Image above: Beleaf Chiswick exterior
A new shop opened in Chiswick High Rd on Thursday 16 July, selling a range of products made of the cannabis extract Cannabidiol, known as CBD.
‘Beleaf’, at 288 Chiswick High Rd, where the women’s fashion store Phase Eight used to be, has about 150 different CBD products on sale, including capsules and droplets of the extract and topical creams.
Sales of CBD oil have exploded in the UK since its sale was legalised in January 2017. According to trade specialists The Grocer, CBD has established itself as one of the fastest growing food supplement products in the UK with some estimates valuing the sector at around £300m. ‘Millions of Brits are consuming it, and the industry has already outgrown sales of vitamin C and D combined’.
Unlike marijuana, you can’t get high from CBD. To be sold legally, it has to contain less than 2% Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.
Image above: Beleaf Chiswick interior
The company behind Beleaf is iD agency, a ‘retail developer’ which has marketed brands such as Nespresso, Pepsi and L’Oreal in the UK. The actual products are mostly produced by MPX International, a Canadian producer of CBD.
‘CBD is a natural remedy, extracted from the cannabis plant, and has been widely acknowledged in recent years to offer exciting benefits for many common ailments’ they say.
‘CBD use has gained significant momentum in recent years, with many scientific studies confirming it may ease symptoms of ailments like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, skin quality, diabetes prevention, and improved heart health’.
According to the website:
‘There is some evidence medical cannabis can help certain types of pain, though this evidence is not yet strong enough to recommend it for pain relief’.
Doctors have been able to prescribe cannabis-derived medicine since the law was relaxed in July 2018, but according to research carried out by the Guardian in July 2020, they don’t. Prof David Nutt, the former government drugs adviser, told the Guardian there was “mounting real-world evidence” of the efficacy of medical cannabis.“I suspect many doctors are afraid of cannabis after years of fear-mongering and just want to be spoon-fed by the pharmaceutical industry,” he said.
The Chiswick store is the second Beleaf to be opened in this country. The first was opened in Soho in November.
Managing Director Marcus Fox lives locally and told The Chiswick Calendar:
“We really want this to be a ‘local’ store; we’re a small, conscientious brand who’d like to be there whenever someone has a question, wants to bring a friend, or just wants to chat and try something new.
As a specialist store dealing only in CBD, the staff are trained to offer advice about the products they have on sale. The store also features a ‘blends bar’ with complimentary fresh juices on offer, and lounge where customers can sample various CBD-infused products.
We asked Marcus whether CBD can help with sleep problems. “It’s one of the most difficult things to prove” he told us. They don’t make the claim, but anecdotally he believes it does.
“We know there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation in the CBD space, with very little product quality control, and so our mission from the start is to educate and build consumer confidence as a leading authority on CBD in Europe” he said.
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