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U.K. Legalizing Cannabis Supported by Near-Majority of Voters

U.K. Legalizing Cannabis

According to a survey commissioned by a group associated with the ruling Conservative Party, almost 50 percent of Britons support the legalization of cannabis.

Cannabinoid is a compound found in hemp plant, a cannabis genus plant, which has non-psychoactive and anti-inflammatory properties. The compound is widely popular for its health claims. It is known to reduce stress, depression, anxiety, irritation, inflammation, acute pains, aches and also treat severe ailments such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s or even cancer.

Though there is a long way to go for cannabinoid to fully become accessible and safe for regular consumption, people have already started relying on it. They are using CBD as an alternative to regular prescription drugs and over-the-counter opioids. Many people have reported that they found significant improvements in their sleeping patterns and mental health after taking CBD for a few days.

CBD is a non-psychoactive drug which implies that it doesn’t produce mind altering chemicals that could make people hallucinate. Contrarily, THC or tetrahydro cannabinoid is another compound found in hemp plants that is responsible for causing the “high” when people smoke weed.

Legalization is supported by 48 percent with only 24 percent opposed, based on a YouGov poll carried out for the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group. The support is found to be the highest amount 18-24 year olds at 54 percent and lowest among people of the age 65 or older at 39 percent. Nevertheless, the number of supporters is more than the oppositions and it clearly stands out as to what people want.

A separate YouGov poll in 2018 revealed that 43 percent people supported cannabis legalization while 41 percent opposed it. After the U.S. federal government legalized hemp derived cannabinoid in December 2018 under the Farm Bill Act, perceptions about the drug has also changed globally.

The U.S. government now allows CBD based products with a maximum of 0.3% THC per unit. It has also removed CBD from the list of Controlled Substances. This has led to a major CBD wave in the U.S. market with companies producing CBD infused products. Right from healthcare to beauty, medical to food supplements, lifestyle to makeup, CBD can be found in a gamut of products.

The FDA is forming a regulatory framework for CBD infused edibles to control the unregulated products in the consumer market. As of now, when no stringent rules surround CBD, retailers, companies and consumers are in a grey space where they do not know if selling, possessing or consuming a CBD product could land them in trouble.

The agency issued warning letters to 3 different companies for marketing their CBD products as a cure to cancer. Till the time complete research and in-depth analysis is done, the FDA prohibits any form of CBD edible except Epidiolex. It is a drug which is known to treat two rare forms of severe epilepsy in children.

Young kids who suffer from diseases like epileptic fits, Tourette’s and brain damage are found to be relieved by CBD. But nobody knows how long it can prove to be effective or work efficiently without producing any side effects.

In the U.K. the latest results illustrate the broadening space between the staunch decade-old policies of cannabis prohibition and the progressing attitude of millions of voters, said Rob Wilson, a former Tory minister, currently serving as the chief executive officer of the CDPRG.

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Pot has paved its way through legalization in Canada and many U.S. states already, fuming a wave of investments in cannabis stocks and exchange traded funds. The global market for cannabis industry was estimated at almost $11 billion in 2018, as per Jefferies Financial Group.

According to a report by Cowen & Co. the CBD market would skyrocket to a whopping $16 billion by 2025 in the U.S. alone. As for the beauty industry, Jeffries pointed out that with the large-scale consumer base and intensive marketing campaigns, CBD beauty products would market at $25 billion globally by 2029.

All these predictions seem to be holding true as CBD is one of the most trending ingredients on a global platform, sprawled across various verticals. The U.K. legalized medical marijuana in 2018. According to the Financial Times, the Church of England said in June that it would consider investments in medical cannabis industry.

CBD is moving on a slow pace in the U.K. as compared to other countries such as U.S. or Canada. This might be due to concerns over long term health impact of CBD or unresolved theories of the compound that are yet to be explored.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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