Growing cannabis light

Cannabis light and young people: raising awareness to educate

In 2016, Italy said yes to cannabis light. A study by Coldiretti has highlighted that hemp cultivation has increased tenfold in 2018. From 400 hectares in 2013 to almost 4000 estimated in 2018. Innovative experiences are multiplying in the Italian countryside, with productions ranging from eggs to insulating bricks, from soothing bioplastic oil. Up to the seeds, the inflorescences for herbal teas and then even flour, pasta, and cosmetics. Among young people it was booming in a very short time. Grow shops (shops that sell inflorescences and other light cannabis-based products) open one after the other throughout the country, not without controversy. Is the aura of negativity and prejudice that has always surrounded the topic of cannabis also spreading to light marijuana? We will touch on the following topics:

  1. What is cannabis light?
  2. Can you smoke?
  3. Cannabis light: an open debate
  4. Cannabis light and young people
Cannabis light

What is cannabis light?

This is a female Cannabis sativa plant. Almost completely deprived of THC, which can be contained within the limits of 0.2%. Light marijuana contains the same active ingredients as traditional marijuana, but in different percentages. THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive effect of marijuana, is contained in very low percentages, while CBD is contained in variable quantities.

CBD is precisely responsible for the beneficial effects of light marijuana.

CBD plays a very positive role in regulating body temperature, inflammation and pain tolerance. The potential of CBD in therapies to treat chronic pain has become an area of ​​particular interest to researchers. For its now well-known anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and, obviously, anxiolytic properties.

Law 242/2016 has been in force since January 2017, and has paved the way for a very thriving business. The rule "applies to hemp cultivations of the permitted varieties registered in the Common Catalog of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species, pursuant to Article 17 of Council Directive 2002/53/EC of 13 June 2002, which do not fall within the scope of application of the consolidated law on the regulation of narcotics and psychotropic substances”.

Can you smoke?

Light cannabis can be purchased in points of sale and on specialized websites. It can also be found in some tobacconists and supermarkets. And even in the many vending machines that are crowding our cities. Law 242, on the intended use of food and cosmetics, provides that "light marijuana can only be sold in the presence of THC quantities lower than 0.2%. For uses that do not involve the direct intake of the substance".

It means that light cannabis can be sold for collecting, for technical and ornamental uses. In short, it can be used for study and analysis reasons or to deodorize rooms, but it absolutely cannot be taken. It is sold in sealed packages, which should remain so. According to Italian law, therefore, light cannabis cannot be taken for recreational purposes , it cannot be smoked or burned.

Although the law prohibits the consumption of light cannabis inflorescences through combustion, this is precisely the main purpose for which it is purchased by young people. Smoking legal hemp inflorescences is a different experience from taking traditional marijuana, but it is still comparable to it, at least in terms of relaxing effects. In fact, THC, which is the active ingredient responsible for the psychoactive effects of the substance, is contained in negligible quantities. CBD, on the other hand, is contained in variable quantities and gives a widespread sense of relaxation that lasts a few hours at most.

Cannabis light

Cannabis light: an open debate

Politics and many parents have expressed doubts regarding the use of this substance in a free and legal manner. Already in April 2018 the Superior Council of Health (Css) expressed itself negatively on light cannabis inflorescences . Pointing out that - although "light" - legal hemp still has a series of contraindications . The negative opinion of the CSS is motivated by the absence of long-term studies, as underlined by Sabina Strano Rossi, forensic toxicologist at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Rome.

“For this reason, underlines Strano Rossi, the potential risks are especially for children and young people whose brain development is still ongoing. And in pregnant women . Having no data, it cannot be ruled out, in fact, that an accumulation of the active ingredient over time could act at the level of the brain structure. For example, decreasing the thickness of the cortex, responsible for higher cognitive functions. Another aspect, we must be careful about accidental intake by very young children, which can cause intoxication."

Former Minister Giovanardi recently asked the Conte government to stop the boom in grow shops. In the name of the alleged possibility of obtaining THC in quantities greater than 0.2% starting from legal weed, now sold everywhere.

Where does this news come from? It comes from a study by Dr. Giovanni Serpelloni. Former head of the anti-drug policy department of the Prime Minister's Office and collaborator of the DP Institute at the University of Florida. Who coordinated the experimentation carried out in the forensic medicine institutes of the Universities of Ferrara, Parma and Verona.

The doctor is the author of the research " Cannabis light extraction ", presented in San Patrignano on the occasion of the WeFree days dedicated to prevention. The study aimed to discover whether it was possible to extract and concentrate the active ingredient in sufficient doses to obtain the amazing effect from light cannabis. The researchers purchased the products in stores. And with the help of a home extractor with butane gas they moved on to experimentation. Result: «Starting from doses of raw material ranging from 8 to 15 grams, we managed to extract a product with concentrations higher than 0.6%. Limit of legality – explains Dr. Serpelloni. From subsequent calculations we came to the conclusion that with 20-30 grams of raw product we can extract a resinous concentrate of approximately 25 milligrams of active ingredient."

No one questions the veracity of the study. But thinking of buying 30 grams of light cannabis to obtain the amazing effect would be an uneconomical operation even for the most unprepared cannabis consumer.

There are groups of parents who would be ready to fight the light cannabis boom until their last breath. Others, however, see law 242/2016 as a great ally to combat the purchase of uncontrolled narcotic substances on the black market . Anyone who has children knows that kids often use cannabis. And being able to control the phenomenon instead of thinking about eliminating it with bans and punishments is excellent news. However, light cannabis cannot be sold to minors. Recently it was proposed to also include a "red zone" around schools , so as not to encourage use in any way.


Cannabis light and young people

The numbers on the consumption of legal hemp are starting to be sufficient to outline a profile of the average grow shop customer. Those who were afraid that the legalization of cannabis was a step towards a more general legalization of soft drugs and feared that it was the passport to the path of youthful perdition were wrong.

The average user of shops that sell legal cannabis inflorescences is female and over thirty years old .

Often these are former marijuana smokers who, for very different reasons, have abandoned the use of the substance. Work, family and people's chatter have often distanced those who are no longer very young from the consumption of soft drugs.

Sometimes it is a decision dictated precisely by the effect of THC , by that feeling of anxiety and paranoia that at a certain point starts to create problems. The absence of THC, however, has convinced many former users to try again, with success.

There is therefore no real youth problem linked to cannabis light. Young people, who legally could not purchase it if they are minors, still prefer to turn to the black market. Looking for that “high” that legal weed doesn't give. Even vending machines, which at first glance might seem like facilitators, actually work exactly like tobacco machines. And they require the use of a document certifying the buyer's age of majority.

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