When I was contacted by Freddie and Daniel in late 2018 to join The Cannabis Oil Company, I approached the opportunity with caution. I knew little of CBD products, albeit that I was acutely aware they existed. I'd seen them on shelves in shops and thought, well, such-and-such a high street store stocks it, so that's as good an endorsement anybody might want. I wasn't a consumer, though. It simply gave me some knowledge in casual conversation.
What I was sure of was Freddie’s ability to identify a market where we could capitalise on growth.
Freddie’s cannabis story had started earlier that year. He had been introduced to someone socially who had started using CBD to assist with anxiety. Freddie being Freddie was intrigued. He decided to start taking a product himself to help manage his stress and quickly found that it was extremely beneficial. He undertook more research and saw an opportunity. The decision was made, with Daniel, to form The Cannabis Oil Company. Things moved at significant pace; packaging designed, website created and an order from a white labelled supplier secured. They both saw a huge opportunity which they wanted to capitalise on.
Initial feedback was good and sales occurred. What was evident to them at the time was that differentiating from other products in the market was not easy. There was always the question of quality and restrictions to growth. By its very nature, you don’t own a white-labelled product, just the brand.
Julian and I joined the business in October 2018 with an aim to drive the business forward with them, identify the market we wished to go into and seek to differentiate ourselves from competitors.
Dr Lizzie Elsey and Dr Daniel Couch joined the team soon afterwards, and we made the decision to put Freddie’s vision into action. Produce the highest quality cannabis product possible to ensure absolute quality and to create a product that could be used in trials.
Charlotte Caldwell, well-known activist for CBD development, returned to the UK in February 2019 and joined the TCOC team as specialist advisor. She'd witnessed at first-hand what happens when science and emotion go into battle. The difference is that she'd seen emotion awaken science, and scientists.
What Does CBD Do?
Here’s the tricky question. Not because it doesn’t do anything, quite the opposite. There is a vast quantity of evidence relating to the benefits of cannabis and CBD available across the internet. But the internet being the internet, it can often be difficult to ascertain what is real and what is not. As a company we cannot make any claims as to the benefits of our products. If we did, without the approval of the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority), we would be exposed to the possibility of enforcement action from them.
Our own Dr Daniel Couch wrote our foreword, which references several studies;
“Although the recreational use of cannabis sativa has over the last 6 decades become popular for its psychoactive effects, the use of this plant reaches back to the 3rd century BC, where it has been used for its anxiety-smoothing, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant and even anti-diarrhoeal effects. The societal use of cannabis for these effects however have been limited by its psychoactive effects 1.
Scientific research has been directed at the understanding of this plant over the last 3 decades. Initially the two main components were separated from the plant – tetrahydrocannabiol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) 2. It became apparent that THC was the source of the psychoactive effects of cannabis sativa and CBD instead was in fact anxiety-relieving. Following this discovery it was shown that CBD in experimental settings can prevent inflammation in muscles and joints 3, the skin 4, in the brain 5, the intestine 6 and colon 7. CBD has also been shown in preclinical experiments to be effective in reducing pain 8, improving sleep 9 and reduce seizure activity in epilepsy 10.
The result of this experimental work has been the development of pharmaceutical agents containing or based on CBD which are now in clinical use for epilepsy, although currently for reserved use by specialists as of November 2018. Current clinical work is aiming to determine the effectiveness for CBD in inflammatory bowel disease, insomnia, long standing anxiety and many other conditions.”
What is absolutely clear is that there is a real need for further research and studies in to CBD and its effects.
It is clear that the market potential is huge, and I believe we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to the benefits of cannabinoids.
Overwhelmingly compelling forecasts from people and institutions who clearly knew about the market were utterly compelling:700% global growth to $2bn billion sales by 2020. We have seen commentary stating the market could be worth as much as $22bn by 2022. In reality, this figure could be much higher.
With further studies, certain future regulation and huge barriers to market entry, I firmly believe that the cream will rise to the top. Being ahead of the curve in quality will be the main factor in cementing our position as a market leading brand with possibilities to expand the product range and capitalise on the market globally.
The UK cannabis history books haven’t been written yet, like they have in the US and Canada. The UK is around 5 years behind them; we can learn from them, adapt and be at the front.
Join us and be part of this exciting journey.
Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please Invest Aware.
1. Kalant H. Medicinal use of cannabis:history and current status. Pain Res Manag. 2001;6(2):80-91. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11854770. Accessed December 2, 2018.
2. Pertwee RG. Cannabinoid pharmacology:the first 66 years. Br J Pharmacol. 2006;147 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S163-71. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706406
3. Philpott HT, OʼBrien M, McDougall JJ. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017;158(12):2442-2451. doi:10.1097/j.pain. 1052
4. Oláh A, Tóth BI, Borbíró I, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. J Clin Invest. 2014;124(9):3713-3724. doi:10.1172/JCI64628
5. Hind WH, England TJ, O’Sullivan SE. Cannabidiol protects an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier from oxygen-glucose deprivation via PPARγ and 5-HT1A receptors. Br J Pharmacol. 2016;173(5):815-825. doi:10.1111/bph.13368
6. Karwad MA, Couch DG, Theophilidou E, et al. The role of CB1 in intestinal permeability and inflammation. FASEB J. April 2017:fj.201601346R. doi:10.1096/fj.201601346R
7. Couch DG, Tasker C, Theophilidou E, Lund JN, O’Sullivan SE. Cannabidiol and palmitoylethanolamide are anti-inflammatory in the acutely inflamed human colon. doi.org. 2017;(21):2611-2626. doi:10.1042/cs20171288
8. Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. October 2015. doi:10.1002/ejp.818
9. Naftali T, Bar-Lev Schleider L, Dotan I, Lansky EP, Sklerovsky Benjaminov F, Konikoff FM. Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn’s disease:a prospective placebo-controlled study. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11(10):1276-1280.e1. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2013.04.034
10. Devinsky O, Cross JH, Laux L, et al. Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(21):2011-2020. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1611618