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The use of hemp for all manner of uses – clothing, rope, textiles, food, paper – has been urged on politicians in order to overturn decades of prohibitions on growing cannabis in any form. During the 60s, the hippie movement got high with this type of hemp.

While hemp has the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, THC, mostly or entirely removed and at levels customarily below 0.3%, the hemp cultivars may have been bred to contain higher levels of other cannabinoids such as CBD.  

Multiple studies tracking entire populations within the USA and Europe comparing their State or National cannabis use against cancers and birth defects monitored in those jurisdictions have shown what has been known from in vitro and animal studies for decades – that cannabis causes mutations which further cause cancers and birth defects.

The US population studies show that cannabis exposure is causally related to 46 of 62 birth defects in the USA, and 90 of 95 in Europe.  The same is true of cancers where 25 of 28 cancers tracked by the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention are causally related, and in Europe 33 of 40 cancers tracked there.  What is crucially important for those wanting to consume hemp as food or medicine, is that THC is not necessarily the cannabinoid responsible for these conditions, with a very significant study showing that THC is related to less cancers than cannabidiol or CBD (12 cancers) and another cannabinoid cannabichromene (9 cancers).  In addition, cannabis appears causal for premature ageing, where users are physiologically aged 30 years in advance of non-using peers.

It is important to note that a particular physiological mechanism resulting from cannabis use is likely to be the cause of the mutations involved with these cancers and birth defects.  It has been known for decades that cannabis literally shatters chromosomes, and in the process of chromothripsis the body’s DNA repair mechanisms can be incorrect, introducing mutations into human DNA.  These mutations can be passed down to children by both the mother and the father, negatively affecting children for generations.

The clear conclusion from these massive population studies is that the ingestion of any hemp product, whether used medicinally or for nutrition, does not in any way reduce the alarming effects of cannabis on the body.  Given that the hemp that is bred to produce low THC and high CBD or high cannabigerol (CBG) nevertheless carries the full suite of all other mutation-causing cannabinoids, hemp medicinal products are still as genotoxic as those containing THC.

A further objection to industrial hemp is its ability, mainly from hemp CBD, to be converted in a home laboratory to the psychoactive and dangerous drug Delta-8 THC.  While the conversion process presents high risks, the profit motive will ensure that hemp – which is legal only because it is not psychoactive hemp - is the base for a psychoactive product which produces as much unacceptable harm as Delta-9 THC.


Call to Action

OVOM will be working to ensure that governments, health advisors and patients, know the latest scientific understanding of cannabis and cannabinoids as they relate to hemp ingestion.  OVOM also urges governments worldwide to treat all cannabinoid preparations the same as every other medicine, subject to the same clinical trials and requirements before allowing them to be marketed and used.  Government agencies worldwide also need to be responsible to their national populations by disseminating the science we have outlined above, ensuring that the actual data is known by the public.


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