Grantham farming family spearheads future of CBD oil production in UK
A fourth generation Grantham farming family is spearheading the future of UK cannabidiol (CBD) oil production.
Mike and Jackie Lamyman founded Crop England in 2019, a company that produces and sells high-quality CBD oils and teas designed to promote happy and healthy lives.
To create the products, they use hemp grown on their farm, after discovering the health and wellbeing benefits of CBD oil.
This led them to meet Jimmy Ward and Helena Barratt who between them have about 50 years’ experience in the CBD and hemp industry. By combining their relative experience, they have embarked on a mission to develop a premium quality range of hemp and CBD products.
Hemp is one of the oldest known cultivated plants in the world with evidence of it being grown over 10,000 years ago.
It contains a very broad range of cannabinoids including CBD and very small proportions of the psychoactive cannabinoid known as THC which makes you high. Cannabis is a relative of hemp, but it includes very high proportions of
CBD is a single cannabinoid and although it is perhaps the most well known, it is only one of over 100 cannabinoids that are present in various quantities in hemp.
Michael and Jackie, aged 52 and 42, respectively have been growing hemp for three years. Using their farming expertise, the Lamyman’s adopt a multi strand approach to improving their farm’s soil and plant health.
This is important as many competitors use poor quality CBD which contains higher-than-legal levels of THC, ethanol, solvents and even heavy metals.
Michael discussed in greater detail the benefits of CBD oil and the story of how he and Jackie began to farm
How did you discover the benefits of CBD oil?
In 2017/2018, Jackie and I had read a lot of press comment about CBD oil, and we started to read-up about it so that we could understand how it works and what are its effects.
I hoped it would help me improve my sleeping, and Jackie hoped it would help restore a sense of balance as she was holding down a full-time job and trying to look after three children at the same time.
We learnt about how our endocannabinoid system influences the optimal functioning of our bodies, and therefore how taking CBD oil can restore imbalances and improve health.
How did you get into farming it?
We were concerned about the numerous press-stories around misselling in the CBD industry, particularly regarding the CBD content not being at the levels being marketed, and also poor quality hemp seed oil with potentially high levels of toxins. We therefore wondered if we could do it better by growing it on the farm and providing complete traceability and transparency.
We discovered that it not only was possible to grow it in our climate and soil type, but also that it had excellent environmental and soil health credentials.
We therefore applied to the Home Office for a license to grow it, and thankfully we were granted a three year license. We are now in our third season, so shortly we will be looking to renew our license.
What have the biggest challenges been?
From a farming perspective, the main challenge is harvesting it. This is because it is a lush crop with an extremely strong fibrous stalk, so it is difficult to thresh the seed out of the plant and also the stalk can wrap round the combine drum and block it up.
When we get the seed back to our yard, we have to dry it very quickly so it doesn’t go mouldy.
We therefore had to buy a different combine “header” which strips the seed off the stem rather than cutting the stem.
From a regulatory perspective, it has recently been classified as a “novel food” by the Food Standards Agency, so we have had to design our processing area to comply with all regulations.
In general, because hemp is not commonly grown in the UK, it has been difficult to obtain advice so we have to do a great deal of our own research.
We have also had to try and educate a lot of people who are not sure about taking it, and also have concerns about its association with cannabis.
What are the key benefits of CBD Oil?
There is a huge amount of research available on CBD which explains that it helps to stimulate our endocannabinoid system which interacts with our central nervous system. Numerous reports explain that it has a wide range of effects from promoting a sense of calmness, to anti-inflamatory, to pain relief, to restoring sleep patterns and promoting the proper functioning of our immune system.
What would you say to anyone who hasn’t tried CBD Oil?
Our website (www.cropengland.co.uk) contains a lot of helpful information about CBD in general.
For those who have never tried it before, we offer a “trial kit” which enables our customers to explore taking CBD starting with a very low dose of our mildest strength, then working up to our maximum strength over a three week period.
We provide a dosage plan and a journal, which enables our customers to record how they feel throughout the three week journey so they can establish which strength suits them best.