A man is so convinced of the healing power of cannabis products that he has set up his own online business selling a range of products.
Steve Holyoak,of Bodmin, says that cannabis compound CBD even helps him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which he suffers with after being run overby a criminal gang.
Steve – whose Cornish Botanicals website sells everything from creams and oils to tea bags and chocolates containing CBD cannabis – says the stigma attached to taking cannabis has to stop.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC, another of the 113 cannabinoids in cannabis.
Steve sells drinks containing hemp CBD extract
Steve, who has two children and says Cornish Botanicals is a family business, told Cornwall Live: “I started this business to spread the word of this amazing plant and to help educate people, and also to support the efforts of individuals and organisations fighting to halt the prohibition of all cannabinoids.
“I refuse to hide the fact that hemp and cannabis are one and the same. All cannabinoids are essential in supporting our endo-cannabinoid system and achieving homeostasis, in humans as well as all mammals on the planet.
“It’s time for us to end the stigma and the lies surrounding cannabis. As a seller of CBD I am not allowed to tell you about the many benefits of CBD… but the information is out there.”
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol or CBD Oil is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis.
It was discovered in 1940 and initially thought not to be pharmaceutically active.
It is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in hemp plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract.
Natural, legal and with no major side effects (so far), CBD is a marketer’s dream.
Hemp-based health products are launching left, right and centre, cashing in while the research is in its first flush of hazy potential.
As well as ingestible CBD (also sold as hemp or cannabis oils or capsules) the compound has become a buzzword among upmarket skincare brands .
Steve said that, like a lot of people, he started smoking cannabis at school.
“I took cannabis as a preference to alcohol for many years. When my rock of a partner and I decided to have kids, I gave up and smoked occasionally at parties.”
However, after a succession of unfortunate events, Steve discovered that cannabis in a different format could help him.
“I had an operation in 2006 that went very wrong. I came out of hospital with a horrible condition called CRPS in my right leg. I joined lots of groups on Facebook trying to understand and make sense of my condition.
“To my surprise cannabis was constantly mentioned in the groups as giving relief. So my journey began.”
It’s clear there are still legal implications involved in selling cannabis products as Steve said he couldn’t comment on any medical and health benefits. However, he does want to help give advice to people who may suffer intense pain as he has done.
“I have managed to cut my opioid pain killers down by a third with the help of cannabis in the last 12 years.
“Then three years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. And again looked to the internet for help to find that cannabis was of great benefit for that also.”
Steve is adamant that CBD products have helped him manage pain and PTSD
Perhaps the most surprising benefit for Steve was when he started suffering from PTSD after being run over by an alleged criminal gang.
He explained: “I passed my driving test a couple of years ago and drove up to Leicester to see my parents, from there I drove to Skegness and was aware of someone driving up my bumper. They caught my car and I got out to swap details.
“At that they drove off with me on the bonnet, I smashed my face in. I chased them recording on my phone and was hit in the face with a knuckleduster.
“No one’s ever been caught and it looked as if they were a criminal gang.”
Steve added: “I started this company as a sort of therapy and to take my mind off things. I also used the compensation money I got from that ordeal to start this business.
“I have PTSD and get flashbacks, I’m nervous in my car and don’t want to go out in it as much. I get nervous of cars driving behind me. Loud noises affect me, too.
“I take CBD for my PTSD as I can’t exist without it. It’s a difficult business to run because of all the red tape involved. When I was run over I didn’t want to do anything, I didn’t want to face the world. It really affected me. But CBD has changed my life.
“I was on morphine and tramadol but stopped all that.”
Creams containing CBD are said to help moisturise, soothe and repair the skin
He argues that cannabis is essential to our bodies.
“The endo-cannaboid system regulates our whole body. Because hemp and cannabis has been taken out of our diets we are more susceptible to a whole range of conditions.
“All our modern ailments and diseases are protected by cannaboids. It’s a massive conspiracy.”
I say many people still view the Class B drug as something you smoke in a joint to get high.
Steve replied: “You can vaporise it, it’s in oils, chocolates, drinks, capsules. It’s totally moving away from the image of people smoking joints – we all know smoking’s not good. It’s not about getting stoned.
“There’s still a stigma attached but Cornwall is more switched on, perhaps because of the surfing lifestyle. People are dead sceptical about it, but they shouldn’t be.”
Steve is so sure of the beneficial effects of CBD products that he and others have arranged cannabis information days around Cornwall, with the next one on March 16 atLaunceston Town Hall.
“I have spent the last two years studying and watching the whole thing grow and grow. With more and more research and facts coming every day. I’m now ready to bring the highest quality range of products from around the world.
“I started this business to help other people like it helped me.”
Steve is now hoping to move his online business into a coffee shop, with CBD products and cannabis information.