That’s right. Shops selling legal weed are sprouting up all over Europe – but there’s a catch. This legal weed won’t get you high. That’s because it has very low levels of THC – the cannabinoid responsible for the feeling of ‘High’ commonly associated with cannabis use.
What’s all the fuss, then? Well, this legal weed does contain high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), which is fast moving into the mainstream thanks to its calming effects and numerous medical benefits. CBD is being touted as an effective treatment for anxiety and depression, a natural pain reliever, and a potent anti-inflammatory among other remarkable health benefits.
The cannabis flowers are legal as they are considered by law to be ‘industrial hemp’, which simply means they have been grown under license and are from EU-approved hemp seeds that produce plants low in THC. The legal limit in most European countries is 0.2%, although some have higher limits.
CBD coffee shop opens in Paris
And with that, it’s understandable why the many new ‘legal weed’ shops that have appeared over the last year or so are so popular. A recent opening in Paris of a legal weed-selling cafe named ‘Cofeeshop’ attracted long queues stretching down the street.
Not long before Cofeeshop launched, a dispensary-style legal weed shop named Flower Farm opened on the Spanish party island of Ibiza. There are also a huge number of similar shops in Switzerland – where the legal green rush began, Austria and Italy.
Additionally, Hemp Botanics, located in the famous Notting Hill area of London, has become the first physical shop in the UK to sell legal weed, while numerous UK-based vendors are popping up online seemingly every week. There are also shops and online stores based in mainland Spain (such as Magu CBD in Valencia), in Germany (such as Hanfbar in Berlin), and Poland.
The start of something big?
Could this be the start of full-scale legalization in Europe? Perhaps. The topic is a hot one at the moment in a number of countries. At the very least, however, the spread of legal weed in Europe will make it clear to those who oppose cannabis that not all use is about getting high.
In that way, Europe’s blossoming legal weed market might change many minds when it comes to how they view cannabis and those who use it, which can only be a good thing.
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