It is evident that, off the back of Kim Kardashian’s lavish CBD themed baby shower, the preserve once smoked by hippies has well and truly shaken its stigma. Cannabis-infused products have now become so popular they’re estimated to be worth a whopping $22 billion within the next three years.
Anorexia survivor Emma O’Neil, 29, knows exactly how well CBD can work after turning to the plant-based oil to help treat a multitude of physical and mental ailments following her deadly eating disorder. The former fine arts entrepreneur is now the co-founder of luxury CBD company Hashtag Organics, set up alongside Tommy Deans three years ago after the pair recognised a trend for the cancer-fighting compound in Canada.
Emma, from Glasgow, Scotland, reveals, “We’re now one of the longest-running CBD companies in the UK. My business partner and I were looking for new opportunities a few years back and we started to see a lot of bulletins about CBD companies in Canada because the marketplace for it there and in the US is very established.
“That’s what really piqued our interest and we started to look at it as a viable business option. We became completely enthralled by all the benefits and how it biologically works.”
Mum-of-two Emma started taking CBD oil herself while researching its benefits and developing Hashtag Organics. She was left with osteoporosis of the hip and osteopenia in the spine, leading to chronic pain in those areas, after her weight plummeted to below three stone when she was a teenager.
Emma, who also uses CBD to treat her anxiety, explains, “I started looking at it myself and very quickly became immersed in the whole research of it.
“I had an eating disorder for a long time and I had a lot of residual health issues since then. Because of how low my weight was I’ve got osteoporosis in my hips and in my spine and I get chronic pain in my knee. I take CBD to manage my pain, so 90 per cent of the time I’m pain-free now when I’m taking it.
“I have really bad anxiety and that’s always been a big struggle for me, and anxiety is probably one of the main reasons why people buy CBD. For me, it’s very much a one product for all ailments and I swear by it. I take it every day now and it’s really just part of my self-care routine.”
Legal low-concentrates of the substance are said to have many medical and even cosmetic benefits, including helping to clear skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne and eczema.
Emma and Tommy’s ever-expanding product range is the result of dedicated CBD research, cutting-edge science, and increased demand by the public who are looking to achieve an optimum state of health. Many of their products are purchased by either terminally ill people who want a better quality of life, UFC fighters, survivors of horrific motorcycle crashes and those fighting depression.
The Hashtag Organics product range currently consists of three strengths of oils (500mg, 1000mg, 2500mg) which are pure to over 99 per cent, a herbal body balm, a CBD vitamin, containing 25mg of CBD per capsule, and the very popular Xtend Caps product which also contains 25mg of CBD. Use of the products is one of the reasons why the firm has seen a surge of interest in the sports market.
“We’ve seen a remarkable rise in athletes and sports professionals coming to us for CBD,” Emma claims. “It’s clear why, when you understand the physical stress athletes endure.”
WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) has recently taken CBD off the prohibited list meaning athletes up to, and including those competing at Olympic level, can use it safely and legally.
Emma insists the CBD by Hashtag Organics does not have any psychoactive effects such as those caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—which is removed from all of their products and won’t give consumers a traditional high.
Emma says, “The main difference between our CBD oil and others is quality and quality in processes, branding and packaging. We’re at the top end of the market in pretty much all those categories.
“Our slogan is grown in nature, defined by science, and that’s because everything comes from the cannabis strain industrial hemp plant. But our formulations are scientific and we formulate in a lab, with scientists and lab professionals, and we extract the CBD from the cannabis plant using a very premium method which is the most expensive method in the world in terms of extracting CBD molecules.
“We actually pay to own the formula and our packaging and branding is really premium. The same people that our craft packaging create all of the champagne brands like Taittinger, Laurent Perrier. It’s something that would sit well in Harvey Nichols or House of Fraser on the cosmetic floor.”
A recent boom in hemp-infused products means any preconceptions around using the oil have rapidly disintegrated. Emma hopes the premium product brand will also appeal to salon owners and beauty businesses, as her belief is that CBD products will always appeal to their customers.
She continues, “People can’t deny the benefits any longer, it’s becoming more of a focal point, Governments have passed it as safe and legal.
“There’s a change in legislation that’s driving that and for people to understand that there’s a lot of benefits attached to the cannabis plant.
“We’ve had a lot of interest from beauticians who can use the oil in their massages which will be amazing for reducing pain and muscle ache.
“We did the Scottish Hair and Beauty show a few months ago and we completely sold out of every product.
“There’s no side effects, it’s non-addictive and it’s an organic product so I think those three things along offer somebody a natural approach. Our retail presence is within the pharmacies so they can purchase, with confidence, a premium quality CBD product within a trusted pharmaceutical environment without worrying about the integrity of the brand.”