Farmers in the European Union cultivated hemp on only 19,970 hectares of land in 2015. Just four years later, that had increased by an impressive 75 per cent — to 34,960 hectares.
The increasing popularity of CBD products is one of many factors behind this success. Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive and non-addictive cannabinoid is extracted from Cannabis sativa plants classed as industrial hemp.
As more and more people explore the possibility of adding CBD products to their wellness routines, hemp production keeps rising. Industrial hemp is also used in other exciting ways, including in a new form of concrete.
This growing interest in hemp suits the European Union just fine. Hemp cultivation has a few fascinating environmental benefits, including carbon storage, biodiversity, and the potential to help in the fight against plant diseases.
Meanwhile, hemp farmers and businesses manufacturing hemp products need their own voice. The European Industrial Hemp Association advocates for the interests of companies within the industrial hemp industry, including CBD manufacturers.
What should consumers know about this organisation? If you use CBD products to support your general health and wellbeing, what does the EIHA have to do with you?
What Does the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) Do?
The European Industrial Hemp Association was established in 2005 to represent the interests of a growing number of hemp-producing and processing companies. The EIHA also advocates for traders in any part of the hemp industry.
You can think of the EIHA as a professional organisation that:
- Keeps an eye on current and planned laws relevant to the industrial hemp industry
- Provides policymakers with accurate information about the European industrial hemp industry
- Advocates for its members’ needs
- Puts forward position papers and policy recommendations
- Organises an annual conference that presents the latest industry developments and provides an opportunity for companies in the industrial hemp field to network
Cannabidiol products, which are classed as novel foods in the European Union and the UK, have been controversial since they became popular. As a result, these non-intoxicating cannabinoid products have been the subject of frequent policy debates.
Industrial hemp plants are, by definition, low-THC strains of Cannabis sativa, but these plants do contain trace amounts of THC. What should the upper threshold be? What’s more, should companies manufacturing CBD oil, gummies, tinctures, and other products be able to tell consumers about the latest research into CBD’s medicinal potential?
The EIHA takes the role of advocating for CBD producers while policymakers grapple with these important questions.
The European Industrial Hemp Association compiles the latest research, conducts policy analyses, and makes recommendations in these and other areas. As a professional association, the EIHA gives companies in the industrial hemp industry a clear voice.
Professional Associations for the Industrial Hemp Industry in Other Countries
The EIHA is a pan-European association. Membership is open to all companies in the industrial hemp industry within the European Union. Hemp companies outside the European Union, including in the UK, can also join the EIHA. They can’t, however, become members of the Board.
In addition to this pan-European professional association, many EU countries have their own national industrial hemp organisations.
The British Hemp Alliance (which is an EIHA member) plays a similar role in the United Kingdom. Among other important goals, it advocates for legal changes that would allow UK hemp farmers to harvest the plant’s flowers and leaves. This would make it possible for CBD products to be produced in Britain.
In the United States, the National Hemp Association is one of many organisations to play a similar role in advocating for the needs of hemp farmers and producers within the hemp industry, including companies making CBD products.
Why Is the European Industrial Hemp Association Important for CBD Consumers in the UK?
A highly-regulated hemp industry drives quality products — without regulation, CBD products of widely varying qualities could flood the market, leaving consumers to question which CBD products meet their high standards.
The EIHA advocates for the needs of hemp farmers and other companies within the industrial hemp industry rather than working directly with consumers. However, its mission indirectly benefits CBD consumers in the European Union and beyond.
1. Advocating for Informed CBD Consumption
Consumers who are curious about incorporating CBD products into their daily wellness regimens can only benefit if they have reliable access to accurate and up-to-date information about the potential benefits and side effects of cannabidiol products.
Currently, strict advertising standards make it very difficult to discuss the latest strides in scientific research openly. The European Industrial Hemp Association’s mission includes influencing policy decisions and making information about CBD products more widely available.
2. Driving Quality CBD Products in a Regulated Industry
The European Industrial Hemp Association conducts thoughtful, in-depth analyses on the state of the current European hemp market. It makes policy recommendations based on the latest scientific research and best practices within the CBD industry.
Everyone who uses CBD products, or is interested in trying cannabidiol, benefits from a CBD industry in which all products on the shelves are of proven high quality — and in which you know exactly where your CBD comes from.
The EIHA and Other Professional Organisations in the Hemp Industry: A Final Word
As the industrial hemp industry is moving out of the shadows and morphing into a respected and economically-important sector, it’s only logical that professional associations are playing an increasingly important role.
The EIHA is a pan-European organisation that’s important even beyond Europe, providing a voice for hemp farmers and other producers, including CBD manufacturers. CBD consumers benefit from the EIHA’s mission as well — by creating an atmosphere in which only premium-quality CBD products make it onto the market and by monitoring up-to-date information about the legal status of CBD products and information about them.
Do you enjoy CBD regularly? You may never have heard of the EIHA before, but they played a role in making it possible somewhere along the line.