Cannabis was grown for centuries without any regulatory controls. Ropes are made from hemp fibre that comes from cannabis plants. Controls only came in the 20th Century with the growth of recreational marijuana that also comes from the cannabis plant.
Cannabis vs. Marijuana
Cannabis and marijuana are used interchangeably in the popular press. They are NOT the same thing.
There are nearly 200 species within the cannabis family. Different cannabis species contain different amounts of two important chemicals; THC and CBD. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) gets you high; CBD (Cannabidiol) has therapeutic effects without getting you high.
Marijuana is made from parts of cannabis plants that contain high amounts of THC
Four regulatory and other factors that are contributing to the increase in cannabis cultivation:
In the U.S.A. the federal government outlawed all cultivation of all cannabis plants in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Without rhyme or reason, this ill-thought-out law even made hemp cultivation illegal. Similar legislation was introduced at this time in many other countries, including the U.K. and Ireland.
The federal 2018 Farm Bill legalised the production of hemp. However, possession of some hemp products (including CBD) by individuals is still illegal in some U.S. states.
In the UK, the Home Office started to issue licences to grow cannabis for industrial uses in 1993. The plants must contain less than 0.2% THC (dry weight). The UN now reports that Great Britain is the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis products.
Ever-Expanding CBD Uses
CBD products are widely perceived to be helpful with many medical conditions, though scientific evidence is scarce.
CBD oil help to reducing hormone imbalance in women so is used to treat PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome) and menopausal symptoms.
CBD is popularly used for pain relief, especially for long-term conditions such as cancer and COPD. Cancer cannot be cured with CBD, but it is useful in treating the symptoms.
Anxiety and depression may also be reduced when patients use CBD oil.
Research into CBD medications continues apace, but there are few clinically approved drugs, the only ones being to treat a few types of epilepsy.
Studies are ongoing into how CBD oil affects heart health, alleviating suffering for bipolar disorder patients, treating morphine and heroin dependence, preventing diabetes, and fighting some cancers.
Increasing Hemp Uses
Hemp is a fibre made from cannabis plants. It has been used for centuries to make rope and fabrics.
If ropes are made from cannabis, does that mean you can get high by smoking shredded rope?
Nope – Only dopes smoke old rope.
Old rope might be cheap, but you will never get high smoking it because it contains hardly any of the THC hallucinogens found in marijuana.
Hemp can be used as a replacement for cotton and in cotton blends, as a replacement for wood pulp in the paper, in the production of bioplastics, and for animal bedding. No part of the hemp plant is wasted.
The door liners and parcel shelves of your car are made using hemp fibres because hemp production is less energy-intensive than the glass fibre alternative, reducing costs.
Medicinal Marijuana Use
Medical, and even recreational marijuana is legal in some U.S. states and European countries. This is a massive and growing market.
In the UK, medical marijuana use became legal after a public campaign. The NHS is trialling it with 20,000 patients and monitoring its effectiveness and side-effects before allowing wider-scale use. Many doctors are reluctant to prescribe medical marijuana. It is used only as a last resort in patients suffering symptoms from chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, and rare forms of epilepsy.
You don’t have to smoke marijuana for it to work. Baked goods containing CBD or THC work, as do sprays and inhalers. Ingested marijuana products have less of an immediate effect.
How Can You Benefit from the Cannabis Revolution?
Is now a good time to invest in hemp?
Yes, provided you do your research and avoid highly volatile ‘penny stocks’.
Hemp cultivation is in a phase of rapid development and growth prospects for hemp shares are good. Here are the top hemp stocks to watch in 2021. It could be worth adding some of them to your portfolio.
CBD oils are widely available. Prices and concentrations of CBD in the products vary considerably, so test a few brands to see which ones work best for you. Smoking marijuana is still illegal in the UK, but try to find a doctor who will prescribe the CBD or THC-based medicines you need. You can buy some CBD-based ‘food supplements’ online, but be aware that these may be illegal, and that regulatory requirements of food supplements are far less stringent than medicines.
Lower Your Environmental Impact
Buying hemp fibre-based plastics reduces your CO2 emissions and lowers your dependence on petroleum products. It also encourages more sustainable agriculture with lower pesticide and herbicide use. Using hemp-based paper products will eliminate dioxin pollution from wood-pulp-based paper mills.