If you’ve been monitoring the sales of CBD hemp flowers, you know that a lot of the action is happening east of the Atlantic, in the UK and Europe. The other huge CBD market, America, is still more focused on other CBD products. However, as in Colorado, it is the sales of hemp flowers that can push European economy forward.
Why is it that in the UK, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Austria, France, Germany and other European countries people find CBD hemp flowers so attractive? And why is it that in other EU countries such as Spain and The Netherlands – where access to cannabis is easier – consumers are less excited about the new legal opportunity to smoke ‘cannabis alternatives’, such as hemp flowers and CBD hash? Could it be that when all is said and done, the primary engine that drives the ‘Legal Weed‘ revolution is simply the fact that it’s the closest legal thing to smoking regular weed?
Fortunately for the EU cannabis-skeptic countries, the answer is yes.
The fear of legalizing THC in these European counties has made them choose the path of medical cannabis, with CBD as a non-controlled substance. While people in the Netherlands and Spain find it strange to spend 10-15 euros/gram on non-THC flowers, in the UK, Germany, Austria and Italy, this is probably the only legal way for non-medical cannabis patients to consume a marijuana-related product. Let’s be honest, sometimes in life people take what they can get, and in this case what they can get is ‘marijuana lite’.
So why is this good for the inhabitants of these countries?
Because for many of us who have no official medical reason to use high THC products, low-THC ones offer a better solution, in fact, a much better one. Not that there is anything wrong with cannabis products, we all love and use them occasionally, but high-THC products carry with them several health risks for some users. CBD products, on the other hand, are completely safe, has no side effects, and can be consumed as much as a person wants or needs.
In fact, according to Dr. Leah Zachar, CBD Testers medical adviser, The ONLY “side effect” of using CBD recreationally are its medical benefits.
Moreover, cannabis products in legalized states are finding themselves in an arms-race, where it’s considered that the more THC a product has, the better. New products with ratios of 15:1 (THC:CBD), 20:1, and higher are popping up like mushrooms after the rain. Personally, when I choose to consume cannabis, I prefer balanced products where CBD levels aren’t reduced to a minimum in favor of THC. In my opinion, it’s important to keep a balance and THC with no CBD to soften it, means a much lesser product, and one that cannot be consumed by everyone. You don’t have such problems with CBD, where the fear of unwanted side effects has been pretty much eliminated.
The impact on the economy
If I’m right, starting in 2019 we are going to see a shift of power from the US, the current leader in recreational cannabis, to Europe where the recreational CBD industry has just been born. It won’t happen all at once since the US has been leading the industry for years, and Europeans are slower moving than their fellow Americans. However, with the help of Israel – the research center for cannabis, local innovation will push the European economy forward, the same way as cannabis sales have turned Colorado into a successful state.
In fact, businesses throughout the continent are looking at hemp as a great engine for success, and head shops are making room for high CBD hemp flowers, exactly what happened in Italy in the last year. Soon, it’s quite possible that automatic vending machines will offer hemp flowers everywhere, like what is also happening now in Italy, and the access for hemp flowers will grow, pushed on by the popularity of tobacco and e-liquids in Europe.
However, the expected hemp green-rush might be prevented (or slowed) due to regulation initiatives. Private organizations are the main source of this with claims that CBD flowers should be illegal. Without taking sides in the legal battlefield, it’s unfortunate that private business may very well get in the way of what could be an economy cornerstone, but such is the story of medical cannabis in the first place. Since the sales of CBD flowers in the UK are flourishing, it’s clear what the general public wants, and in this case, especially as more positive information regarding recreational CBD emerges, the people are likely to eventually get what they want, even if it takes longer than desired. When it comes to regulations, we never know what tomorrow will bring to us…
The second problem with the hemp industry taking off is the difference between various EU countries regarding maximum allowed THC levels. While in most of the EU it’s currently standing at 0.2%, several countries such as Italy (0.6%), Czech Republic & Austria (0.3%), and Switzerland (1%), are leading the hemp revolution, leaving other countries behind. This can’t continue forever, and the EU will have to find one number to be accepted by all. Hopefully that number will be higher than 0.2%, as that would allow for the creation of more and better products.
Once regulators decide on their path and THC levels are unified, the demand for hemp flowers will likely push the European economy forward, exactly as happened in Colorado. It has already begun…
Read next: Opening a Legal Weed Shop In Europe? This Is What You Need To Know
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