I’ve started using CBD, or cannabis oil for pain relief. Don’t panic, I know the word cannabis causes concern for all sorts of reasons, but I’ve looked into it, and I think it has some exceptional properties to help lots of conditions. No, you’re not going to get high, and yes, it is completely legal.

After recent shoulder surgery I found that the cocktail of painkillers was playing havoc with my usually content constitution.

You don’t need the details, but I knew that I had to cut down on the drugs after the initial few weeks and find something else.

I started taking CBD, which came to me in oil form, just a few drops under the tongue a few times a day was all that was required. I didn’t feel a huge difference, but my shoulder was easing off.

However, my summer hols interrupted the regular oil taking and I noticed the aching was back, it was tingling again down my arm. Back on the oil on my return, and the shoulder is feeling really good and no more drugs. And no side effects.

What is it and what is it being used for?

Herein lies the problem. I spoke to Craig Johnston, of HopeCBD, which is based at HopeCBD Stadium, in Hamilton, and even though he hears the benefits from his customers every day as they stock up from the shop, he explains to me that because of current regulations, he cannot make medical claims in any form. 

They can only sell the product under the same guidelines as a food supplement. Which brings challenges as a business as you can imagine.

When people think of cannabis they think of the psychoactive element, which is called Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. As with all plants there is more than one chemical element that is extracted. CBD is one of the hundred other chemicals in the plant. 

Predominantly it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help many conditions.  Lots of customers take it for anxiety related conditions.

One of the ladies who helps with the Fibromyalgia Group which is based at the football ground, has suffered from the condition for years.

She now takes two candies a day and one tea bag at night, and she has claims it has changed her life. She has come off her medication as she feels she no longer needs it. 

Its popularity is rocketing, in the last six months there has been more than 500 companies with CBD in their name in the UK register as new companies.

And lots of the companies are making overt claims, which worries Craig at HopeCBD, as his company produces a premium product, independently tested and they are abiding by all the regulations that are currently in place and strive to set standards.

HopeCBD is a member of the Cannabis Trade Association which works with the government and it is involved with the Cannabis Products Directive.

Craig says: “The one thing I tell all potential customers is that you must do your research. Not that long ago, I ordered CBD from an online company as part of our research and it came with a handwritten sticker on the bottle. There is no way to know what is inside that bottle. Customers must be aware and buy from a reputable company that can guarantee quality.”

Craig wants to remind people that if you see CBD on the internet at a very cheap price. You will most likely get what you pay for. They sell an independently lab tested, certified and organic product, which is guaranteed.

How do you take it?

There are lots of ways to take it, there’s the oil which comes in either 200mg, 300gm or 400mg strengths, which is just a few drops under the tongue. There is the option to vape it, which gets the CBD into the system quicker than the other options. There are tea bags, candies and an ointment.

I was taking the 300mg oil, which tasted pretty tart, but they have since developed an oil which has peppermint oil in it and it is much more palatable.

Craig knows full well that the public needs convinced when the word cannabis is mentioned.

But just looking at the reviews and testimonials that users are posting, it is hard not to be impressed.

Just this week I clicked on an Instagram post where a well-known author/presenter was dumbfounded by the lack of period pain that would normally have, in her words, ‘had her rolling around the floor in agony’, after taking the oil regularly.

I spoke to Daniel Watt a regular user of CBD oil. Daniel suffers with a rotated pelvis, and mis-shapen vertebra which, in his words, gave him a pain level most days of 10/10.

Daniel who is 49 and from Motherwell, tried the oil after his son had suggested it.

He says: “I tried it one night before going to bed, it was the oil that I just popped under my tongue. I found there was a difference the next day in my pain levels right away.

“I’ve been taking it ever since. It took a bit of experimenting as to how much was the ideal amount for me. Initially I was taking a few drops in the morning and afternoon, but I’ve found that just taking it before bed works best for me. I was on a cocktail of painkillers and I can say that now I don’t take any. I’ve also tried the candies, which are like little sweets and the ointment as well.

“I would think it would work really well for people who suffer from arthritis. I’m not pain free, but I can do so many things that I never thought I would be able to do again.”

As Craig suggests, the information is out there to be found, look into it, read up on the benefits. There’s barely a working farmer out there that doesn’t have dodgy knees or hips and if you think you could do with some help, it’s an option. It eased my pain quite significantly.

For more information go to www.hopecbd.com or speak to Craig, who is a mine of information. For more research findings, go to : www.clear-uk.org  which is the UK’s largest membership based cannabis policy group.

What you should expect to pay: Oil starts at £27.95 for 200mg strength. Vape: £25 for 250mg. Candies start at £9.99 for 10 and £25.00 for 30. Teabags are £9.99 for 20.