Will we ever grow the best weed in the UK?

Originally published on Ismoke media (February 2018)

Cannabis has been cultivated, utilised, and selectively bred by humans for thousands of years. It is in the past few decades, however, that we have perhaps achieved the most, learning about the specific nature of cannabis and its chemical and anatomical structure, what makes it up Terpenes, Cannabinoids, Flavonoids, etc and about the endocannabinoids system itself, which is something all mammals have – and indeed need – to regulate their health.

This knowledge allows us to cultivate high potency strains with varying degrees of cannabinoids and terpenes, creating some of the most resinous medicinal strains ever to exist. Most of the “old school” strains such as White Widow, Northern Lights, and Afghan Kush are all available from seed companies with high levels of CBD ready for home cultivation.

Obviously, It is still illegal to cultivate cannabis in the UK, but why are we promoting and paying for imported cannabis over our own? Why are we not pushing as an industry, regardless of legality for legitimacy, for UK strains to bigger, stinkier, stickier, and sweeter than any Cali, Dutch, or BC bud could ever be?

We do not need expensive import flooding the UK marketplace making silly money and inflating the UK market for consumers. You probably saw the recent Daily Mail article recently about “Cannabis gangs flying off to California and importing weed” and of course this classic article from Vice about the strain “wedding cake” going for £700 an oz.

The daft thing is the Americans go mad over a good bit of good cheese. A classic UK strain and one that takes a lot of shit. I know we British are self-deprecating but we should nevertheless be proud of our strains and strive towards the cultivation of game-changing strains like Cheese.

It is now possible to buy everything you could ever need from soil to seed online or at the numerous hydroponics and head shops that populate the outskirts of our towns and cities. Businesses that are ironically growing in these dark days of forced austerity and economic stupidity, happily paying tax on one of the only industries growing in the UK.

These shops which all sell specialist equipment for growing tomatoes and other indoor fruiting plants are a wealth of knowledge and skill as long as you play the game.

You can easily acquire seeds from many online retailers and get growing at home, enjoying the taste of the states without the price tag or risk of potentially dangerous and unsafe products.

By pushing for UK strains and supporting UK genetics we switch suppliers focus back to the UK cultivation scene and help to keep that money in local economies. By buying import your actively syphoning money from the UK scene and making foreign growers and companies rich while impoverishing UK ones.

Legalising cannabis is potentially a way out of austerity, as well as one to end these draconian budget cuts and funding slashing. Its simple austerity cuts or legalising cannabis.

It makes far more sense to me for the Government and the political elite to embrace cannabis, a plant which can fight climate change, Replace fossil fuels and petroleum-based plastics, end poverty and homelessness, fix the opioid crisis and provide jobs, economic growth and stability.

These are all things we hear being regurgitated by our politicians as their own goals and objectives every election cycle – yet we see no progress only distress, abject poverty and millions in crisis.

Prohibition perpetuates as much through community actions as well as it does through the authorities. By fighting, robbing each other and ripping each other off just to make a quick few quid it gives credence to their bullshit narrative that all cannabis consumer are thugs, lazy, drugged up wasters and violent drug dealers.

We know this just simply isn’t true, of course, there are a bad few but we are many, and work to worm out scammers and conmen.

They want to govern our culture, dictate and regulate what cannabis we can and cannot consume and how and where we’re allowed do it. But who watches the watchmen? It’s the continuation of this destructive narrative and lemming mentality which has lead us here, where in 2018 we can know about the Endocannabinoid system and endogenous cannabinoids, we can know that they are vital for health and happiness, yet still let them criminalise us for using exogenous cannabinoids.

Cannabis prohibition harms the health of every single human and vertebrate alive, it destroys lives, fractures homes and creates trauma, the pathways to addiction and individual destitution.

Prohibition is the problem all right and only collective direct action can solve it. We need to be out and proud! Cannabis is our basic human right, this is the people’s plant and it shouldn’t ever be prohibited, legislated against or even legally restrained.

In a lot of ways, it is arguable that cannabis and more specifically cannabis prohibition is having an equal or greater effect on human evolution than humans are on the evolution of cannabis.

I’ll leave you with this: it is often remarked upon by cannabis enthusiasts that perhaps the explosion of relatively new diseases and conditions could be attributable to the absence of cannabis from our food chain, dietary regiment and medical toolkit. Whether you believe that or not, the regulatory power of the endocannabinoid system cannot be argued with. It is certainly something to think about.


Simpa Carter
Simpa Carter

Simpa is a passionate drug law reform activist, mental health advocate, blogger, freelance writer, and host of The Simpa Life podcast.