For years and even decades, cannabis has been surrounded by controversiality due to its legality and recreational use. However, recently it has been accepted that certain compounds of the cannabis plant are not a health threat to users but instead could have certain benefits. As the social perception of this drug transitions from controversiality to acceptance, a new CBD industry has emerged with full force.
The main cannabis derivative that has taken the world by storm is Cannabidiol (CBD), which produces none of the “high” effects associated with its cousin cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If THC is not present within a product, it can be sold legally in the UK, however, no medical claims can be made about the product. The boom in CBD Oil can be seen by the variety of CBD products being sold throughout high street chains, independently owned shops, and even pharmacies.
Unfortunately, a recent report released by the Centre of Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) found several worrying problems after analysing 30 different products that are available in UK shops. These issues were that 38% of the products they tested had less than 50% of the CBD content advertised on the products, and 45% of the products that were tested had measurable levels of THC- which technically made these products illegal in the UK. Therefore, consumers of CBD Oil do need to be vigilant and remember to look out for companies that have third-party lab reports for their CBD products.
Producing CBD is legal in the UK, however, hemp farmers are not allowed to extract the oil from the plant's flower buds which consequently means most CBD Oil comes from abroad- essentially withholding the UK growers’ potential profits. Which, when you think of the 2 million Brits that have used CBD products in the last year, you can’t help but feel the countries economy could only profit from more relaxed rules on hemp farmers.
Despite the fact that attitudes toward cannabis are moving in the right direction, it is happening at a rather slow pace, especially compared to other countries in Europe, as well as the United States and Canada. In comparison, three years ago Germany was in an identical position to the UK now, however, since they legalised medicinal cannabis in 2017 it is now Europe’s largest medicinal cannabis market. We have heard the reasons why consumers of this special cannabinoid use this product, but maybe it is time we begin to look at the bigger picture and listen to the expert predictions coming in about how this new industry can help the UK’s economy. ‘The opportunity on offer is huge. Prohibition Partners estimates the UK’s medicinal cannabis market could be worth over £7.8 billion by 2028. Plus, whilst there are no signs that it is about to be made legal in the country, estimates show a recreational market could represent a bigger opportunity with a forecasted value of £8.5 billion. That means the total value of a fully-legalised cannabis market in the UK could be over £16 billion within less than ten years.’