A Historical Look at the Blessed Herb Cannabis and the Popularity of CBD in the UK
Picking up an eighth of OG Kush from a dispensary remains a pipe dream for the citizens of the United Kingdom but cannabis consumption has never been higher. The social stigma around cannabis is slowly wearing off partly thanks to the widespread use of hemp-derived products. CBD products have allowed the people of the UK to benefit from cannabis without experiencing the notorious high created by THC.
Cannabis has a rich history in the United Kingdom, from equipping the British Navy with sails sourced from hemp fibres to gaining popularity within the Caribbean population in the mid-1900s. In the past 100 years, cannabis went from being prescribed at pharmacies to being demonized and now being available in the form of CBD oil available at corner shops.
Today, lawmakers in the UK are in a battle over what amount of THC should be legally sold in hemp-derived products. While both hemp-derived products and high potency THC cannabis are historically favourable in Great Britain, there doesn’t seem to be a huge push to drive lawmakers to full legalization. The popularity of CBD could serve as a gateway for the UK to be blessed with cannabis reform, however, the future is as unclear as the current laws regarding CBD products.
History of Cannabis in the UK
Back in the 1500s, cannabis was far from demonized. King Henry the VIII actually required farmers to set aside ¼ acre dedicated to hemp or flax for every 60 acres they used for cultivation. Hemp was used for industrial purposes, most notably to help build sails for the newly erected British Navy.
The King’s daughter, Elizabeth I doubled down on her father’s push to spread hemp across the country. She increased the required amount of hemp to rival the Spanish Armada. Thanks to cannabis, the dominant Navy allowed the British to brutally colonize much of the globe.
A few hundred years later, Queen Victoria used legally prescribed cannabis to treat pain. Cannabis continued to be primarily used for medicinal purposes until a handful of powerful men floated the idea of criminalizing cannabis at a Geneva Convention about opium in 1928.
Vilifying cannabis likely increased recreational use. By the 1950s the subculture took off, largely due to an influx of Caribbean immigrants. Many of whom practiced Rastafarianism and used cannabis for religious purposes, others just enjoyed getting high and playing jazz music. Either way, cannabis use was gaining popularity in the UK.
Rock and roll groups like The Beatles, inspired by black music and the counterculture, brought recreational drug use to the mainstream. Widespread use caused legislators to crack down harder on cannabis and bring us to where we are today; being allowed to legally enjoy a whopping 1mg of THC per container.
The Legal Status of Cannabis and Rising Popularity of CBD
CBD has spread the use of the blessed plant to heights not even achieved by John, Paul, George, and Ringo. The cannabinoid is readily available in brick and mortar and online. There are many studies that indicate that CBD and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and most recently Delta-8 may help with anxiety(1) and treat pain(2) but no one is clear on if their favourite new remedy is currently legal.
The cannabis laws in the UK and most of the world are laughably unclear. The Novel Foods act in 1997 allows for hemp to be included in food products but was likely created to allow for the production of hemp seed oil. Farmers are legally allowed to produce hemp but only for the fibre and seeds. The big misconception in the UK is that 0.2% THC is allowed. Really the amount is 1mg per product as defined by the Misuse of Drugs Regulations of 2001.
Medical cannabis with THC levels that will get users high was legalised in 2018. However, the program is nothing to brag about. Getting a cannabis card remains difficult and because cannabis is so easy to get, why jump through the legal hurdles and register your name in a government database.
Recreational cannabis remains illegal but isn’t strictly enforced. Getting caught with small amounts usually results in getting your weed confiscated. Worst case scenario you will have to pay a small fine or do community service.
The Legal Status of CBD Bud in the UK
Flower that looks, tastes, and smells like the blessed herb but actually contains high levels of CBD remains illegal. However, this doesn’t stop every headshop in London from selling CBD buds.
The UK laws are clear about one thing, cannabis flowers are illegal. No matter the THC content, CBD buds are considered a Class B controlled drug. The police have turned the other way for the most part but there are instances of people getting serious criminal charges for selling CBD flower and other products containing what they thought were legal amounts of THC.
The Current Alternatives to Using CBD Bud
If you are looking for CBD and don’t want to risk getting charged for minuscule amounts of THC, there are plenty of options. At RUDERALEX® you can purchase CBD oil in 10ml tinctures, allowing for legal levels of THC per product under 0.2% with the full spectrum products.
The cannabis laws in the UK are discouraging but having access to CBD is better than nothing. Plus we are blessed with a plethora of ways to take CBD. The RUDERALEX® range features high grade CBD infused food supplements and skincare products readily available for online purchase. These include CBD creams, vapes and capsules which you can buy right now, click here to view the online CBD shop.
Cannabis has been on an interesting journey throughout the history of the United Kingdom. We one day be blessed with a better legal experience than 1mg of THC in a tincture of CBD oil but for now, we are grateful people are enjoying cannabis products. Public opinion is shifting and the opportunity to cash in on legal weed, especially coming out of a once-in-a-hundred-year pandemic, could be enough to change the minds of the men and women in parliament too.
Please note that this article was written by a 3rd-party author who is a specialist on the topic of CBD, hemp and cannabis. Any information or recommendations contained within this article, are independent to the opinion of RUDERALEX CBD and our employees. We make no claims for any of our products, please read our disclaimer for additional information.