CBD oil, or cannabidiol, has been available at Holland and Barrett since the start of the year, proving popular among the general public.
The retailer has been selling the oil for £19.99 and over the last four weeks sales have increased by 37 per cent in the last four weeks.
Because of its success, the high street health shop is set to launch four more CBD oil products next month including bigger bottles and CBD capsules.
The oil is said to be able to treat all manner of problems. At the end of last year, a World Health Organisation report revealed it may help successfully treat symptoms relating to Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, MS, pain, anxiety, depression, cancer and diabetic complications.
A spokesperson from Holland & Barrett said “We have been surprised at the success and popularity of CBD Oil since launch. We knew that there were numerous trends surfacing around this liquid but we didn’t expect to see sales increase this dramatically.
“We are constantly looking to bring, new and innovative products to market that help our customers. It is great to see in this instance that we can help with the demand. We also want our shoppers to know that we listen to their needs and hope to eventually increase the CBD range to keep up with the growing popularity.”
But is the oil safe and recommended by doctors? Dr Andrew Thorber, Chief Medical Officer at Now Patient, gave Express.co.uk his advice.
Can it create any form of intoxication?
CBD oil is extracted from the resin glands on cannabis buds and flowers.
It’s a type of cannabinoid which are the chemicals naturally found in marijuana plants, and it’s usually mixed with a carrier oil, like MCT (a form of coconut oil).
There are different variations in strength available from Holland and Barrett – 2.75 per cent to 5 per cent, but while CBD oil comes from the cannabis plant, CBD does not create any form of intoxication. Another cannabinoid, THC, causes this, but this substance is illegal in the UK.
Is it a good remedy for diabetes or cancer?
Dr Thornber said: “It is still early days with research into CBD Oil and the potential to help patients suffering with Diabetes and Cancer, however there are findings to indicate Cannabis Oil can have improved health benefits for people with certain ailments particularly Cancer.”
What medical advice should be given to patients thinking about taking it?
Dr Thornber said he recommends taking it with caution. This isn’t prescribed by a GP or Pharmacist at present, as we still don’t know the full side-effects.
He added: “I would not personally recommend this as a medical practitioner.
“I would always recommend anyone wanting to take any medicine that isn’t registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council to do so with caution and almost always have a chat with your Pharmacist or GP at your next visit to take their advice.
“The individual needs of the patient vary and what works for one person, may not work for another and this is not currently classed as an official medication which can be prescribed.”
This week Charlotte Caldwell, whose 12-year-old son Billy has a severe form of epilepsy that can give him up to 100 seizures a day, was stopped by officials at Heathrow after trying to “openly smuggle” illegal cannabis oil into the country from Canada.