Andrea Bamacher: Deep Nature Project (DNP) was created by a motivated and responsible team that has always been convinced of the health benefits of hemp.
Scientific discoveries and research have helped us to make this wonderful, but long-banished, plant available to people again. We also want to help people take more responsibility for their health.
The company's story began with small fields in northern Burgenland, Austria, but we soon noticed our certified organic products were well received, which lead to quick growth. Today, we work with local, organic farmers to grow EU-certified commercial hemp on about 140ha.
The time was right. Research into the topic has existed for a long time, as small groups all over the world have always used hemp and advocated its benefits. Its stigmatisation as a drug, misinformation about it and early legalisation in the US has made Europe curious.
This has stimulated research, during which it was discovered that hemp contained a lot of substances other than THC - the psychoactive substance commonly associated with the plant. However, hemp can be grown and harvested without psychoactive effects. This has caused the boom in Europe.
CBD is the first properly researched cannabinoid that is not psychoactive, which also makes it legal.
We now have the opportunity to produce legal, edible and health-promoting hemp products. Another reason for the boom is the worldwide trend of avoiding synthetically produced medicines and artificial, industrial food.
The sector needs rules and laws that lay down specific baseline values, particularly THC thresholds. As is the case with other foodstuffs, the hemp sector needs uniform regulations to cover pesticides, heavy metals and other hazardous substances.
Regulations could ensure that foodstuffs be produced from certified commercial hemp only; however, there are currently no binding requirements in this regard.
Such a law would be a good foundation for future regulation. The defined basic values should be rigorously monitored by accredited laboratories. This would give European governments a common basis for drafting the regulation for each country.
THC and CBD are just two of the more than 300 currently known cannabinoids. THC is the cannabinoid that has been known the longest and is responsible for the plant's bad reputation. Because of its psychoactive qualities, DNP's extracts contain very low quantities of THC, well below the dose that would produce an intoxicating effect.
CBD, on the other hand, is one of many cannabinoids that are not psychoactive. It has a beneficial effect on health at higher concentrations.
One thing all cannabinoids have in common is that they restore the homeostasis of organs.
Research has shown that different cannabinoids produce different effects in the body. To understand why cannabinoids work at all, we need to know that every mammal has its own endocannabinoid system.
The system is composed of the body's own cannabinoids and related receptors. Depending on where imbalances are found in the body, the endocannabinoid system - and cannabinoids from hemp - regulates them.
The company's philosophy is to take a holistic look at the human body. We regard hemp in the same way, celebrating its diversity and many uses.
In addition to CBD, we are focusing on other cannabinoids such as CBG (cannabigerol) to make them available to health-conscious people. Hemp contains more than 1,000 active substances, so the possibilities are endless.
We develop our products in cooperation with international partner research institutes, and our top priority is to continue increasing bioavailability and to study different modes of action in detail.
This is giving rise to new product landscapes. We plan on producing many more products from organic certified commercial hemp.