Over the last year, one UK industry has roughly doubled in size, making it one of the fastest growing in history.
The product in question is CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil — an oil derived from cannabis that has emerged as a popular alternative treatment for a massive variety of health conditions, ranging from prescription painkiller addiction to anxiety and epilepsy.
Data from the Cannabis Trades Association UK shows that CBD oil usage has doubled during 2017, with a total of 250,000 users across the UK. CBD oil use is also growing at a rapid pace today, with an estimated 1,000 new users every month.
But what is it that’s causing the incredible growth in CBD vape oil usage? From potential health benefits to use as a treatment option for drug addiction, we’ve looked into the reasons for CBD oil’s massive growth in popularity below.
CBD Oil as a Treatment For Painkiller Addiction
One of the most interesting benefits of CBD oil is its potential as an alternative treatment option for the millions of people in the UK that regularly use prescription painkillers such as oxycodone.
Prescriptions for powerful and potentially addictive pain medications have increased at a rapid pace over the past decade. New data from NHS Digital indicates that 24 million prescriptions for opioids were issued in the UK in 2016, up from just 12 million in 2006.
Worryingly, many of the fastest-growing drug classes include powerful drugs such as morphine sulphate and fentanyl. Experts estimate that as many as 192,000 people throughout the UK are likely to have some degree of addiction to prescription painkillers.
CBD oil has emerged as an unlikely but highly effective treatment option for people struggling with painkiller addiction. The oil, which doesn’t contain THC — the active ingredient in cannabis that provides a “high” — is non-addictive and has never been linked to an overdose death.
In a Telegraph piece on CBD oil’s potential as a painkiller alternative, Dr Henry Fisher, of drug policy think tank Volteface, states that CBD oil has “no likelihood of addiction” and “no evidence of long-term negative impact.”
CBD Oil as a Pain Management Alternative
In addition to its benefits as a potential tool for treating painkiller addiction, CBD oil has been promoted as a potential alternative to prescribing opioid painkillers in the first place.
Brenda Davidson, of Kirkwall, Orkney, claims that CBD oil has played a major role in allowing her to manage recurring pain from sciatica — a condition she developed after a 2004 holiday in Italy.
In an article in the Independent, Davidson states that her condition was unmanageable using conventional painkillers, and that regular use of legally-available CBD oil has left her “virtually pain-free” since starting the treatment.
With the number of users doubling annually since CBD oil became classified as a medicine, it seems likely that we’ll hear more stories like Davidson’s over the coming years, from addiction treatments to alternative options for people struggling with sciatica and other health issues.