The part Kenny show on news talk with Marter private network during current restrictions. Don't ignore your health concerns. Our expert team is ready to help. The issue where art seems still to be a bit behind the times next, it's the sale of cannabis based products. Just over a week ago, Garda raided a CBD shop in Kilkenny. Now, you might know what CBD is, but their products basically made in cannabis plants. Proponents of them say they help issues like pain relief.
They're legally sold in a lot of EU countries. But in Ireland, why some of the synthetic products can be sold. Maddi that are produced naturally are effectively banned. New stocks. Paul O'Donoghue has been looking into this. He's in our Dublin studio. Paul, good morning to you. What did you find?
Good morning, John. Yeah, so the coffee shop you mentioned is called Little Colins CBD dispensary. They sell products like butter and tea, which is made from hemp. And hemp is a type of cannabis plant. The shop was raided because some of its products have tiny, tiny, very small amounts of the psychoactive THC under zero point two percent of the product is kind of made of THC. This amount to THC, it occurs naturally in response. So most natural products made from hemp, which is this type of cannabis they have at the European Court of Justice, ruled last year that this amount of THC isn't harmful to people.
They effectively said these cannabis products should be treated as shouldn't rather be treated as illegal drugs. But Ireland hasn't put this into law yet. So products that contain animal to THC, it doesn't matter how small it is if there's any THC there, but they're legal. But after the raids on little Colins, the guy put out a statement saying that they expect legislation is actually going to be brought in soon. That will allow products with zero point three percent THC or zero point two percent THC to be sold in Ireland.
So you have this kind of odd situation where this shop was raided to seise products that you said aren't actually harmful and say they actually expect these products to be made legal soon. JP O'Brien, he's the he's the owner of Little Collins. He's gone to court fighting his prosecution for selling these CBD products. He says Arden's approach doesn't make sense.
The guy that came down to our plant based dispensary in Kilkenny and what happened was they took one of our lab reports from our suppliers of our products in the in Europe, that state's hemp, and it has zero point two percent or less THC. When the Kilkenny Guards and our lab report back to Dublin, Dublin confirmed it's cannabis. That's what they do. They confirm it's cannabis. They don't have any provision for him. You know, cannabis could be zero point zero one percent THC or a thousand.
And it's the same product to them. And they said, go back and raid that shop. There's an existing situation in Ireland. There's there's an existing disparity in the law that that certainly the government completely ignoring and causing massive problems out here in the real world. The 1961 UN Convention on Narcotics does not list CBD or hemp cannabis as a drug. Same boat, European Court of Justice, which in fact is the highest seed in Europe. In December, the Cannava decision, hemp with zero point three percent less THC is now food product in Europe.
So it's very obvious there from what JP is saying, that they want the law changed.
Are they alone, though, in wanting that?
And yeah, they're not. And it's perhaps not the most obvious one to spring to mind to kind of join them in this issue, I guess. But farmers have actually been pushing for a change as well. For farmers, this kind of takes a couple of boxes. Hemp is quite easy to grow. It tends to be better for the environment than a lot of other crops because you have to use less fertiliser. And most importantly, for farmers, growing hemp could be a good new source of income for them.
Pat Farrell, he's the horticulture executive with the Irish Farmers Association. He says it could actually bring in more money than some traditional crops.
Hemp is one of those crops that it takes. Those boxes were basically it can be grown in most types in Ireland and requires very few inputs. But basically, as it stands at the moment, you have to get a licence to grow hemp, which is there's no issue with that. But because of the issue around percentage of THC, which basically means it can be zero. So it only basically means that the stems and that can be used and the most valuable part of the plant, which is the flowers and the leaves and that type of thing, they can contain traces of of THC.
So it means the end of that power to the plants have to be destroyed. If if you were able to Marika's on the plant, it can anywhere maybe from 2000 hectare up to 8000 a hectare. And at the moment, a lot of demand to. Cops need to make up to 500 a hectare, so why what we were looking for is legislation to be changed that will allow up to point two percent THC. And that means then that we can harvest CBD oil from those plants, which is used in in in different areas of health and that type of thing, and is widely sold in Holeshot in terms of why the average person should care about this, i.e., the person who's maybe never taken cannabis are never found a need for a CBD product.
All those in favour of these products say they do have health benefits. Now, that's the kind of thing that when you've grown up being told cannabis, Biden is terrible and should never take it as my children. Kaguya, you might not understand the reason for that, but there is.
Is there strong evidence to suggest that there can be a clinical use for these drugs?
Yeah, yeah, you're right. It is kind of like one that perhaps may not immediately spring to mind for people who are kind of familiar with, I suppose, kind of older use of cannabis products. So I spoke about this to Professor David Fehn, who's a professor of pharmacology at NYU Galway and co-director of pain research at the college. He says these products can be helpful for some conditions like multiple sclerosis or epilepsy amongst children. But more research is needed to see if they help with kind of more general pain relief, which can sometimes be claimed.
Professor Finn also said it's possible for people to experience some fairly mild effects, like a bit of a drop in concentration or maybe some kind of difficulty in terms of operating kind of, you know, machines like driving or something like that from THC in natural cannabis products. But he said it is actually quite unlikely for people to feel these effects if these products are regulated properly.
It really depends what percentage of what. So so what's the starting amount? So if you have, for example, the 1000 mg capsules of CBD, oil or empire, and if you take zero point two percent of 1000 milligrams, that that could in theory contain two milligrams of THC and two milligrams of THC is probably on the cusp of what could potentially be psychoactive oils are often you know, it's it's a it's a relatively small volume drop that's taken, in which case if it if it truly is at zero point two percent THC or less, and it would be very unlikely with small volumes that there would be psychoactive effects experienced.
We have some some evidence that CBD can be effective for specific indications. And and one indication in particular is, is childhood epilepsy. There's also regulatory approval for CBD and THC in the form of a drug called the Big Smalls, or Sativex, which is indicated for multiple sclerosis and for the majority of conditions that seemed to to be therapeutic targets for cannabinoids and cannabis based products. We really need more clinical trials, good high quality clinical trials of CBD and THC and hemp based products and oils, I think for the kinds of disorders that people are interested in taking them for, such as pain and anxiety, arthritis, sleep disorders and so forth.
Professor David Fynn from NY Gallaway finishing up that report from News Talks. Paul O'Donoghue.