22 April 2014

TOP Increasing interest in industrial hemp – fibres, shivs, seed & oil and pharmaceuticals

World's biggest conference on industrial hemp in Wesseling, Germany, 21-22 May, expects 200 participants from more than 20 countries

Industrial hemp is well known for its strong fibres which are increasingly used in the European automotive industry for the reinforcement of interior plastic parts, as well as for environment-friendly insulation material and cress growing fleeces. Cigarette paper is often made with hemp fibre cellulose. The woody core of the hemp plant, the shivs, is used with lime in house construction, in lightweight particle boards, for animal bedding and garden mulching.

Hemp seed and oil are a nutrition powerhouse, an excellent source of several critical mineral nutrients and vitamins. Its oil has an outstanding fatty acid spectrum; its protein is balanced and easily digested. Their nutritional composition is very much in line with several major trends in the science and marketing of food.

Today, industrial hemp is mainly grown in China, Europe and Canada, but the U.S. will follow soon, after the cultivation of industrial hemp has recently been declared legal in several States.

The 200 leading experts of industrial hemp from more than 20 countries – from investment, agriculture via processing to final products – will come together for the “11th International Conference of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA)”, 21-22 May 2014, in Wesseling near Cologne, Germany.

Next to fibres, shivs and seeds, this year a new topic arises: Cannabidiol (CBD), a by-product from industrial hemp, shows high therapeutic potential without any relevant side effects.

THC, the well-known cannabinoid responsible for the psychotropic as well as several pharmaceutical effects, exists only in very low concentrations in industrial hemp (< 0.2%). In recent years, interest has been increasing in the therapeutic potential of another cannabinoid, which does not cause any psychotropic effects and even in high doses does not cause any relevant side-effects: Cannabidiol (CBD) is the primary cannabinoid of industrial hemp, present in concentrations in the range of 0.5 to 2% in the upper third of the plant. There is potential for therapeutic use in a large number of diseases and symptoms, including anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, epilepsy, dystonia, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, skin diseases, hepatitis, obesity as well as ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). CBD can be utilized parallel to the hemp fibres and shivs, giving an extra income.

Many scientists and companies show increasing interest in the medicinal value of this cannabinoid. For example, the Israeli company Tikun Olam has developed a cannabis strain that contains 15.8% CBD and less than one per cent of THC. The British company GW Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the conduction of clinical studies with Epidiolex, their new cannabis extract containing cannabidiol as active ingredient. It is intended for use in treating children with Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of infantile-onset, genetic, drug-resistant epilepsy syndrome. The Dutch company Bedrocan, which is producing several strains of cannabis flowers to be prescribed by Dutch physicians under the guidance of the Health Ministry of the Netherlands, intends to add a CBD rich variety to their four varieties currently available. In many States of the U.S. a large number of CBD products are available, including CBD tinctures with very high CBD contents, CBD oils, CBD chewing gum, other products ready for use, and cannabis seeds, which yield cannabis plants with high CBD.

At the conference one session will cover all CBD topics with speakers that are leading in research and commercialisation:

  • Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen, nova-Institut GmbH, Germany & Ethan Russo, GW Pharmaceuticals, USA: Cannabis – pharmacologically interesting ingredients beyond THC
  • Holger Rönitz, THC Pharm GmbH, Germany: CBD: From anecdotal evidence to health insurers acceptance
  • Tjalling Erkelens, Bedrocan, The Netherlands: Integrating CBD in pharmaceutical grade cannabis production
  • Giampaolo Grassi, CRA-CIN, Industrial crop research center, Italy: Plant breeding in Italy to improve pharmacological properties of cannabis with focus on cannabidiol

Join the biggest conference on industrial hemp and register now at: www.eiha-conference.org

The final programme is online at: www.eiha-conference.org/programme

Download this press release as PDF file: http://www.nova-institut.de/pdf/14-04-22_pr_international_conference_on_industrial_hemp_nova.pdf

Responsible under press legislation (V.i.S.d.P.):

Dipl.-Phys. Michael Carus (Managing Director)
nova-Institut GmbH, Chemiepark Knapsack, Industriestrasse 300, DE-50354 Huerth (Germany)
Internet: www.nova-institute.eu and www.bio-based.eu
Email: contact@nova-institut.de
Phone: +49 (0) 22 33-48 14 40

About the nova-Institut GmbH:

nova-Institute is a private and independent institute, founded in 1994; nova offers research and consultancy with a focus on bio-based and CO2-based economy in the fields of feedstock, techno-economic evaluation, markets, LCA, dissemination, B2B communication and policy. Today, nova-Institute has more than 20 employees and an annual turnover of about 2 Mio. €.

Source: nova-Institut GmbH, press release, 2014-04-22.

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