CBD oil has gone on quite a journey in the UK. According to the Cannabis Trades Association UK, the number of consumers of cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, has increased from 125,000 in 2017 up to 250,000 now. That means that, in just a year, over 125,000 more people have added CBD oil to their lifestyle. Sales of the product are skyrocketing since it has begun to pop up in health food stores and on the high street, meaning that CBD oil is slipping into the mainstream.
Of course, there are a lot of questions surrounding CBD oil, its legality, how safe it is to use, and how to make sure that you are buying a good product. We will explore these questions in this article, ultimately telling you the best places to purchase this supplement in the UK.
Why are people taking CBD oil?
Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. Under UK law, cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that it has no medicinal benefits. However, this law is currently under review as a few cases of CBD oil being prescribed on an emergency basis are coming to light.
As it stands, a certain quantity of CBD can be taken as a food supplement (we will discuss the law in more detail below). But why are so many people investing in this product?
The body contains something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps to maintain, control, and regulate a lot of bodily processes. This includes body temperature, blood pressure, mood regulation, and pain response. Essentially, it helps to maintain homeostasis; in other words, it keeps everything well-balanced in the body.
The ECS consists of a number of cannabinoid receptors which interact with compounds found in cannabis, one of which is CBD. But it also has endocannabinoids, which are produced naturally within our own bodies. That’s right: we produce our own cannabinoids! The endocannabinoids work with corresponding receptors in order to maintain this homeostasis.
However, whenever something goes wrong – whether it be a physical injury or an illness – the ratio of endocannabinoids can be reduced. This is where CBD oil comes in. By taking CBD oil as a food supplement as part of your daily routine, you can restore the natural balance of cannabinoids in your body, promoting your wellbeing by maintaining homeostasis.
This is why it has taken off in the UK; many people are finding it extremely beneficial as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Is CBD oil legal in the UK?
Given that cannabis is a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, it is no wonder that people have questions regarding the legal status of CBD oil. However, while this act lists most cannabinoids found in the plant as controlled substances, CBD is not actually listed.
The Misuse of Drug Regulations Act 2001 lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no medicinal value. While this listing in itself is currently under review, CBD was never specifically included in this list itself, either.
To fully understand the legal status of CBD oil, it is necessary to recognise the two subcategories of the Cannabis sativa plant. Although they both fall under this species, marijuana and hemp are considered two different plants. Marijuana has a high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive cannabinoid which causes users of the plant to feel ‘high.’ These mind-altering effects of THC is what makes marijuana illegal. But industrial hemp, on the other hand, is a subspecies of Cannabis sativa which has hardly any THC at all. On the contrary, it has a high concentration of CBD, meaning that it is not illegal and is not intoxicating.
Industrial hemp is a very useful plant, since it is not only edible, but its fibres can also be used for building materials and clothes. This subspecies can be grown under license in the UK due to its trace amounts of THC. If CBD oil is made from industrial hemp, and as long as the company can verify that the oil contains less than 0.2% THC, it is perfectly legal for sale on UK shelves.
You should be wary, however, that companies selling CBD oil in the UK only meet legislative guidelines as long as they state the percentage of THC on the bottle, specify that it is intended as a food supplement, and list all ingredients on the bottle; the label should also state specifically that the CBD was extracted from industrial hemp. Make sure that any CBD oil you purchase meets these requirements and can prove 3rd party lab testing, and you should feel confident that this is a reputable seller.
Hempseed oil vs. CBD hemp oil
There is another difference between oils for sale in this country. While CBD hemp oil is what we are specifically referring to in this article, you could be caught out by hempseed oil.
The seeds of the hemp plant are also edible. An oil can be obtained by cold pressing these seeds, and this is also used as a food supplement. This oil has a nutty taste and contains high levels of unsaturated fats such as Omega 3 and Omega 6. Together with amino acids, these seeds are very healthy, which is why hempseed oil is also sold.
However, the seeds contain very little CBD. If you want to get the ECS-boosting benefits of CBD, then you need to make sure you are buying CBD oil that was extracted from hemp plants (to ensure that you meet the requisite laws).
In short, always check the label to make sure it is actually CBD oil, and not just hempseed oil.
Where can I buy CBD oil?
There are plenty of places where you can get CBD oil in the UK. Let’s take a look at our top 5.
1. Holland & Barrett
Visiting Holland & Barrett will allow you to invest in any of the Jacob Hooy CBD products on offer. This chain health food shop is clearly a reputable source, as they have been in business for many years and are qualified professionals. Jacob Hooy as a separate brand are a Dutch-based company that have brought their products to the UK through Holland & Barrett.
The selection of products on the Holland & Barrett website come in the following formats and strengths:
- CBD+ Oil 10ml 5%: £29.99
- CBD+ Oil 10ml 2.5%: £19.99
- CBD+ Oil 30ml 5%: £59.99
- CBD+ Oil 30ml 2.5%: £39.99
- CBD+ 60 capsules: £34.99
As you can see, you can purchase the bottles in either 10ml or 30ml, containing either 5% CBD or 2.5% CBD. The website is slightly unclear in places, as the products are said to contain cold-pressed hempseed oil, but also CBD extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. This ambiguity is not entirely ideal, and it could mean that the CBD is slightly weaker and less effective than other products out there.
Jacob Hooy CBD Oil Pros:
- Sold from a reputable seller.
- Each 10ml bottle contains around 240 drops, meaning it can last quite a while.
- THC content is tested on every batch, so you can be sure the product is safe and legal.
Jacob Hooy CBD Oil Cons:
- The product information is quite vague.
- The hemp oil flavour is too strong for some people (but the capsules may be a preferred option).
- Some users complain that the packaging often leaks.
2. Hempura CBD
This company is a member of the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) – the only UK-centric trade association for cannabis-related products. The CTA ensures that Hempura only sells organic products that are rich in active cannabinoids. Their website is very informative, boasting that all their supplements are manufactured from low-THC hemp and are always fully lab tested. According to their site, their products “can help you reclaim the lifestyle and wellbeing you deserve.”
Furthermore, Hempura have 5* ratings on Trustpilot and are very dedicated to their customer service. If ordered before 4pm, Hempura offer free UK delivery in 2-3 working days; they also have a next-day delivery option in case you just can’t wait!
Their full-spectrum products include:
- 250mg 2.5%: £22.99
- 500mg 5%: £36.99
- 1000mg 10%: £64.99
The same oils are available for the same prices as broad-spectrum products. Essentially, the full-spectrum products include less than 0.05% THC, meaning they still meet the legal requirements whilst also including other cannabinoids to fully make use of the health-boosting cannabinoid effects. Broad-spectrum products contain absolutely no THC, which might make you feel more comfortable, but might also make the products less effective.
All these oils come in 10ml bottles containing 200 drops, with the dropper providing you with 2.5mg of CBD per drop.
Hempura’s Other Products
On top of selling CBD oil, Hempura also offer a range of other CBD products. These include vape liquid (if you would prefer to get your CBD hit via a vaporizer), capsules, and chocolates. The vape liquid is available in both 2.5% and 5% strength and contains zero THC.
The capsules contain 10mg of CBD each and come in bottles of 20 capsules for £24.99. Lastly, they sell white chocolates that are absolutely delicious. The strongest option contains 50mg of CBD per chocolate – which is an awful lot – and will set you back £44.99 for 20 pieces.
- Outstanding customer service.
- Free UK delivery.
- Backed by the CTA.
- Offers a wide range of products, including some other than oils.
- Has a very useful and informative website.
- Competitive pricing means the costs are mid-range.
- There isn’t much information about the organization itself on the company website.
3. Love CBD
Operating out of Suffolk, Love CBD is one of the largest sellers of cannabidiol in the UK. It is a family-owned business formed in late 2014, meaning they have been around for a while already. They sell a pretty large variety of products, which we will explain below.
- Entourage oil:
- 800mg: £48.99
- 1400mg: £17.99
- 2000mg: £129.99
- Dutch CBD oil spray:
- 150mg: £12.99
- 300mg: £18.99
- 500mg: £28.99
The Entourage Oil is one of their best sellers and contains a “unique cocktail of legal cannabis strains.” The oil is so-called because of the entourage effect, which refers to the phenomenon by which cannabinoids are more effective when used together, rather than using an isolate. This means that it is a pretty effective CBD dose, as well as being quite strong. Different cannabis strains are grown in the Netherlands, Lithuania, Slovenia and Croatia, meaning they all meet EU standards and are safe to consume.
The Dutch CBD Oil, on the other hand, is all sourced from Holland and is grown organically. It is 100% natural and is a very simple product. Both oils are sold as a spray rather than a dropper, because Love CBD took the time to ensure that their products would never leak.
Love CBD’s Other Products
As well as their spray oils, Love CBD also sells capsules containing 10mg of CBD each, available in bottles of 60 for £34.99.
Additionally, they also sell a topical CBD balm, which can be purchased in a 10g tub for £13.99 or a 30g tub for £29.99. To use, all you need to do is a rub a little CBD cream onto your skin.
For vapers, you can also purchase e-liquid for vaporizers. Every 10ml bottle contains 250mg of CBD and will set you back £29.99. If you want to use CBD for its purportedly energy-boosting effects, choose the sativa option; for a more relaxed effect, use the indica option.
Love CBD Pros:
- The full-spectrum oil is certain to have some benefits for your wellbeing.
- This is a reputable company that shares a lot of product information, so you can be confident in what you’re buying.
- There is a good range of products available on the site.
Love CBD Cons:
- It can be difficult to unsubscribe from the service.
- They don’t sell edibles, so the taste of the oil can be quite unpleasant.
4. Love Hemp
Promoting themselves as “the finest purveyor of CBD oils in the UK”, Love Hemp has some pretty unique products for sale. First, let’s talk about their oils. The website for Love Hemp is very trustworthy and informative, providing a free e-book for those who are unsure about their first ever CBD purchase – downloading the e-book also gives you a 10% discount!
With such a helpful website, Love Hemp are definitely promoting themselves as a reputable source. They also quality test all their products to ensure that everything they sell is safe for consumption, GMO-free, organic, vegan, and 100% natural.
- 800mg 8% oil: £49.99
- 2000mg 20% oil: £129.99
- 4000mg 40% oil: £269.99
- 10,000mg 10% oil: £399.99
All sold in 10ml bottles, these quality-assured oils might seem pretty expensive. However, this is due to the way in which Love Hemp produces their oils: rather than just using CO2 extraction, they use medical grade CO2 to withdraw the CBD from hemp, meaning that no other chemicals are involved in the process. Moreover, their 40% offering is perhaps the strongest CBD oil available in the UK, and comes at quite an impressive strength when you consider that there is still a legal maximum of THC in there.
Love Hemp’s Other Products
Here is where things get interesting. Love Hemp actually sells a CBD mineral water, coming in 500ml bottles for just £1.99. These bottles contain 2mg of CBD, and offer a way of getting CBD into your diet easily, whilst also staying hydrated. Also, if you really hate the taste of CBD oil, you can drink this water and feel like you’ve changed nothing at all!
Love Hemp also sells other products, including gummy bears containing 10mg of CBD per bear. The price for these bears ranges between £9.99 and £349.99 depending on how many you want to purchase. Again, this is a wonderful way to ingest CBD without the difficult taste of the oil.
There are also other products available, so check out their website to see more.
Love Hemp Pros:
- Amazing range of products.
- Clearly a very reputable company.
- Organic, natural source.
- Offers a discount directly from the website.
Love Hemp Cons:
- The oils are quite expensive.
- There is a strange lack of reviews.
5. Holistic Hemp Scotland
Based in Scotland, this company claims to supply “the finest quality hemp products from around the world.” They produce full spectrum hemp products that include the full range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, produced from hemp grown on artisan farms.
Holistic Hemp believe in organic growing techniques that don’t use artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Additionally, the flowers are handpicked during harvest and dried individually at natural temperatures, which is very different to companies that create their CBD extracts in bulk.
- 5% CBD+CBDA Tincture: £35.00
- Full spectrum CBD capsules: £40-£45
- Full spectrum hemp paste: £12.50-£90.00
The oil tincture comes in a 10ml bottle that contains 500mg of CBD and a whole other range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids for a decent price.
If you want to mix it up, you can try the full spectrum hemp paste, which comes in three strengths ranging between 15-26% CBD, and four sizes from 1g to 10g. The past can be consumed like a tincture, eaten normally, or even added to food! This is a great alternative to regular CBD oil.
Holistic Hemp Pros:
- Sells full-spectrum products.
- Ensures an organic, sustainable growing process.
- The paste is quite a unique product.
Holistic Hemp Cons:
- It is a relatively new company.
- The paste is not easy to measure out.
As CBD oil is set to continue its rise in the UK, it is no wonder many more members of the public are intrigued by this product. CBD-infused products are being sold on the High Street in pharmacies, as well as appearing in health food stores like Holland & Barrett. While these are good, easy ways to buy CBD-based food supplements, more experienced users can buy stronger-strength (but still legal!) products from online companies.
Remember, when buying any CBD product, you have to look out for signs to be sure that the sellers are reputable, trustworthy sources. The five companies above are the perfect place to start, as they are all quality-tested, decent products.
As sales of Jacob Hooy’s CBD Oil have gone up by 37% since it arrived at Holland & Barret, you will have to keep an eye out for more and more CBD products hitting UK shelves in the future.