively demonstrate the phytoremediation properties within plants. Most notably, it was used after the nuclear disaster that occurred in 1986, when more than 100,000km² was labeled radioactive and unsafe to live. The countries involved were Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus – and the contaminated soil could not be used.
In 1998 Phytotech, a company that specializes in phytoremediation, worked in cooperation with the Consolidated Grower and Processors (CGP) and the Ukraine Institute of Bast Crop to conduct an important experiment…
This experiment was testing whether or not it’s reasonable to apply the soil-cleansing abilities of hemp (among a number of other plants) on areas affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It seemed that it was showing promising results, but shortfalls in financing and cases of missing research rendered this experiment ‘lost in the void’. In ‘Cleaning Soil’, writers actually claimed that Phytotech found hemp to be “most efficient plant useful for eliminating toxins such as metals, solvents, pesticides, residues from explosions, etc. from contaminated topsoil.”
…But we may never know for sure.
It’s certainly disappointing that there hasn’t been more research done into using hemp to clean up our earth… or any plant for that matter! But we hope this will change soon.
As the word starts to spread about the natural tools nature has given us to survive, we anticipate that cannabis will be a much more common name in the up and coming generation of biologists. Based on how hemp has been used to clean soil in the past, we think it will certainly play a role in cleaning up our environment in the future…
…And phytoremediation is just the start.
This industry is going to help the environment in more ways than one. But we’ll get to some others next time.
If you enjoyed this, learned something new, or have something to add, we’d love to hear from you! Just drop a comment below, or get in touch with us on any of our social media platforms.
Oh, and don’t forget to share!
“Hempcrete is the eco-friendly building material of the future”
If you’ve been following for a while, you’ve probably heard or read something along the lines of the preceding statement. And maybe those who haven’t still have questions. That’s okay! We’re here to help answer them.
Hemp has been overlooked as a solution for practices that cause significant damage to the environment from industries ranging from clothing to construction. But nowadays, the number of problems that it offers to solve is becoming too great to ignore. The idea of building houses with a plant may seem a little far-fetched, but today we’re going to dive into why it’s such a viable idea.
Growing Hemp for Hurd
What is Hemp Hurd?
Hemp Shives, Hemp Hurd, is also derived from the Hemp stalk’s inner woody mass that surfaces once the bast fibre is removed. But wait, doesn’t that make hurd a by-product? Well, even though that is technically true, this low-value agricultural by-product has a lot of practical applications. From being useful in the construction industry to being envisioned as the successor of wood pulp in the paper industry, hemp hurd might just be the next multi-million dollar industry on its own.
How To Grow Hemp for Hurd?
First thing’s first, you need to be sure that you choose seeds that have been purpose-bred to increase your crop yield. You also need to make sure that whatever you plant is in compliance with your area’s THC policy or you might just end up losing the entire crop and possibly even face criminal charges. Another consideration would be deciding whether you would prefer planting a seed or a clone.
What’s the difference? First of all, seeds do not necessarily always turn out to be of the same phenotype or quality as their parents. There could be, possibly, more than five different phenotypes resulting from 10 seeds of practically the same variety.
Planting a clone could save you time and money (in the long run) because you’re working with known and stable genetics and so you’re eliminating most of the risk there and then. Make smart and efficient choices.
The next thing to keep in mind is the climate and soil atmosphere of your plant. Hemp grows in a warm environment and a mildly humid soil atmosphere that receives enough rainfall/irrigation to keep its seeds moist.
Harvesting and Processing
Hemp, as a plant, exhibits pretty speedy growth. The crop is usually ready for harvest in 3-4 months after plantation. However, the time may vary if you are growing hemp with a specific harvest in mind. Harvesting timeframes for Hemp Hurd is generally around the same time as hemp fibre, before the last pollen is shed.
The step that follows harvesting hemp is retting, which happens in one of two ways. You either let the dew work its magic, or you flood the field and let your Hemp soak in it for a few days before allowing it to dry. Different microbial actions will separate the enzymes that bind the fibres to the inner woody stalk, enabling you to separate the stem’s hemp bast.
The separation marks the end of the retting process. Once retting is complete, the stalks are dried and crushed in a decorticator. A decorticator is an industrial machine that separates the fibres from the dried stalks and collects hurd separately.
And there you have it! The woody shives are now ready to be stocked up in bales or used..
Mixing and Building
Turning Hemp into hempcrete is a series of steps that requires great precision and attention to detail. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Lime based binders (50% lime, 50% metakaolin) can be used to make Hempcrete, mainly because they absorb water and chemically cure the mixture as it is made. A basic Hempcrete recipe is 4:1:1! 4 parts industrial Hemp Hurd, 1 part lime binder and 1 part water.
However, people also use clay and other unfired binders instead of lime ones, personally vouching for the potential cost savings and other benefits of using them.
Hempcrete can be made either by using just your hands or a mortar mixer and usually no other sophisticated equipment is required to do the job.
Almost everyone has a different sequence of adding ingredients. However, the science suggests that dumping the water into the hempcrete mix is the most effective way of adding it. Some people prefer misting the water, but this has shown to be less effective.
The whole process should take around 10 mins. You’ll know that the mix is ready when it is dry enough to retain its shape when packed into a ball yet moist sufficient to crumble when force is added.
Remember, too much water will impact the drying time once it is made into a wall or concrete structure. Once properly mixed and set (usually takes 20-30 mins), your Hempcrete will be ready to use.
Making the Hempcrete Wall
Monolithic Cast Walls
This is one of the most commonly used methods of making Hempcrete walls. Also known as the standard-slip form, this method requires that you “cast” Hempcrete in either wooden or plastic structures and tamp around the edges to secure it in its place. This is somewhat similar to pouring concrete while making a traditional wall. However, we use the term “casting” instead of running when referring to Hempcrete.
The hempcrete will need some time to set, usually a day or two before you can remove the forms and use them for other walls.
Once completed, allow 6-9 weeks (depending on the climate) for your Hempcrete to dry up to 15% moisture content and take its final form.
Hempcrete blocks are ready-to-use, non-structural, construction blocks that are lightweight, recyclable and pretty sturdy.
They save you the drying time needed for monolithic walls as they are batch-dried at the production facility; however, bear in mind that they are only used for wall-filling or insulation purposes.
This is because they lack the cohesiveness of monolithic walls, which have no spaces in between and are cast all at once to achieve a seamless consistency.
This spraying hempcrete method involves the use of an industrial spray for wall-making. Yes!
You can simply add hempcrete in a cement mixer and let an industrial sprayer build the hempcrete wall from interior formwork instead of manually adding it layer by layer into the form and working your way to the top.
The main drawback is that this method employs expensive equipment and requires far more practical knowledge of Hempcrete and Hempcrete construction than the traditional method.
Benefits of Building with Hempcrete
Hempcrete can replace conventional construction materials and provide sustainable and environmentally friendly means of fulfilling our housing needs. Hempcrete greatly reduces the need for using toxic building materials and saves you a ton of money during construction.
Here are ten reasons why you should prefer to build with Hempcrete:
Hempcrete absorbs Co2 and other irritants in the air while naturally adjusting the room’s humidity and temperature. This breathable material not only gives you a natural, healthy environment but also drastically reduces your heating/cooling costs.
Being diffusive and moisture-absorbent means that Hemp walls are less likely to be infected with moulds, which also directly equates to lesser allergies, chronic respiratory diseases and asthmatic attacks associated with moulds and their airborne spores.
Our planet’s health takes a toll every time we use cement, wood or toxic chemicals for construction purposes. Thus, the sooner we can incorporate Hempcrete in the construction industry, the bigger part we can play in preserving the environment.
This blog post has been re-written and reposted with more relevant and up to date information for 2020/2021. To see the original version of this post, please head over to this page!
Don’t worry if you don’t; it’s easy to get them confused!
And to add to the confusion, the terms and labels used to identify them also vary from country to country.
Whether you know the difference or not, we’ve re-written one of our most popular articles with some clearer, more relevant information for 2021. Due to the similar names, there’s a common misunderstanding about how the two compare to one another. This misunderstanding is a regular one in Australia because people see hemp as a dietary supplement and marijuana as medicinal. Still, both come from the same plant: Cannabis Sativa.
Today we‘re going to distinguish the differences, and impart you with up-to-date knowledge and terminology so that you can make an educated purchase next time you’re shopping for hemp products.
Hemp Seed Oil has been around for centuries, yet has never been confused with other byproducts of hemp. So why now?
The legalisation of Hemp and hemp-based products has brought about a whole new challenge in understanding. Those with little or no knowledge of the plant often mistake Hemp Seed Oil for Hemp Oil. Hemp Seed Oil can be extracted from Hemp Seeds and produces a light to dark green oil with a nutty flavour and a variety of uses. This type of oil for food was legal in Australia as of 2017, since before the legalisation of other Hemp-based oils.
Hemp is grown for 70-90 days before you harvest if you’re farming for the stalk contents. However, if you’re farming for seed, you will have to wait an additional 4-8 weeks for the male Cannabis plant to pollinate the female plant. Only then will the plant produce Hemp seed.
After harvesting, you leave the plants out to dry, at which point machinery can process and separate the seed. A screw expeller machine presses the seeds to extract oil, which you then expose to centrifugal force to remove impurities. It can then be secured and sent for packaging.
Hemp Seeds are entirely free of any cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBN, THC etc.). Instead, they have a nutrient-rich profile that offers a plethora of benefits to you as a consumer. How? Well, Hemp Seeds are loaded with Omega oils, protein, fibre, antioxidants and fatty acids that:
People could mean many things when they say Hemp Oil due to the general confusion among the masses about what it is. We’re here to clear that up.
Hemp Oil refers to what we call CBD oil, which is mainly extracted from the flowers of the female Hemp plant but can sometimes incorporate the leaves and stalk of the plant. CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that is extracted from the Cannabis plant using example, the supercritical Co2 extraction method.
Hemp Oil produces targeted medical actions for the body because it comes from a medical Cannabis species. What it has in common with the Hemp Seed Oil is the absence of THC, the Cannabis compound that produces psychoactive effects.
One might use Hemp Oil for:
It may also help in controlling symptoms of depression, anxiety and other anxiety-related disorders.
Hemp Oil became popular after the “green storm” took over the world a few years ago; one that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The world recently discovered the therapeutic benefits of CBD and other Cannabinoids and has finally begun legalising them, leading to the sudden boom in CBD products in the markets. The stigma that once surrounded the Cannabis plants and its products has somewhat died down, and people now want to learn how Cannabis can help them.
The Hemp Oil and Hemp Seed Oil differ in:
Hemp Oil has a medicinal nature and is used for medicinal purposes to treat several diseases. And although beneficial and therapeutic on its own, Hemp Seed Oil can’t claim medicinal status. It instead contributes towards your general health and wellness, assisting proper organ and body functioning.
Hemp Oil contains Cannabinoids (usually CBD) and other beneficial terpenes, essential oils and flavonoids that work synergistically to enhance the effects of CBD.
On the other hand, Hemp Seed Oil is rich in Omega 3 & 6, fatty acids, proteins, fibre and other nutrients, but does not contain any Cannabinoids.
Hemp Seed Oil is extracted from cold-pressed Hemp Seeds and does not contain any plant matter – as the name indicates.
People make Hemp Oil by extracting the oil from a female Cannabis flower; however, it can sometimes come from other plant matter (leaves and stalk).
You can extract Hemp Seed Oil using a cold-pressing method that involves a screw expeller pressing the seeds to extract the oil and a centrifuge machine refining the oil before packaging.
On the other hand, you get Hemp Oil by separating CBD from the Cannabis plant through the Co2 extraction method. The compound is then infused with a base oil before it is ready to use.
You can purchase Hemp Oil (or CBD Oil) from specialised stores with a proper license to sell CBD. In contrast, Hemp Seed Oil, being completely legal in Australia, can easily be purchased over-the-counter at any pharmacy in the country.
Misinformation about the Hemp industry is spreading as fast as the word about the Hemp products’ benefits. Thus, you must understand the difference between different Hemp products before making a purchase decision. Hemp Oil and Hemp Seed Oil differ in their composition, source, extraction method, availability and their usage, although they are usually confused as the same product.
Thus, our general advice of always buying from a well-reputed company and carefully reading the product packaging before any purchase seems to be applicable here as well. Buying from a trusted company that third-party tests its products not only saves you money and fatigue in the long run but also ensures product quality and your safety.
As self-proclaimed Hemp connoisseurs, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to educate our audience about all-things-Hemp to put an end to the misconceptions about the industry. We’re on a mission to help people and nature – through nature.
It’s no wonder that it’s taking people time to catch on with so many different uses of hemp! But what people are saying is true: You can use hemp for almost anything. The most incredible part about this plant is that it positively impacts everything it touches from the moment you plant the seed to consuming the product.
The moment that seed is germinated, a beautiful process begins. By the end of the 3-5 month growth cycle, the plant will be as high as 5m tall and be ready to be cut down for processing into any of a wide range of products.
In this article, we will take a look over the different stages that a hemp field goes through; From Seed to Shelf.
Hemp plants are a breed of cannabis Sativa, and just like many plants, the overall production will be affected if they do not receive enough sun and warmth throughout the
growing season. These requirements often mean that winter harvests will not yield as high quality of a crop.
Hemp also requires more water than Australia’s summer rainfall, so you will have to take irrigation measures in free-draining soil, especially once the plant enters its flowering stage.
Hemp has a long taproot structure that can be favourable in clay soil. However, for best quality fibre yield in the Australian climate, it would be wise to use a mixture of sand and clay loam soil, the sowing density for which could range from 50-750 plants/m2- but some experts recommend opting for no less than 250 plants/m2.
Provided soil conditions are optimal (soil temperature is 47-50 degree F in 6-8 hours of sunlight and there is enough moisture), Hemp seeds germinate within 24 to 48 hours and can emerge to become seedlings in 5 to 7 days. It’s also important to remember that hemp seedlings do not require excessive water – it should be kept to a minimum to not interfere with growth.
Depending on how much rainfall your crop receives, watering it every three days is enough to keep your seedlings moist and healthy. The seedlings vigorously take up nitrogen for the first 6-8 weeks, so if you plan on adding fertiliser, this would be a great starting point!
The vegetative phase of the growing cycle is the stage between germination and flowering. As you would expect, a plant’s thirst grows proportionately with its size. Hemp plants do not, however, require excess water even at this stage. The Hemp should be moist but not too wet. You only need to water it to ensure it isn’t dry from the inside, but you’ll still usually have to set up a watering cycle on your own based on your plant’s growing conditions. Generally, you won’t need to do this more frequently than once every 2-3 days. As growth takes off, the plant continues taking up nitrogen rapidly.
The vegetation stage starts around three weeks after sowing the seeds, and can continue up to its 16th week!
During the peak of the growing season, you will need to give your hemp crop a fair amount of water to sustain their health. How much water you use depends on the soil conditions and your irrigation plan. Hemp plants also start taking up phosphorus during the flowering stage, but contrary to popular belief, hemp uses half the amount of nutrients once it enters the flowering phase.
What else might you need to grow quality hemp? With all the effort you’ve put in, you wouldn’t want to take any risks. Just to make sure you’ve done everything you can to give your plants a healthy life, you should provide your crop calcium, micronutrients, sulphate, sulphur and even compost.
Harvesting for Hemp can occur at different times depending on what you’re growing it for (Hurd, Seeds or Fiber)
The optimal age to harvest Hemp Fibre is at the time of male flowering, which takes place 70-90 days after sowing the seeds. This timeframe for growth ensures high-quality fibre yield to harvest it with general foraging/harvesting equipment. You can differentiate between male and female plants at the time of the pre-flowering stage (4-6 weeks after sowing the seeds). Male plants begin growing small round balls as nodes, and the female plants have tiny bract nodes.
Hemp Hurd gets extracted from the stem/stalk of mature hemp plants. Harvesting for high-quality Hemp hurd usually occurs at the point that the last pollen is shed, which is about four months after sowing the seeds. When processing for hemp hurd, the hemp stalk gets broken into small fragments, and the Hurd is separated from the fibres and purified through a process called scutching.
To harvest for Hemp Seed, you will have to pay attention to the female plants. At the stage where:
You should know it’s time to harvest!
Fibre and Hurd are both extracted from the stem/stalk of the hemp plant. After you harvest the stems, they are usually left in open fields to decompose. Over this 4-6 week period of retting, microbes and bacteria break down the chemical bonds holding the hemp stem together.
You can perform retting through the following methods:
1. Enzyme Action
2. Water Retting
Once the process is complete, the stalks are dried up, leaving only 15% moisture behind. The next step is called ‘breaking’ and occurs by rolling and crushing the stalks to separate the fibre from the core.
The only difference between Fibre and hurd is that fibre is extracted from the stem’s outer part, while Hemp hurd comes from the inner woody part. Hemp Hurd is processed through scutching, which can either be done by hand (small scale) or by machines (commercial/large scale). Hemp stalks get broken into small fragments, and then impurities are removed through a process called Scutching.
Public interest in Hemp Seed has witnessed steady growth over the past few years. Hemp seed is a nutrition-packed, dense plant-based protein source and has multiple benefits for the heart, brain, muscles, digestive system and skin. They are often added to meals and are regularly used to extract oil with a wide range of uses.
Once harvested, hemp seeds can be sterilised, dehulled, and packaged for dietary consumption. Hemp seeds can also make hemp seed oil through a process called the cold press method. The cold press method gives higher quality end products but results in less yield. C02 Extraction is another way to process Hemp Seeds into hemp seed oil. You can also process Hemp Seed Oil into ‘Refined Hemp Seed Oil’ by exposing it to heat. Refined Hemp Seed Oil has no nutritional value, but a wide range of commercial applications.
Hemp seeds are easily damaged, resulting in decreased seed quality. Hemp seed must be properly dried, stored and monitored to preserve grain quality.
Hemp Fiber, the outer part of the Hemp stalk has several commercial uses, including manufacturing of products such as:
Often overshadowed by Hemp Fibres, Hemp Hurd also has a lot of uses, like making:
Finally, hemp seeds also have a highly diverse range of applications based on how they’re processed.
Have you ever grown hemp for any of these purposes? Maybe you’ve used some of the final products or even had the exciting opportunity pop up to go and visit a real-life hemp farm? If so, you’ve seen at least one part of this process with your very own eyes, and you’ll understand precisely how magical it is! If you haven’t, don’t worry, the time is coming very soon! The way things are going now, it’s not too long until you’ll be driving out in your closest country town and encounter that classic smell along the side of the highway – except, it won’t be marijuana.
Australia has high hopes for a hemp revolution, and it’s up to consumers, farmers, and processors to decide to move in a more sustainable direction. This year, we expect to see a lot more movement in Australia when growing, processing, and manufacturing our very own Australian Hemp Products.
The British Government carried Cannabis sativa seeds on the First Fleet to Australia in 1787. Since hemp was an essential commodity used in manufacturing sails, clothing, and waterproofing of their ships, they intended to establish hemp plantations across the colonies
Hemp soon fell out of favour because the species also produces marijuana which is high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is known to induce psychoactive effects. In the 1920s and 30s, people started to ignore the fact that hemp typically contains less than 0.3% THC while marijuana contains anywhere from 7-25%. Upon launching the smear campaign “Reefer Madness” quickly spread from the US to Australia.
It wasn’t until the 2000s that Australian states learnt to distinguish between the two primary variations in the species. Since then, the nation has started to take baby steps towards a domestic hemp industry.
Overall, 2020 has been an exciting year in the Australian Hemp industry! Today we are going to take a quick look at some of the news highlights.
In February, at the Australian Industrial Hemp Conference, a lineup of prominent industry experts, including Food Expert Michael Robertson, discussed how hemp might play a role in land management and future technology.
Before this conference, the country dealt with the devastating bushfires that resulted in about 46 million acres of land burned. Unfortunately, around 30 people died, 1 billion animals perished, and 6000 buildings got destroyed in the fires. Some of the benchmark talks at the event included questions of whether hemp products could be considered more viable for rebuilding Australia.
This second biennial conference lasted three days, hosted over 40 speakers, discussed hemp for human health, and walked through different crop agronomy varieties. Here, speakers from Canada, New Zealand, China and Europe shared valuable information about production costs, medical applications and future industry projections.
In March, the European Industrial Hemp Association requested a more transparent legal framework concerning industrial hemp’s international regulation. They stated that the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UN-CND) had no jurisdiction to classify of hemp as a narcotic with high-risk for abuse.
EIHA said that this is because hemp was not covered in the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Within the treaty that serves as a basis for worldwide drug controls today, the EU defined cannabis as “flowering of the fruit”. This definition implies that leaves, seeds and other byproducts cannot be classified as a medicine.
In June 2020, a draft following ACMS/ACCS consultation meetings with the Department of Health proposed some long-awaited amendments to the Poisons Standard in Australia. If passed, it would mean changes in CBD regulations, which boasts a forecasted market value increase from USD40 million to USD1.5 billion by 2025.
The draft rules would categorise CBD as an over-the-counter (OTC) product. This change means that it would move from being a Schedule 4 to Schedule 3 substance. The draft follows a safety review conducted by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) that examined the effects of low dose CBD.
By the time September came by, the Ministry of Health handed down an interim decision that could allow the OTC sale of CBD. However, like any other medicinal products, they would face the same regulations of prescription pharmaceuticals. The rules imposed by the TGA would prohibit smokable hemp, vaping, and topical use – the three most dynamic sub-sectors in countries where it is already legal.
These updates in Australian were critical since they would eventually influence similar decisions by the European Commission. Boaz Wachtel, a director, co-founder, and former chairman at Australian nutraceuticals maker Cresco Pharma, commented that these changes would open the door to CBD producers to better serve the Australian consumer.
In August, the European Commission released indicators that were seen as negative moves for CBD operators in the continent. They also hinted that the Commission was set to push for these restrictions on an international level. These indicators followed a July “preliminary conclusion” that surprised stakeholders with its stance that the EU should recognise non-medical natural hemp extracts as narcotics.
This preliminary decision caused fear that sectors in the EU hemp industry would spin into chaos. The EC urged that its move was to ensure member states had clear guidance on hemp extracts. Their preliminary view was that CBD derived from the fruiting and flowering tops of the hemp plant is a narcotic in the United Nations Single Convention.
European stakeholders pushed back against these red lights in various ways. They argued that hemp and its byproducts within the United Nations treaties and their supplementary protocols of 1972 are explicitly not subject to international drug controls. Stakeholders also pointed out that the 1961 United Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs only covers illicit farming and trafficking of high-THC Cannabis, which hemp is not.
Hemp is a plant with a myriad of benefits and applications. Unfortunately, the stain on its reputation due to its association with marijuana is difficult to wipe off. From this summary of some happenings within the Australian industry this year, it certainly seems promising that our favourite eco-friendly material may once again see widespread use in trade and manufacturing.
What was your favourite moment of 2020 in the Australian Hemp Industry?