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The Confusion Surrounding Cannabis in the UK


The cannabis plant can be used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Hemp, a material made from the fibrous extracts of the cannabis plant, can be used for a range of products, such as food, pet bedding, paper, plastic, lotions and more. Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the United Kingdom, however, the laws are beginning to change as the range of uses this plant provides is becoming more recognised, especially in the medical field. It can be hard to understand and keep up with the production and legality of cannabis, so today, we will be exploring and explaining the status of cannabis within the U.K.

Cannabis Production

With the laws changing, it can be hard to know where you stand when it comes to buying CBD flowers. Well, in the U.K. it’s illegal to own or grow cannabis plants. However, cannabis in the E.U. with less than 0.2% THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis) is legal, so it can still be grown by licensed cannabis farmers. CBD Flowers and CBD Buds can be legally purchased online. 

THC and CBD are called cannabinoids and are the two active ingredients in cannabis. They can both be found in the drug Sativex, which is used to reduce muscle spasm pain in people with multiple sclerosis. 

When it comes to cannabis production, only female cannabis plants can grow buds. The growth conditions for cannabis plants are very specific for optimal flowering and bud production. Nutrient deficiencies and nutrient burn can change the potency of the cannabis plants and can affect the growth of the buds. It takes around eight weeks before the buds are ready for harvesting. Many guidelines need to be followed and the growth of cannabis needs to be monitored closely. 

With medicinal cannabis use on the rise, achieving optimal results without lacing the plant with pesticides or other chemicals is essential for its purity and for user safety. The content of the cannabinoids within the buds used for medicine will be standardised using rigorous production methods. Those that aren’t will have varying amounts in each batch. 

Photo by Mathco Health Corp on Unsplash

Common Uses

Cannabis has a number of uses. Although illegal in the majority of countries, including the U.K., one of the main uses of cannabis is for recreation. The medicinal benefits of cannabis are becoming more recognised and as its success continues to grow, more and more countries are beginning to make it legal for medical use

Cannabis has been proven to reduce the risk of seizures, lessen the effects of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, and help people cope with mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It’s a natural painkiller, an anti-inflammatory, and has even been said to shrink tumours and cure disease. These are just some of the benefits of this miracle plant. Further research into its effectiveness still needs to be carried out.  

When used recreationally, most people will smoke or consume the bud of the plant, but other forms such as vapour fluid, have been invented. When it comes to medicine, the buds can be used for smoking or consumption. Oils that can be placed under the tongue are most common. 

Only certain strains of cannabis will be used for medicine and they will need to have a low THC content (less than 0.2% in the E.U.). 

The Law

In the U.K., cannabis is a Class B drug, which means it’s illegal to own, give away or sell. If you’re caught in possession of cannabis or supply it to anyone, even if it’s a friend, then you can expect to serve jail time and will face an unlimited fine. Just like drink driving, driving when high on cannabis is very dangerous and is illegal. 

Cannabis is the only Class B drug that exists under the discretionary warning scheme. This means a police officer can issue anyone in possession of cannabis buds or flowers with a street warning (which will be recorded but won’t form a criminal record). This will only apply to people caught with a small amount of cannabis for personal use, if it’s the first time that person has been caught with an illicit drug and if you are compliant and admit the cannabis was for your use only. If you are caught again and issued with a second offence, then the police can fine you £80 on the spot. If you are caught for the third time, then you will be arrested. Although medicinal cannabis is now legal, it is illegal to use the drug if you don’t have a prescription from a licenced medical professional. 

With some forms of cannabis legal and others illegal in the United Kingdom, it’s easy to see how people are confused when it comes to the use, growth, and possession of legal weed in the UK. Cannabis is an extremely versatile plant and the research carried out into its benefits could really help us in the future. If you decide to use CBD flowers or buds, make sure you do it legally.

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