A trade organization in the United Kingdom that oversees the rapidly expanding cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp market, has published a study that shows the use of CBD oil in the U.K. has doubled in a single year.
The Cannabis Trades Association U.K.’s (CTAUK) figures reveal 250,000 people are now using CBD oil to treat their health conditions. CTAUK added that the number of users is up from 125,000 last year, with approximately 1,000 new users each month.
The information indicates 65 percent of CBD oil consumers are women using the medicine for anxiety, epilepsy, and back pain.
In October 2016, the U.K. government recognized the medicinal value of CBD, stating the cannabinoid has “restoring, correcting, or modifying” properties. This admission has allowed suppliers to sell CBD by obtaining a medicinal license, which is a lengthy and strict process. Many retailers have been able to circumvent the process by selling CBD products as food supplements.
“We’ve known about the endocannabinoid system for 40 years or so but it has been ignored to a greater or lesser degree,” said Mike Harlington, chairman of the CTAUK.
Harlington is calling for a better understanding of CBD in the hopes that education will help eradicate the existing stigma around anything derived from cannabis. “Products like CBD, because of where it comes from, are stigmatized despite the fact that every mammal has an endocannabinoid system and is therefore designed to use cannabinoids naturally,” he said.
Most recently, the public debate around medical cannabis in the U.K. has seen a lot of attention, with a bill to legalize going through its first parliamentary reading Oct. 10 unopposed. That same day, a protest incited by member of parliament and cannabis activist Paul Flynn took place in front of the Parliament building in London.
The show of civil disobedience involved protesters who rely on medical cannabis openly vaping, eating, and drinking their medicine — no arrests were made.