CBD is now virtually everywhere and in everything. From foods, supplements to cosmetics, there seems to be a way for everyone to use this natural compound that is being praised for its supposed health benefits.
But like in any new trend, there are a lot of questions yet to be answered about CBD.
Is CBD legal in the UK? Is it another snake oil or a passing internet trend? Does it work? Does it make you high? These are just a few of the questions most people are asking and that we seek to answer in this article.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol in full, is one of the 100+ cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. It is the second most abundant compound in the Cannabis Sativa plant after THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
But unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and, therefore, will not make you high. This and its supposed medical benefits are the reason for its meteoric rise in popularity across the world.
In the UK, CBD is only extracted from industrial hemp since marijuana is illegal. These hemp plants are cultivated to contain low THC and high CBD levels.
For it to be legal, the hemp must contain less than 0.2% THC.
Does CBD Work?
This is the most asked question by most users. Does CBD work, or is it a fad?
Recent research studies, as well as anecdotal reports, suggest its therapeutic potential. Individuals use it to manage a long list of ailments, including insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression, among others.
However, more research is still required before it can be approved as a treatment.
In the UK, brands can only sell their CBD products as food supplements, as it is illegal for them to make medical claims.
Up to now, only two cannabis-based drugs have been approved for use in the UK, Sativex, which contains 50-50 CBD and THC, and Epidiolex, a treatment for epilepsy.
As to whether CBD works, scientists believe that it influences the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. This means regulating temperature, appetite, memory, pain response, mood, and immune function.
Scientists believe that CBD can influence or boost the ECS to ensure this homeostatic balance is achieved. This can be done by influencing the ECS receptors or signaling the body to produce more endogenous cannabinoids.
What Is CBD Used For?
CBD is used for many reasons. Most people use it to alleviate pain. While it is not yet approved as a treatment, there is evidence, although limited, that it can be used for analgesia.
This study on the use of cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain found that cannabidiol has analgesic properties. More studies, most of them pre-clinical, have corroborated these findings.
CBD has also been used to manage anxiety and insomnia, depression, nausea, seizure disorder, appetite, and arthritis.
A 2010 study suggested that it may reduce chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting when used with THC in equal parts.
Some have even suggested CBD as a treatment for substance abuse.
When applied to the skin surface, CBD can help reduce pain, acne, and other skin problems. It’s often added as an active ingredient in some moisturizers and lotions.
How is CBD Used?
You can deliver CBD into the body in different ways. However, each method has its advantages and disadvantages.
CBD oil is the most popular CBD delivery method. It can be made into capsules, taken as oil drops, or added into food.
Taking CBD orally means that it has to go through your digestion process and be exposed to the first-pass effect. Therefore, you take longer before you feel its effects.
CBD oil can also be taken sublingually if you want the effects to kick in faster. Sublingual administration is faster due to the high concentration of blood vessels under the tongue and in the mouth lining.
CBD oil can also be used in vaporizers. However, you must ensure that they are not made of cheap plastics or contain carcinogenic substances.
Although edibles, such as Zen Bears CBD gummies and cakes, are the slowest delivery method, most people prefer them as they can be used discreetly.
CBD Oil Dosage
There is no one-fits-all dosage because different people react differently to CBD.
It’s recommended that you start with a low dosage and increase it gradually until you achieve the effects you are looking for.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends not more than 70 mg a day unless your doctor advises you to take more.
Final Word: CBD Oil in The UK
CBD oil is legal in the UK as long as it is made from industrial hemp and contains less than 1mg of THC. Although CBD is classified as a novel food and therefore requires pre-market authorization, it is up to you to ensure its quality. One way to ensure quality is to buy from reputable sellers, here is a good medically-reviewed top UK CBD oil guide. If you are thinking about trying CBD and you are on medication, ensure you consult your doctor for directions.
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