A new report shows a €33 million increase in the hemp oil market in Europe over the last 5 years.
The report was carried out by QYResearch, who are a market consultancy firm that has 80,000,000 research reports and covers more than 30 industries.
The Netherlands is the largest Cannabidiol (CBD) hemp consumer in Europe who had a 40.83 per cent market share in 2018.
CBD oil is a chemical compound found in the marijuana plant.
Its consumption in Ireland is legal as the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana called THC is removed.
The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system, which regulates functions such as pain, appetite, and sleep.
Studies have shown that consuming CBD may be a catalyst for endocannabinoid receptor activity.
Mark Sweeney is a CBD advocate from west Dublin. He suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, which is a chronic pain condition that targets the nerves in the face and uses CBD oil as a remedy for the pain.
He said: “At the beginning the pain was excruciating. I was on pain medication but they didn’t do much for me, so I started to take CBD oil. After a month of taking it, my symptoms pretty much stopped.
Dr. Hugh Gallagher is a consultant at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital.
He said: “The evidence is not encouraging [for using CBD oil to treat pain]. There is some evidence to support the use of CBD for nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy, epilepsy, and spasticity from multiple sclerosis”.
He added that CBD oil is costly.
“CBD oil is quite expensive and it’s not available for medical card holders as the evidence is not conclusive,” he said.
Ireland’s first shop dedicated to selling the oil opened at St. Stephens Green shopping center in Dublin in July 2018.
Since then, 16 shops have opened across the country. Holland & Barret and other health stores have also fostered CBD to their shelves.
John from The Hemp Company Dublin said: “CBD has become very popular over the last year and we have new customers every day. People are buying to treat everything from arthritis to muscular pain and anxiety, and some people are taking it as a supplement for overall well-being”.
The company sells CBD in a variety of ways, from protein powder to lip balm and as e-liquid for vape pens.
CBD oil is currently being researched in the field of cancer treatment.
Though it’s still in its infancy, researchers in 2016 found that the use of cannabinoids shows promise in the fight against cancer. They found that CBD seems to inhibit tumor cells in test tubes, according to MedicalNewsToday.com
There is no hard evidence of CBD oil curing cancer, but there are reports in England of people refusing medical intervention and opting to use CBD as the only form of treatment.
Zoe Murphy is a radiation therapist at St. James’s hospital in Dublin.
She said: “From personal experience, I’ve witnessed multiple cases where people turn to herbal remedies and decline any further treatment in our department. The effects of this have proven to be quite devastating in such situations.”
She added: “While we must always respect the patients right to choose what they want for their body, it’s quite troubling to see that this exposure to poor research and evidence has turned what could have been a very treatable and curable disease into one where nothing can be done on our end”.
The Brightfield Group, who is an industry analyst firm, have forecasted that the industry will be worth around $22 billion in 2022.
Image Credit: Béibhinn Thorsch