- More than 5,000 descended on Birmingham NEC for this weekend’s convention
- Solely dedicated to hemp and cannabidiol, which is extracted from cannabis
- Cannabidiol, known as CBD, does not get users high as it doesn’t contain THC
More than 5,000 people attended Britain’s first ever legal cannabis convention over the weekend.
The Hemp and CBD Expo took place at the The NEC in Birmingham on Saturday and Sunday.
It comes after CBD – an abbreviated term for cannabidiol – was legalised last November after high-profile cases such as Billy Caldwell’s hit headlines.
The epileptic Northern Irish youngster had previously been banned from using the product despite the alleviating effect it reportedly had on his condition.
Visitors to the convention in Birmingham were able to sample CBD vaping oil for e-cigarettes
The convention featured seminars on the benefits of cannabidiol oil (pictured) which is extracted from the cannabis but does not get users high
But a dramatic shift in policy from Home Secretary Sajid Javid opened the door for people in a similar position to Billy to access a variety of products.
For £30 per ticket, attendees could try everything from CBD coffee to lip balm and vaping oils for e-cigarettes.
Two days of seminars included classes on topics such as ‘Adding CBD in your workout regime’, ‘Cannabis Law’ and ‘CBD as natural antibiotics against multi-drug resistant bacteria’.
Though it is extracted from cannabis, CBD does not contain the compound that gets users high, THC, and is legal to buy in the UK.
It experienced a surge in popularity this year with users claiming it helps fight symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, the menopause and arthritis.
About 300,000 Britons are said regularly use CBD products and it is estimated the industry will be worth billions by 2020.
The Hemp and CBD Expo sought to educate and unify what is often a misunderstood industry, spread knowledge and information about CBD and bring professionals and everyday consumers together under the same roof. The second convention will be held at the prestigious NEC again in September 2019.
Hemp and CBD Expo Organiser, Tommy Prendergast said: ‘The hemp industry is a large and professional industry, and we felt this should be reflected appropriately; we decided to demonstrate this by selecting the most prestigious venue for an industry in need of stabilisation and a positive change in public perception.
‘We hope to continually grow in line with the hemp market in the UK, whilst raising awareness of this fantastic industry’
HOW DID MEDICINAL CANNABIS BECOME AVAILABLE ON THE NHS?
On November 1 last year UK laws changed to allow cannabis-based products for medicinal use to be prescribed in England, Scotland and Wales.
The dramatic change to policy follows several high profile cases of patients being denied products containing THC, the psychoactive compound that makes users ‘high’, came to light.
Epileptic boy Billy Caldwell was even banned from taking cannabis oil that was prescribed to him abroad.
He was given back the medicine after a high profile campaign spearheaded by his mother forced Mr Javid to grant a 20-day emergency licence for its use.
Billy Caldwell’s mother Charlotte (pictured together) had seven bottles of cannabis oil confiscated at Heathrow Airport customs, prompting a row over cannabis oil
The Home Secretary has insisted today’s change is not the first step towards the broader legalisation of cannabis.
Mr Javid announced on 19 June that the Misuse of Drugs Regulations act of 2001 was being reviewed in a two-part investigation to allow for the prescription of medicinal-cannabis products.
In the first part of the review, the chief medical advisor, Professor Dame Sally Davies, concluded there was evidence that medicinal cannabis has therapeutic benefits.
The second part, carried out by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), recommended drugs that meet a clear definition of a cannabis-derived medicinal products should be placed in Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.
Cannabis was previously considered Schedule 1. Drugs in this class are thought to have no medicinal value and therefore cannot be legally possessed or prescribed.
Schedule 2 drugs, such as ketamine, are those that can be prescribed and supplied by doctors and pharmacists. They can also be legally possessed by anyone with a prescription.