Let us guess. You’ve seen the letters ‘CBD’ popping up everywhere recently – in the news, in shop windows, and on the bottles of various products. But it came out of nowhere; nobody ever really explained what it is and where it comes from. It just… appeared.
Well, today we’re here to answer all the burning questions you might have about CBD. Specifically, we’ll be talking about CBD oils, as these are the most common products you’ll be seeing around. If you want to find out what CBD is, where it comes from, its legal status, and more, then read on…
All About Cannabidiol
Cannabidiol, usually termed CBD, is a cannabinoid. This is the name given to perhaps one hundred active compounds found in cannabis plants. All of these cannabinoids have different properties and effects, but they all have an ability to affect the human body.
We are all equipped with an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is an incredibly important biological system. It helps to regulate all manner of different functions, ranging from immune response and inflammation to mood, appetite and sleep. With this level of importance, it is crucial to ensure that your endocannabinoid system remains healthy. However, it is common to experience an endocannabinoid deficiency, in which your ECS cannot work at its best. When this happens, you can suffer a number of symptoms that may be irritating or painful, and make it hard to cope on a day to day basis. Endocannabinoid deficiency could be an underlying cause for an untold number of conditions.
Whereas some cannabinoids, notably THC, are notorious for their ability to act as intoxicants, CBD is quite the opposite. It is completely non-psychoactive. Furthermore, it is safe and well-tolerated, meaning that it won’t cause any harm to you if you take it. There may be a problem if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, because not much research has been done in this area, but otherwise CBD is safe for people of all ages.
Furthermore, CBD might be able to assist with an endocannabinoid deficiency, because it can stimulate the production of extra endocannabinoids. This provides a way of helping your body to heal itself completely naturally, rather than introducing any harmful pharmaceuticals into your body. While CBD cannot provide a cure for any ailments, it can definitely improve your health and wellbeing and ensure that your body is on top form.
And What is CBD Oil?
In order to take CBD, manufacturers extract it from hemp and suspend it in different products. The CBD is found in the leaves and flowers of hemp, which are not very pleasant to eat and is why it must be removed.
The most common CBD product is CBD oil drops, sometimes called CBD tinctures. The hemp extract, often containing other cannabinoids alongside CBD, is suspended in an inert oil. Coconut oil, MCT oil, and hemp seed oil are all commonly used.
The oil comes in a bottle with either a dropper or an aerosol spray attached. When taking CBD oil drops, you are supposed to hold some of the tincture beneath your tongue for a minute or so before swallowing. Through this method, the cannabinoids can be absorbed into the bloodstream, delivering the CBD quickly and effectively. The product is called ‘drops’ because you usually use a pipette to drip the oil into your mouth.
A great thing about CBD oils is that you can tailor your own dosage. A different strength of CBD will work for different individuals; at first, it is unfortunately down to trial and error. Many companies will state how much CBD is contained within one drop of oil, which makes it easy to tailor-make your dose of cannabidiol.
A significant drawback, however, is the taste. Many new consumers find themselves deterred by the bitter taste. It tastes like raw hemp, which is really not the nicest taste in the world. Some companies flavour their CBD oils, but most come with just natural flavouring. This is why some people opt for different products, such as gummies or capsules.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the United Kingdom?
The short answer to this question is yes. However, CBD does occupy a bit of a legal grey area. Of course, cannabis is restricted in Great Britain and marijuana is 100% illegal to buy, sell, possess and consume. But this is because marijuana has a high THC content – it can contain up to 30% THC. Used as a recreational drug, marijuana is banned.
However, CBD is found in extremely low quantities in marijuana. It’s found in much higher concentrations in marijuana’s cousin, the hemp plant. This plant can contain up to 30% CBD, and by definition contains less than 0.3% THC. Hemp remains a restricted plant, and it can only be grown in the UK if you have a license granted by the Home Office.
CBD, being safe and non-intoxicating, enjoys a more liberal legal status than THC. Even before the industry blossomed, there were a few companies selling CBD products to help treat certain conditions. However, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) introduced a rule in 2017 that banned the sale of medicinal CBD products. Since the MHRA oversee the regulation of any medicines, they stated that CBD manufacturers could not produce any unlicensed medications.
But still, they did not ban the sale of CBD altogether. CBD can still be sold as a food supplement and can be used in beauty products. Providing that any CBD product sold in the UK contains less than 0.2% THC and is not said to treat any illnesses, it is 100% legal. As the consumer, you don’t have a lot to worry about here. It is mostly manufacturers who have to be careful.
To complicate the issue further, in 2018 the British government reviewed the status of cannabis. This came after multiple cases in which severely epileptic children were shown to benefit from medicinal cannabis. And on November 1st, 2018, medical cannabis was made available on the NHS, providing that the patient had exhausted every other means of treatment for their qualifying condition. It will not be readily handed out, but medicinal cannabis is still there.
In summary of this section, CBD oil is legal. You might want to read up a bit more on CBD laws in the UK, but on the whole, it is legal to buy, sell, and consume. While CBD medicines are restricted by the government, food supplements and sublingual oils containing minimal THC are perfectly fine.
Is CBD Oil the Right Option for Me?
If you want to try CBD but aren’t sure where to start, we aren’t surprised. There are many products out there, almost too many products. From bath salts and CBD tea to the standard capsules and e-liquids, it is almost impossible to choose!
Every CBD product has its advantages and disadvantages. Choosing one depends on your personal preference and lifestyle, as one product might be better suited to you over another. We recommend sublingual CBD drops for complete beginners, as being able to adjust the dose can really help when you first start out. Remember to take a very low dose at first, and then work your way up until you find what’s right for you.
Once you know your required CBD dose, you can switch to easier products like capsules or gummies, or try out something like CBD vaping.
Hopefully, this article has answered all the questions you have about CBD oil drops. If you’re still confused or want to know more, let us know in the comments below!