Hemp makes up one part of the Cannabis sativa L. family tree. Hemp varieties produce minimal levels of THC. In the past 30 years or so, cannabis breeders have specifically bred many hemp for their higher CBD concentrations.

Hemp is a versatile plant that has been used for thousands of years in various industries, including textile, paper, and food, and is one of the most important plants in the history of the UK.


Why is hemp historically important to the UK?


Hemp is one of the few plants to have ever had a UK Royal mandate, forcing farmers of the time to grow it. This is because hemp was used for making ropes, sails, and other essential items for the British navy. King Henry VIII allowed farmers to pay their tax with hemp and made all farmers with more than 60 acres of land grow at least 1/4 acre of hemp.

Hemp has also played a significant role in the UK's economy through trading and export. The British Empire had strict regulations on hemp cultivation and trade, an important commodity that helped fund their expansion and colonisation efforts.


Is hemp usage still as wide-spread in the UK?


No, with the emergence of synthetic materials and changing societal needs, hemp usage has declined significantly in the UK. But we are seeing a resurgence in hemp usage and farming with the rising tide of CBD.


What is CBD?


CBD or cannabidiol is a compound found in high abundances in many (but not all) hemp strains. Cannabis strains also produce CBD, but they usually also have a high THC percentage.

Both THC and CBD are cannabinoids, but THC offers psychoactive properties, while CBD is non-intoxicating. CBD has been widely studied for its potential therapeutic effects, including anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and anti-anxiety properties.

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If you would like to learn more about medical cannabis in the UK, Releaf is here to help.