In the UK, the number of cannabis oil (CBD) users doubled in 2017, according to the latest report from the regulatory body, Cannabis Trades Association UK (CTAUK).
Either this means the number using CBD and other cannabis-infused products has actually doubled, from 125,000 to 250,000, or fewer people are lying about the fact they now use CBD to treat pain, anxiety and other long-term health conditions. This surge in popularity means over 10,000 new users are turning to CBD every month.
Mike Harlington, chairman of CTAUK, told The Daily Mail that 65 percent of these new users are women. CBD, as readers of BerryRipe know, does not contain THC, which is one of the main active ingredients that gets people high when smoking weed. CBD, on the other hand, is delivered in a spray format, or can be consumed through tablets or other food supplements that melt on the tongue.
Removing the stigma
Although cannabis is still illegal in the UK – a political ‘third rail’ that neither party wants to go near – CBD is not. However, there is still a noticeable stigma around using anything cannabis-related, even to treat chronic conditions, reduce anxiety, period pain, or the pain associated with cancer, cancer treatment and palliative care.
Speaking to the media about the report, Mr Harlington, CTAUK chair said, “We’ve known about the endocannabinoid system for 40 years or so, but it has been ignored to a greater or lesser degree.”
“In a lot of cases, as soon as you mention “cannabis” the stigma is obvious.”
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of more than 80 cannabinoids, natural compounds found in the marijuana plant.
In April 2017, 11-year old Billy Caldwell, from Castlederg, Northern Ireland was the first person to have CBD prescribed through the NHS. Billy, who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy used to have up to 100 seizures a day – any of them could have killed him – now has these under control, thanks to cannabis oil.
It was first made legal in England and Wales in October 2016, although it’s still not an option for patients of NHS Scotland. It can be bought as medicine, under license, or classified as a dietary supplement which involves less regulation for those selling these products. The industry, however, through regulatory bodies such as CTAUK works hard to regulate itself, and ensure products meet the same high standards as any other dietary supplements sold in health shops.
From managing pain after chemo, to making periods easier to cope with, reducing anxiety and mitigating chronic pain, people everywhere are coming forward talking about their positive experiences with CBD.
Many people, including patients and doctors, say that it is worth using. In 2015, supporting all of this evidence, a wide-ranging study was published that included data from 79 trials (6,462 participants), which “reported improvements to symptoms compared with patients in placebo groups.”
CBD is also an effective treatment option for those with chronic pain and other conditions. Unlike opioids, you can’t get addicted, and this option won’t potentially kill you. In this century we are taking hardcore prescription medicines in extremely worrying quantities. CBD, as well as the other compounds found in cannabis plants, could prove to be one of the healthiest and most effective alternatives.
Are we going to see a similar increase in 2018? Most in the industry, and those who use CBD, expect the popularity to keep increasing.
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Trent, Truth Naturals Bio:
Trent Scanlen founded truthnaturals.co.uk, a retailer and advocate for CBD oil and scientifically proven food supplements in the UK. Truth Naturals is a registered member of the UK Cannabis Trades Association. We have been using CBD oil as a food supplement to improve our rest, recovery and performance– and as supply became varied, we decided to source our own so that we could actively share it with our community.