The plant that deserves an award but is discriminated against. 

Anaia often talks passionately about the plant and has now been able to explore many facets of working with the plant. During his research he has been working on seed breeding, in addition he has studied the various medical applications of the plant and how this relates to the endocannabinoid system, which is about the relationship between the receptors in our bodies and the different substances that the hemp plants produce, each with their own effects on our metabolism and health. 


“Today we see an increasing popularity of CBD products, from oils to CBD weed, which are said to have health-promoting effects. CBD is one of the substances produced by the cannabis plant, but there are many more substances that this plant produces, such as the well-known THC, which is used for recreational use, due to the psychoactive effect of this substance, but also for medicinally due to the various healing effects of this substance. But there is also CBG, CBN and other different substances that this wonderful plant provides us. All these substances have their own influence on cannabinoid receptors, we call these substances cannabinoids and we have an endocannabinoid system. You can see this as the receptors and enzymes in our body, with which cannabinoids interact and realize specific effects. More research into these different actions and the relationship to our endocannabinoid system and how different people react to different substances offers a lot of possibilities.”


“Unfortunately, the effect of cannabis is often dismissed as a drug and it is said that it makes people susceptible to psychosis, this is far too simplistic and I find it strange and enormously hindering that governments regulate the market so strictly. This really stops us from innovating. The Dutch weed sold in coffee shops are mainly grown to contain the highest possible THC values, but there is so much more possible with the plant. Only in the last century has it been decided that cannabis is harmful, so that everything is controlled by the government and everything is lumped together. So even if you want to grow fiber hemp, which doesn't even produce enough THC, you will have to have all kinds of permits and you will be subject to regulation, so that only a few parties work with it and thus the market cannot grow as it could. I honestly don't quite know why the government does this, but it's just discrimination and it's really just weird that you can't use certain parts of a plant. Imagine if you were only allowed to eat certain potatoes or broccoli but no cauliflower, it makes no sense and it shouldn't, but that's my opinion.”


Diversity at all levels of biology

It's funny that the word diversity gets so many layers when we talk about plants. Diversity in this context therefore not only relates to people, but also to the different types of plants. In the first place when we look at our use of, for example, fibers within the textile industry. It is quite strange that cotton is almost exclusively used as a natural fiber, while there are certainly more raw materials suitable for making beautiful textile products and that while cotton has so much harmful impact on our planet. As HMPLB, we therefore advocate using more hemp to increase the diversity of raw materials so that the next generations have much more options. Then they have the knowledge to work with different raw materials and thus minimize our impact on the world and life in this world more and more and to meet our needs more effectively. This requires perseverance, because when people are used to something it is often difficult to get rid of it, especially when it is not necessarily cheaper. 


Anaia: “Yes, and that's why I'm glad that there are parties like you who do stand for the promotion of hemp. Because recently I also read a message on LinkedIn that said it aptly: “it is not necessarily that sustainable alternatives are more expensive, it is more that people are often too unwilling to pay.””


Desley: “Yes, and that is also due to a distorted image that has arisen from large chains such as an H&M or let alone a Primark that offer us prices that are actually not realistic at all. Apart from the fact that many of the cheap products only last a short time and are therefore ultimately more expensive. Also if we look at the price of cotton, or the price of many cotton products or textile products in general: if you have a t-shirt for 10 euros, there is a good chance that many people have not been paid to make it and that the farmers probably received too little for it. So that competition has grown.”

Anaia: “Yes, and that's why it's good that there are people who are committed to change that, because when the industry grows, more will only be possible with hemp. And that diversity on all those layers is so important, with different raw materials, but also within hemp as a raw material. There is so much more possible and especially if we can continue to develop more varieties. And also to develop varieties that can better withstand certain conditions. We are now also seeing it in tomatoes, for example. Tomatoes need more and more water to grow, because we are developing varieties that need more and more water. When a wild tomato grows in a dry place in nature, it has a much higher resistance and growth efficiency. We therefore also need these different wild species to learn how these plants deal with water, raw materials and, above all, how they manage to survive under harsh conditions. If we keep developing everything for more yield, more more and above all more of the same uniformity, then these monocultures, as we call them, only become more vulnerable to pests and they are less able to protect themselves, but we also lose the knowledge of what for example different hemp varieties can offer us. That is why diversity at all levels is extremely important.”



 

 

Definitions

Chemical ecology

Studies de chemicals which plants use as a signal substance or pheromone

Glycoalkaloids

Are toxic substances which naturally occur within plants of the Nightshade family, like potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants.

Variety

In plant sciences, variety refers to the taxonomical order which is one below species.

Breeding

Is the development of plant, which grow according to the preferences of humans. Breeding consists of the cultivation of new species and studying the basic elements of breeding and finding ways to improve the process of breeding.  

THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive substance which can be found in hemp products. 

Cannabinoids

Are a class of chemical substances, that can be found in cannabis plants (both hemp- and marihuana plants), but are also present in the bodies of humans and most animals. Over 500 different connections are found in cannabis, of which 100 can specifically be found in cannabis and thus are defined as cannabinoids.  

Endocannabinoid system

Refers to the network of proteinreceptors (cannabainoid-receptors) which can be found within our bodies. Endo means 'body's own'. The term was originated when researchers discovered that the human body produces substances identical to those found in cannabinoids found in hempplants.

Valuechain

A sequence of activities in which every link of the process contributes value.

Domestication of plants

Refers to the process of genetic change within plants through the influence of human cultivation. 

“We lived under the assumption that what is good for us, is good for the world, We were wrong! We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits.” - Wendell Berry