Unless you’ve been living underground for the past 6 months, you’re well aware of the popularity of CBD. From food to creams to pet products, CBD is trending everywhere. While the discussion surrounding this ancient plant has become ubiquitous, it can be overwhelming for the beginner user. Let’s explore the CBD Basics.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a chemical compound from the Cannabis Sativa plant, also known as marijuana.* CBD is just one type of chemical compound that can be extracted from cannabis plants and hemp. Hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC, while cannabis plants contain higher concentrations of THC. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the major active ingredient in cannabis, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning you will not experience a high. Instead, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in your body and can help ease pain and manage illnesses. Research into CBD as a medical treatment option is not new. In fact, scientific research into the medicinal effects started as early as the 70s in the United States. Medical cannabis became accessible for use in patients with Multiple Sclerosis in 2010 in the UK.

In other European countries like the Netherlands and Italy, medical cannabis is legal and you can even grow a few plants for yourself, although this is strictly only for personal consummation and cannot be sold for profit.  While cultivation is not legally permitted in the UK, in countries where it is legal, users may cultivate a few plants of a particular strain that can help relieve anxiety and stress. It’s believed that one of the best strains for this issue is OG Kush.

So is CBD Legal in the UK?

The short answer: It depends. CBD is legal in the UK as long as the THC content remains under 0.2% for hemp cultivation or “No THC” (recommended limit of detection: 0.01%) for CBD oil and novel food for example CBD gummies like ZenBears or even beverages & chocolates. This means that only pure CBD that has virtually no THC content is legal in the UK. The only exception for this regulation is in the case of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis who are able to receive medical exemption for cannabis oil containing THC and CBD. In order to ensure your compliance with the law, it is important you purchase your CBD from a reputable Government regulated source.

What Does CBD Do for Me?

Although much more research is required to gain a full understanding of the applications of CBD, initial research has demonstrated that CBD can have therapeutic benefits for a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Treatment of epilepsy disorders in children
  • Chronic pain
  • Reduction of drug dependence
  • Relieving anxiety and depression
  • Insomnia

Keep in mind that CBD cannot be labelled with any medical claims or as a curative. Although research to date has been promising, there is still much we do not know about the benefits of CBD and it is illegal to brand it as medicinal in the UK. So how does CBD accomplish all of these benefits? It’s complicated. THC binds to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, particularly CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoid receptors are responsible for processes such as appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to these receptors, however, it does modulate several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels. It also inhibits or enhances certain G-protein coupled receptors, meaning it can affect neurological processes like pain, depression, and possibly autoimmune conditions. The best part of CBD is the lack of side effects for most people.  It is important, however, to always speak to your doctor about including CBD in your health plan as it can interact with certain medications, particularly medications that are metabolized through the liver. Mixing CBD with these medications could extend the half-life of the medication in your bloodstream and cause adverse effects.

How Do I Use It?

There are many ways to benefit from CBD legally.

  • One of the most popular ways is to take it sublingually, or under the tongue. This is a quick and effective delivery system for CBD oil as it is very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream via the blood vessels under the tongue. Effects will occur quickly, typically between 5-10 minutes and last anywhere between 2-8 hours depending on a variety of factors such as dosage, body weight, and potency of the oil.
  • Edibles or Novel Foods, such as CBD Gummies, are also growing in popularity as they are discreet, slow-acting with an onset time between 30-90 minutes and last longer, typically up to 4 hours. As with the sublingual method, the time in which it takes to experience the effects and the duration of the effects depend on a variety of factors including metabolism and stomach contents as the CBD will go through the digestive process. When it comes to edibles, always remember to “Go low and slow”. Begin using a low dosage and not taking more until ample time has passed for you to feel the effects. This is how you will learn your ideal dosage.
  • Topical CBD cream is becoming more and more popular, particularly for those who are still uncertain of the difference between CBD and THC. Topical creams can help with inflammation and pain and do not enter the bloodstream. They usually become effective within 10 minutes of application. They can be used multiple times per day as directed on the package.
  • Some companies, such as Red Eyez even offer CBD skincare products.

If you are interested learning more about or buying high-quality CBD oils in the UK check out CBDShopy.co.uk a trusted CBD retailer with over 400 TrustPilot reviews.

Final Thoughts

The legalization of CBD can feel complicated and overwhelming, however there are plenty of reputable sources to help you discover the product that is right for you. Always be sure to purchase your CBD from a licensed company who remains up-to-date on UK legislation as this area of law is frequently changing to accommodate new scientific discoveries. Talk to your doctor before beginning any therapeutic regimen involving CBD to ensure your safety. Finally, have fun exploring the different flavours and delivery methods that are available to you.