The therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD), one of the main phytochemicals found in cannabis, has been largely ignored by doctors and scientists for decades. But in recent years, its ability to treat rare seizure disorders has come to light, leading to the first approval by the FDA, and later also by the EMA, of a drug based on this substance. It is a strawberry-flavored syrup for the treatment of rare seizure disorders.
Although it is an essential component of medical cannabis, it derives directly from the "cousin" hemp plant, and in itself is not psychoactive, as stated in a report by the World Health Organization: "In humans, CBD shows no effects of potential abuse or addiction… to date, there is no evidence of public health problems associated with its pure use”. The difference lies in the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (Thc) present, for the FDA hemp plants are legal as long as they contain less than 0.3% of Thc.
But according to many scientists, cannabidiol has considerable potential for treating numerous other conditions. Thus, while in the laboratories we try to understand its mechanism and its possible health benefits, in Italy the Ministry of Health has issued the first authorization, through a specific decree, to the production of hemp to Bio Hemp Farming, which becomes the first Italian company to have the green light to extract the active ingredients useful for the pharmaceutical industry.
Bio Hemp Farming is a consortium that includes Bio Hemp Trade, a company active in agricultural research and development, which inaugurated an industrial processing center for hemp last October, and the Palma d'Oro Cooperative, which takes care of the 300 hectares of Italian hemp crops cultivated according to GACP protocols.
Bio Hemp Farming is part of the Crystal Hemp group, a life science company that develops products for the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation with formulations that act on the endocannabinoid system. "After years of work made up of discussions with the competent ministries in an attempt to find the best way from a regulatory and safety point of view to proceed with the sale of hemp for the production of medicines, we are proud to have reached this important milestone, which for us is the recognition of the hard work started many years ago. Now, also for Italy important possibilities are opening up in an increasingly strategic international market," says Pietro Paolo Crocetta, president of Bio Hemp Farming.