By Eve Tawfick
As of January 2018, high street health store Holland and Barrett has started selling Dutch Brand ‘Jacob Hooy’ CBD oil (£19.99).
The oil is not on display on the shelves but can be obtained by asking at the counter and purchased online. Sales have risen by 3.5% since January since the release of the ‘controversial’ product. Staff can not officially speak for the medicinal benefits of CBD oil and strictly sell it as a ‘food supplement’ but there are plenty of testimonies that praise CBD oil for it’s various benefits.
The Cannabis plant (Cannabis Sativa) comes in several forms, and contains 80 different compounds. Hemp is legal in the UK and Marijuana is not (although there has recently been calls for it’s legislation to aid tourism and economy). THC is the psychoactive compound in Cannabis that causes the user to feel ‘high’. CBD is also present in the plant yet has been hailed as a ‘miracle cure’ and remedy to a medley of ailments; from cancer to eczema. If you separate CBD (which is made from hemp seeds) it can be bottled as an oil and taken orally several times a day. In the UK any CBD oil sold must contain less than 0.5% of THC to be considered legal. Dutch company Jacob Hooy assure customers that ‘the content of every batch is tested to meet the specification of requirements.’
The sale of Cannabis oil on the high street has clashed with the arrest of ‘local hero’ Jeff Ditchfield founder of Bud Buddies in February this year, whilst protesting ‘Patients to Parliament’ in aid of legalising medical use of Marijuana. Jeff is a long standing vigilante in the marijuana movement and has been selling cannabis oil to parents in order to aid their dying/ill children. Callie Blackwell, who went on This Morning to speak about Cannabis oil and how it ‘saved her son’s life’ was also arrested at the scene along with her husband, Simon. Protests ensued, causing onlookers to gather and film the swarms of people championing Jeff’s innocence. Cries of ‘It’s only a plant’ and ‘It saves lives!’ could be heard throughout the video.
‘At the age of 10, Deryn Blackwell was diagnosed with leukaemia and two years later developed a rare form of cancer called Langerhans cell sarcoma. After four unsuccessful bone marrow transplants he was given just days to live, but somehow Deryn battled his way back from the brink and has since made a full recovery. Deryn’s mother Callie revealed that she had been giving him medicinal cannabis and credits it with saving Deryn’s life. Broadcast on 27/03/2017’
In an interview with UNILAD Jeff calls the UK’s Marijuana policy ‘backward’ and claims that ‘This is not bullshit, this is not false hope, this is fact: cannabinoids have anti-cancer properties’. Read the full interview here.
In the USA, CBD products and the recreational use of marijuana in California is now legal and there is a growing market for Cannabis based products, and even cosmetics. Is the Holland and Barrett the first of many to take lead from the states? Will we be able to buy CBD in leading drug stores such as Boots and Superdrug? Is this a bad thing? Or is it a gateway for the legalization of THC based Marijuana and a ‘coffee-shop’ system like Holland? Companies like British Sugar are already growing medicinal Marijuana to create CBD oil and other products, and there is a growing trend amongst beauty vloggers in endorsing CBD beauty.
One thought however remains. If CBD oil is so readily available then why does Jeff Ditchfield face up to 14 years in prison? His intentions were not criminal, and he is doing little more than Holland and Barrett. Parents across the country claim he saved their children’s lives or cured their epilepsy. It smacks of market monopolization of CBD, eliminating small business so that chains and big companies are the main suppliers of the latest ‘miracle’ cure. As the UK inches toward legalization, it’s making sure that the money is going into the ‘right’ pockets.
See all the cannabis products available at holland and barrett here.