According to Food Dive, both consumers and manufacturers have been buzzing about including cannabis in food and beverage in the last several years. And with President Trump’s signature on the 2018 Farm Bill, items made from the plants known for their psychoactive and relaxation qualities are getting closer to being a part of everyday grocery carts.
Under the Farm Bill, cultivation of hemp — a plant in the cannabis family — becomes legal. And derivatives from hemp — including the cannabinoid CBD, which is known as an aid for relaxation, anxiety and pain — are no longer considered Schedule I narcotics.
Whatever seems to happen in the USA, Great Britain seems to catch up in the end. On a daily basis now I seem to get in the region of around 20-30 emails promoting CBD and its benefits for health. I’ve been approached by a number of companies asking me if I would be willing to try a course of CBD and then review it. But, I guess I am still old school and I just don’t feel comfortable about trying something I have always been told is illegal in this country.
The Guardian Newspaper only wrote an article in July saying ‘Don’t fall out for the CBD scam’, so where do you really start with this drug? They say that ‘Sellers in the UK are careful not to claim any specific medical benefits for the products because of a lack of clinical evidence, so they are instead marketed as food supplements. In this, they are supported by breathless, uncritical media reports on CBD use for airily unspecified “wellbeing” purposes.
Britain is poorly prepared for the wide-ranging changes to cannabis law that are flowering worldwide. British hemp farmers face serious commercial disadvantage as CBD may be legally extracted only from the stem and leaves of hemp crops, not from the flower, where the cannabinoids are produced in the greatest profusion. Most CBD is therefore imported: a wasted opportunity to create and control – and tax – a new industry.
What is clear is that legal reform on cannabis, while welcome, is not moving anywhere near quickly enough to benefit millions of patients.
The CBD market urgently needs proper regulation and more broadly, both the THC and CBD sectors demand the creation of a new medical model that accommodates the complexity of a plant that has been used as a medicine by humans for thousands of years.
• Mike Power is a freelance journalist specialising in drugs, science and technology
I guess it’s like many other pain relief medications it’s a case of watch and wait and see what happens in the not too distant future.