Food, Fibre, Medicine

Food, fibre, medicine. That’s the basis of a wealthy society, and we can get it all from cannabis. But most pot smokers don’t understand the potential, let alone the general public.

Although I’ve now taught over 600 medical professionals, and wrote NZ’s first (RNZCGP) course in the subject, I’m still learning too. But basically, the hippies were right. Both weed & industrial hemp are ‘general medicines’, useful for pain, insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, cancer, dementia and more.

With them, we could cheaply treat many chronic conditions that are bankrupting New Zealand [1].

The reason for this is kind of magical. Every creature with a backbone makes, uses, and needs molecules called ‘cannabinoids’ to stay healthy [2]. These weedy molecules and their receptors make up more than 2% of your entire genome [3]. Without them, you can get sick [4] or die [5].

But medical cannabis is a bit of a swindle, because its most therapeutic use is as a vegetable [6]! Even crazier is that fresh raw weed can’t get you high, because the plant doesn’t actually make THC [7]. That requires heat and time.

So, tell me, what do you think would be the cheapest way to get ‘medical cannabis’ to people? Would it be high tech indoor grow rooms? Or would it be in broadacre hemp?

If you answered broadacre hemp, you’d be correct. It is by far the easiest and cheapest method of production. However, for reasons that appear to be more related to politics and anti-competitive behaviour than to protecting the public’s health, the Ministry of Health refuses to allow it to occur [8].

So why are New Zealand First and the Ministry of Health disabling hemp?

Kiwi hemp farmers complain that the Ministry of Health is stopping them from making their legal, safe, hemp crops available to the public. This could be done very cheaply and would be of huge public benefit.

Here’s the thing; as Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ [MCANZ] reports, NZ keeps running out of foreign ‘cannabis medicines’ anyway [9], leaving patients without their expensive ($1000 per month) and essential medicine.

 It is a little known fact that hemp is cannabis, which is cheaper than ‘cannabis medicine’. 

Why not reduce the cost to patients by making kiwi hemp available to the public? In Italy, hemp has reduced pharmaceutical use by 11% in several categories [10].

Hemp is health. People simply feel calmer and are healthier. So, why do the hemp industry, and NZF MPs, report that MoH and NZF are anti-hemp?

There is no scientific or moral basis for disabling public access to hemp, so it’s hard to explain short of ignorance, incompetence, politics, or maybe corruption. 

A New Zealand First Member of Parliament reports that both Winston Peters and Shane Jones are against industrial hemp. It is bizarre that our nationalist party is against a crop that could reduce our debt, pharmaceutical costs, broader health costs, develop our economic sovereignty, and increase our general independence in globally turbulent times.

New Zealand only has several thousand acres in hemp. We need hundreds of thousands. This should be a national project that empowers producers, citizens, and therefore our economic and environmental independence. It makes no sense that NZ First should be anti hemp, and the Ministry’s position – that animals need to be protected from hemp ‘contaminants’ [8] – makes no sense. Unless it’s all about money and preventing competition that is, which is what it looks like. Their whole case rests on anonymous advice, the source of which they won’t disclose.

It seems that when it comes to a decision with economic impacts for our country and people as serious as this, greater transparency is required [11]. 

If you would like to protect your family and friends from climate change and the global economy, understanding hemp is a great place to start.

For comment:



[1] https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/nz-cost-of-illness-jul09.pdf

[2] https://www.phytecs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IntroductionECS.pdf

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G_protein-coupled_receptor

[4] https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Clinical-Endocannabinoid-Deficiency-Reconsidered%3A-Russo/049aaa0a6944c1db586a3ef92887674a6934f0da

[5] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/153537020523000401

[6] http://biochanvre.ch/info/en/IMG/pdf/Non-Psychoactive-Cannabinoids.pdf

[7] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0008

[8] (Paywalled) https://www.nbr.co.nz/story/fear-cannabis-meat-prompts-govt-ban

[9] https://mcanz.org.nz/mcanz-press-release-cbdsuppliesdepleted/

[10] https://www.york.ac.uk/media/economics/documents/hedg/workingpapers/1907.pdf

[11] (Paywalled) https://www.nbr.co.nz/story/opportunity-missed-industry-cries-foul-new-hemp-regulations