Cannabis In The UK: The CBD Boom & The Education Around The Plant

So, for those who are unaware, the UK legalised medicinal cannabis in 2018. This was after a long, emotional battle from the parents of Alfie Dingley & Billy Caldwell, 2 very sick boys who suffered from rare epilepsy conditions respectively in which cannabis provided the only relief. There was a lot of press around these stories, and as a result the home office granted them both permission to access this life-saving medicine, and changed the law forthwith. There is a whole heap of issues surrounding this, but this isn’t really what this is post is about.

What i’d like to touch upon, is the recent CBD boom that’s happening in the UK. All over the country, a plethora or different outlets are suddenly selling CBD products, one of the non-psychoactive compounds found in the cannabis plant. The reason for this, is the aforementioned change in the law, despite the fact that non-THC cannabis-derived products have never really been illegal here. Hemp is a perfectly legal crop to grow, so long as the plant contains less than 0.2% THC. It’s the permissions and the space needed for a worthy crop that restrict many from growing. Now that the general public have the backing of the law, and the education surrounding CBD is increasing, we’re seeing lot’s of different products popping up on the market. This is definitely a good thing, however I fear that the agenda being pushed is trying to separate CBD and CBD-derived products from the cannabis plant itself.

An example of this are recent education programmes cropping up throughout the country, with the aim of educating kids on the dangers of cannabis. Whilst I agree that kids should get an education on the subject, their agenda appears dangerously one-sided. There needs to be a well-rounded, informed & honest discussion on the plant, including the dangers on the developing brain but also the many positives it has, not just on people but on the planet itself. Besides, let’s not forget, cannabis has never killed anybody, and the dangers are grossly over-represented and over-generalised. Aspirin kills around 3,000 people a year in the UK, yet because it was so widely used before its official classification, clinical trials were bypassed due to the abundance of anecdotal evidence. Sound familiar? Where’s the education surrounding Aspirin use? I digress, but you get my point.

Right now, people are only getting a small part of the picture. Yes it’s great that CBD is becoming a common phrase in the public’s lexicon, but what about the rest of the plant? The only information the general public have regarding THC is that it gets you high and is overall negative. You see tabloid newspapers citing the high content of THC found in recently tested ‘street’ cannabis, which gives everyone the impression that CBD is good, and THC is bad. This is vastly incorrect, and does a real disservice to those who need this plant for medicine. Most people don’t realise that whilst THC is psychoactive , it also has great medicinal value, and in fact some epilepsy conditions are treated best with a mixture of CBD & THC.

Because of this separation of cannabis-derived products & the cannabis plant itself, there is no mention of the using the flower in its rawest form. Again, most people don’t realise that the cannabis plant has thousands of compounds with medicinal value, some of which are only extracted at super-high temperatures. Even so, the failure to mention the synergy created between these compounds from burning the plant or ingesting it in its rawest form is also doing a massive disservice to those who’ve been medicating like this for years. It also suggests that there is no benefit from medicating in this way, something which hundreds of thousands of cannabists across the world would argue against.

My point here is that you can’t talk about one thing without talking about the other. Besides, all this education makes no difference with regards to teenage use if kids can still get access to cannabis via a street dealer selling indiscriminately. There needs to be proper legalisation and regulation, with measures in place to restrict access to under-18s whilst still providing them with an honest education. ‘Just Say No’ or ‘All Drugs Are Bad’ is untrue and just plain patronising. Young people and adults have and always will want to experiment with drugs and alter their consciousness, it’s ours as a society’s responsibility to ensure people can do this safely and with the correct information available to them.

So much energy is wasted in perpetuating theoretic & pseudo-scientific evidence in order to demonise a plant to push an outdated and dying agenda. Let's change the conversation and ‘Just Say No’ to false information and outdated stereotypes.

Legal weed in Canada

CONGRATULATIONS to Canada for becoming the second country in the entire world to fully legalise cannabis (the first being Uruguay in 2013).

In case you don’t know, Canada passed a bill last year legalising the sale & use of recreational cannabis, which came into effect today. They’ve had medical weed since 2001, but it’s only in recent years that we’ve seen this industry really boom and come into it’s own. It’s the next big industry, and those residing in Canada are now poised to take full advantage of the change in the law.

What does this mean exactly? Well, if you’re a cannabis consumer, it means that you are no longer deemed a criminal in the eyes of the law. It means you can procure your herb from official suppliers, who employ a strict QC procedure and enjoy a fully regulated supply chain. In addition to this, the bud tenders working in these facilities have been specially trained to advise you on the best bud for whatever you’re after - whether that be a particular ailment you’re looking to alieviate, or advice on which strain is going to fuel you through that GOT marathon you’ve had planned all week. It truly is a great system (one that we can already see working spectacularly in various states in the US) and exactly how it should be. Ofcourse, today is only Day 1 for Canada, so only time will tell, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s going to reduce crime, raise tax revenue and help millions of people who currently take expensive, ineffective pharamaceutical drugs that actually do more damage to them in the long term.

All eyes are on our courteous friends across the pond.

An introduction..

Hello.

You’re here. Which must mean you’re atleast aware of the name High Flyer Apparel. So, let me tell you a little about us, and what we’re aiming to do.

I have used cannabis for both recreational & medicinal purposes for around 12 years now. I've always been a big fan & supporter of the plant as well as it’s huge variety of uses. However, it’s only in the past 5 years that I’ve really learnt about the cannabis plant and I’ve absorbed as much literature on it as I possibly could since then. I’m fascinated with it, but I’m more fascinated with the long & (not-so)-complicated relationship it’s had with us humans. It’s only in the past 100 years that cannabis has been outlawed and demonised by not just the UK government, but by governments across the globe, so the fact that we don’t utlise the plant anywhere near the amount we should doesn’t necessarily surprise me. What does surprise me, however, is the abundance of hemp use pre-1920’s. It was everywhere. Even during both world wars, it was actively grown to provide rope rigging for ships amongst a myriad of other uses such as medicine, seed for nutrition & animal feed, and not to mention, clothing.

Why was it used so much? Well, hemp has some of the strongest natural fibres known to man and is a relatively quick & easy process to extract the fibre necessary. It’s non-toxic, doesn’t require any herbicides or chemicals to grow, and rejuvenates the soil it’s planted in leaving no long-term damage. For anyone interested in further reading up on this topic, i can’t recommend Cannabis: A History by Martin Booth more.

So, my partner and I (another regular cannabis user and enthusiast) wanted to do something that incorporated her love of fashion & streetwear with our love for cannabis, whilst remaining good to the Earth. We wanted to bring hemp into the mainstream, because we know it is a better alternative to what’s currently on offer, and we wanted to do it in style. After various designs, several arguments and thorough feedback from friends & family, HFA was born.

We use a mixture of hemp & cotton blended fabric to create a strong, comfortable product that doesn’t compromise on style, and doesn’t cost the Earth (either to buy, or by way of depletion of Mother Earth’s precious resources).

And, given the current state of the Earth, whether that be the politics or the damage we humans have (almost) irreversibly caused, we truly believe that this plant can undo some of the problems we’ve caused, and at the very least, reduce the stigma attached to cannabis users, be they medical or recreational. We hope that our efforts will also highlight the benefits of hemp, and what we can achieve if we put the past behind us, and truly make use of this wonderful plant.

So that’s us. What about you?

High Flyer Apparel.

Not Your Average.