Hemp in the history of Ukraine and Russia

hemp in ukraine and russia

Hemp in Ukraine and hemp in Russia are two impressive industries with rich histories. There is a new spotlight shining on the hemp plant as the CBD market is experiencing exponential growth.

Hemp is by no definition a new discovery. Historically, the hemp plant has played a crucial role in the history of human civilization. It is one of the oldest crops grown by man. This plant has also played a very important role in the history of Ukraine and Russia.

Yet, there is still a lot of confusion about hemp and cannabis. Plus, many wonder about the legality of cannabis in Ukraine and Russia. In this article, we will answer these questions and clear up some of the confusion.

What is hemp?

Hemp is a tall, slender, highly fibrous plant that can grow up to 4-6 meters (15-20 feet). The plants are long and thin, and their flowers have five greenish petals.

Hemp is a very versatile plant. It’s used to make fiber, paper, medicine, building materials, and food. Its usage dates back as early as 8,000 BC.

Even though hemp is one of the most widely used plants in history, there is a lot of misinformation.

However, there is still a lot of confusion regarding the differences between the terms hemp and cannabis.

Cannabis is a plant species. The hemp plant is a variety of cannabis sativa. Marijuana is another subspecies of cannabis. While marijuana has high levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), hemp has low THC content. THC is a cannabis compound that induces a head high. In simple words, this means that hemp cannot get you high because it has minimal THC.

However, hemp has high levels of another cannabinoid compound recognized for its therapeutic effects: CBD (cannabidiol).

Hemp in Ukraine

There is a rich history of cannabis in Ukraine, especially in terms of cannabis science. The Institute of Best Crops (IBC) of the Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences has kept an impressive record. The IBC focused specifically on researching the biology and anatomy of hemp plants. Plus, they studied methods of growing hemp in diverse environmental conditions and soils. 

Hemp in Ukraine has been cultivated for centuries. Soviet Ukraine was one of the biggest manufacturers of hemp. Before the 1950s, there were more than 150,000 hectares of land in Ukraine dedicated to the cultivation of hemp – it was used as fiber, oil, and even food.

Cotton’s large-scale cultivation, however, led to a decrease in the hemp industry in Ukraine and around the world.

Nevertheless, things seem to be changing as hemp in Ukraine is increasing in production lately.

The production of industrial hemp seed and fiber is now legal in Ukraine if farmers obtain a license from the State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and Drugs Control.

Moreover, the THC level of the cultivated hemp plant and all the resulting hemp by-products in the Ukrainian market must be below 0.08%.

As is the case with most cannabis-related products, the legal status of CBD oil in Ukraine is not entirely clear.

In April 2021, a new law classified CBD isolate and CBD isolate-based products as non-controlled substances. This was a huge step towards making CBD legal in Ukraine.

However, CBD isolate refers to pure CBD products that do not contain any trace of other cannabinoids or other cannabis compounds. This means that the legality of broad and full-spectrum CBD is still not completely clear.

As a result, CBD isolate products, such as CBD Oil in Ukraine, seem to be legal as long as they comply with specific packaging and labeling regulations.

Hemp in Russia

Being primarily an agricultural country, cannabis in Russia also has a rich history as one of the main sources of fiber and income in the Russian Empire of the 19th century. According to the Russian Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, the Russian Empire was the largest producer and exporter of hemp in Europe during that time. By the end of the 19th century, Russian hemp accounted for 40% of the total hemp production in Europe.

In the 20th century, things started to change as the hemp trade declined. Many factors contributed to this decrease of hemp in Russia. The negative perceptions of the plant and the cheaper and larger-scale production of cotton are two examples. 

Hemp is an important crop in Russia. The cultivation of industrial hemp is permitted in Russia as long as it does not contain more than 0.1% THC. Plus, the particular kind of seed must be in the State Register of Plant Variety.

In 2020, the CBD company Kannaway announced its launch on the Russian market, being the first-ever certified importer of CBD products to Russia. This marks a huge milestone in the legality of CBD products on the Russian market.

However, there is no specific law describing the legality of CBD products such as CBD oil in Russia. As a result, CBD and its derivatives fall under the same category as cannabis. Since all cannabis products are illegal in Russia, regardless of their THC level, all CBD products are illegal. Therefore, despite the Kannaway news, one cannot buy, sell, or own CBD products in Russia.

In conclusion

Hemp has played an important role in the history of both Ukraine and Russia. Both countries have a long history of growing hemp thanks to its many uses. While these countries experienced a decline in the cultivation of hemp in the past century, things are beginning to change following a worldwide growth in the hemp industry and the mainstream acceptance of hemp derivatives, including CBD products.

The legality of CBD products in Russia is not entirely clear, but most CBD products are considered illegal because they’re derived from cannabis. In Ukraine, only CBD isolate products are legal. Products containing THC are considered illegal. However, the legality of hemp in Ukraine and Russia is likely to change. With more research on the benefits of CBD, many countries are changing their laws on CBD products. 

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