The number of cannabis oil users across the UK has doubled in the space of one year, startling new figures reveal.
Regulatory body data shows there are now 250,000 users across the home nations – up from the 125,000 recorded this time last year.
Cannabis Trades Association UK also states there are now around 1,000 new users each month, despite the oil being shrouded in controversy.
Mike Harlington, chairman of the CTA UK, revealed around 65 per cent of these are women seeking relief for their back pain, anxiety and epilepsy.
The figures come after two middle-aged women recently revealed how cannabis oil helped to eradicate one of her crippling back pain, and the other her cancer.
In September, a 48-year-old cancer patient who credited CBD oil for saving her life after chemotherapy failed and she was given six months to live.
Lynn Cameron, from South Lanarkshire, Scotland, turned to alternative medicines and diets in an attempt to stay alive – before coming across the oil.
And a 55-year-old sciatica suffer desperate for relief claimed drops of CBD oil ended her 13 years of crippling back pain just last month.
Brenda Davidson, from Kirkwall, Orkney, was frequently reduced to tears by her condition, as strong painkillers proved ineffective.
CBD, which reportedly has no side effects, influences the release and uptake of ‘feel good’ chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.
The compound has been credited with helping to relieve pain and stiffness, as well as aiding conditions such as anxiety.
CBD comes in many forms, the most popular being an oil – which users spray under their tongue – or gel tablets which melt slowly in the mouth.
Neither form contain THC – which causes the ‘high’ in cannabis.
Government advisors made it legal to buy CBD oil last October after they admitted that it has a ‘restoring, correcting or modifying’ effect on humans.
However, the oils legal status has confused thousands across England and Wales, after the MHRA back-tracked on its position just weeks after.
Suppliers now have to obtain a licence to sell it as a medicine, following the decision last October – but some weave the strict rules.
Manufacturers are able to weave the rules by selling it as a food supplement – ignoring the lengthy process of gaining a medicinal licence.
CBD oil has yet to be approved for use on the NHS in Scotland.
In England and Wales, it has been legal to buy in the UK since last year, after the Government approved its use as a medicine under licence
Billy Caldwell, from Castlederg, Northern Ireland, made headlines in April when he became the first Briton to be prescribed CBD on the NHS.
Cannabis plants contain 140 different compounds, which are naturally occurring in the human body – and referred to as endocannabinoids.
Mr Harlington is now calling for better understanding about CBD, claiming the lack of education about the substance is creating an unnecessary ‘stigma’.
He told MailOnline: ‘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.
‘Products like CBD, because of where it comes from, are stigmatised despite the fact that every mammal has an endocannabinoid system and is therefore designed to use cannabinoids naturally.
‘Cannabinoid deficiencies are starting to become understood by the medical world, and it is slowly becoming obvious that cannabinoids like CBD are actually essential for general health and wellbeing.’
Pharmacist Shamir Patel sells ‘Canabidol’ branded CBD products on his website, Chemist-4-U.com.
Mr Patel told MailOnline: ‘Since we started selling CBD cannabis oil a short time ago we have seen its popularity rise dramatically.
‘I think people are slowly beginning to understand how it can be used to help common ailments.
‘We are hoping that by selling this product through a registered pharmacy we can add to the legitimacy surrounding its use.’
He added: ‘Cannabis oil is safe to use and has been proven to be beneficial for a number of uses.’
The news comes just weeks after writer Richard Holt told how taking CBD helped him beat excruciating pain following a 24ft fall from a hotel window 10 years ago.
Original post from TheDailyMail