HEMPEN: WHAT IS IT?
Hemp oil is a great alternative to olive oil; hemp seeds are highly nutritious; and hemp stem tea is a delicious herbal option, similar to chamomile. You can drop CBD straight under the tongue, add a drop to your cuppa along with milk/mylk/m*lk or massage it into your skin.
For those starting their foray into CBD and hemp: hemp is the plant, officially called the Cannabis sativa; CBD is a chemical that is extracted from the flowers after the plant is harvested.
Officially called Cannabidiol, CBD is one of more than 100 compounds found in the hemp plant. And no, you’re not going to get high off it, because that’s another chemical (THC) and the levels of this are naturally low in the plant varieties grown for this type of hemp.
What you do need to know is CBD is thought to have many health benefits, like pain relief, aiding sleep and reducing anxiety or stress*.
HEMPEN: WHO’S BEHIND IT?
Hempen cooperative is exactly what you want from a producer of CBD and hemp products. Firstly, they are certified organic. Also, they put people before profits. This means they are run as a non-hierarchical organisation where everyone is paid the same. Finally, everyone works there because they strongly believe in the quality of the product and the mission.
Hempen makes decisions based on principles. As their product range grows year-on-year, their ethics remain core to the business.
Hemp plants are the foundation of both because of its potential as a crop to help shape a sustainable future. The Cannabis sativa is great for restoring soil health. Then there’s the fact there are so many uses for the plant: it can be used for everything from nutritious food to ropes that are strong enough for fishing, and even bricks for building houses. There is the potential to create a whole economy based on this gift from nature. And that’s exactly what Hempen has set out to do.
In 2015 the first Hempen hemp crop was grown as an experiment. Now, the cooperative works with volunteers, seasonal workers and the Reading Refugee Support Group as a purpose-led company that benefits the wider community as it grows. We don’t typically like to say we told you so, but we did say business could be done differently…
That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges, especially as the goalposts keep moving. In 2019 they had to destroy 40 acres of the plant because new government guidelines restricted the extraction of CBD oil to licensed pharma for medical purposes. This is even though it’s legal to import and sell CBD on the high street in the UK. Nope, it makes absolutely no sense to us, either.
As more and more businesses are catching onto this wonder plant, the fight for the heart of the hemp industry has begun. Will the magic of this plant be used for good or evil (big profits for a small amount of companies)? Will big pharma or the smaller, good guys (like Hempen) prevail?
HEMPEN: HOW SUSTAINABLE IS IT?
CBD oil is the newest kid on the beauty and well-being block, but when farmed properly hemp plants are just as beneficial for the environment (they draw toxins out of the soil) as they are for our wellbeing*.
The big bonus is its versatility: hemp can even be made into clothes. Quite stylish ones these days, too.
All of the ingredients in Hempen’s products are organic and as ethically and locally sourced and produced as possible. Check the small print for the nitty gritty on each product, but these guys have got yours, and the environment’s, best interests at heart. Top marks.
*We are not doctors. Always check your facts before choosing one health related product over another, and always consult with your medical practitioner, especially if you are taking prescription drugs.