So what is all this fuss about CBD cannabis oil?
It is the latest buzz word, it is supposed to be a cure for nearly everything and everyone in Bath is talking about it.
It has replaced turmeric in the trendy health market, with people paying as much as £60 for a small bottle of oil drops.
It is supposed to cure arthritis, help you sleep better, help anxiety and pain and there’s even a sexy oil supposed to increase libido made in association with Bath sex toy company Love Honey.
A new shop called Goodbody Wellness selling only CBD products recently opened in Broad St, Bath, the first of its kind in the country.
Our reporter Nancy Connolly visited a cannabis farm near Bath to find out what all the fuss is about.
CBD farm hidden not far from Bath
As you drive a few miles out of Bath on the A36 you will come to the picturesque, postcard scenery village of Beckington, a beautiful village with houses made of natural stone, rose bushes and rustic country pubs.
If you drive past the village further into the heart of the countryside near Frome you will come across the phenomenon that is George Botanicals, a company testing and providing CBD products on the international market.
It is set on a huge farm, on what used to be a dairy farm run by the well known Thomas family, successful financial entrepreneurs.
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The George from George Botanicals is 29-year-old George Thomas, a young ex Monkton Combe pupil, already a successful entrepreneur, whose mission it is to bring legalised cannabis products to the market.
When we were invited to go and visit a so-called cannabis farm here in Bath we jumped at the chance.
But it is not what it seems.
We expected to find a toothless old hippy farmer growing huge cannabis plants on a Somerset farm.
We were so very wrong.
Instead of the toothless hippy we got the fresh faced, immaculately dressed George, in smart suit and spotless Range Rover.
Farm buildings have been transformed into modern testing laboratories with the latest equipment to test CBD products from companies all around the world.
They don’t actually grow cannabis at the farm, not yet, although there are some new hemp plants, they are awaiting all sorts of licences.
But it looks like once all the red tape is sorted this farm in Beckington will be a major supplier of CBD products, made from cannabis or hemp plants grown on the farm.
When you enter the driveway you get the feeling this is no ordinary farm.
Yes there are sheep but there is a feeling they are waiting for much bigger bucks.
This is big business.
The main building is an executive office, with smart suited men and women at desks with computers selling and distributing CBD products around the country.
It is a huge business already and it looks set to get even bigger.
George and his father Geremy have already made a lot of money with their investment company,Sativa and they look set to make a whole lot more with CBD retailing and testing.
‘Passionate about CBD’
Let’s get one thing straight – CBD oil will not make you high.
It is not that kind of cannabis, but its health benefits for people suffering from arthritis, anxiety, pain, acne and more have been well documented, and leading medics around the world have confirmed its benefits.
George Thomas is keen to point out he cannot make any claims about its benefits due to all sorts of medical and legal red tape; he is very careful about what he says.
He said: “There is a lot of legal and other issues at the moment and we are waiting for all that to be sorted out.
“People have told us they take CBD to manage a vast range of conditions, however due to the current classification of CBD as a food supplement we are not allowed to make any medical claims or give any specific advice.
“I am passionate about CBD, it is not just a fad, we are working with King’s College, London to research the impact of cannabinoids on inflammation and respiratory diseases.
“We are the first company of its kind in the UK and we really believe in the benefits of CBD.”
What is CBD?
So what exactly is CBD?
CBD is a powerful plant extract that has been used for thousands of years.
It is a cannabinoid, a natural ingredient found in the cannabis plant family, not the kind that is used for recreational drugs.
Most CBD products are extracted from industrial hemp which is grown legally all over the UK.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence about the benefits of CBD.
Some people swear by it.
One woman, who did not want to be named, said she has even started giving it to her dog and has seen a remarkable change in his arthritis.
Chemists and other outlets in Bath are already selling it.
Other people say it helps with anxiety and sleep problems, and use it for general health and wellbeing.
How much does CBD oil cost?
It is not cheap, around £30 for a small bottle of drops, and that price goes up according to the amount of CBD in the bottle – it is all about the percentage of CBD in the bottle.
Such lucrative prices is driving a whole new industry around CBD.
The first shop Goodbody Wellness opened in Bath on June 29, and the company is also opening shops in Bristol and Cirencester.
CBD is big business and the George Botanicals farm on the outskirts of Bath is set to be a major player in the world market.
The testing side of the business is huge, but at the moment they have to import the CBD oils until they are fully licenced to grow and produce their own.
More growth to come for Beckington business
It is all very complicated but you get the impression young George is well on top of the situation and it will be huge business once fully operational.
There is a high tech green house at the farm with strong lighting but at the moment it houses just tomato plants, waiting for permission for the real stuff.
This certainly wasn’t the cannabis farm we expected, not yet anyway.
If everything goes ahead as planned this farm on the outskirts of Bath will put Somerset very much at the heart of legalised cannabis products on the world market.
Like turmeric, there’s no sign of it going away anytime soon.
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