Understanding CBD in the UK.
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is one of over 100 active compounds in cannabis plants.
Unlike the well-known cannabinoid THC, CBD is non-intoxicating and produces no euphoric or psychoactive effects. CBD interacts with the body’s innate endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate essential functions like immune response, sleep, appetite, pain and more.
Ingested, CBD indirectly stimulates endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. Helping reduce inflammation, ease pain signals, improve mood and sleep quality, and provide other potential therapeutic benefits. However, our understanding of CBD and how it works must be improved, and more rigorous clinical studies still need to be completed.
Is CBD Legal in the UK?
In the UK, CBD products derived from EU-approved hemp strains containing less than 0.2% THC are legal to buy and consume.
The steps to legalize medical cannabis in November 2018 paved the way for mainstream CBD products. However, CBD oil derived from marijuana plants, as does importing CBD products, remains illegal in the UK.
According to current regulations, all legal CBD products must have proper labelling and content listings. Consumers should look for CBD products with up-to-date European regulations to ensure legality and safety. If you're in doubt, speak to your doctor before using any new CBD products.
Choosing the right CBD product.
As CBD use grows, various ingestion methods and products have emerged. This is due to the different ways CBD fits into your life. Some popular ways to take Cannabidiol include:
- Oils and tinctures placed under the tongue – Provides quick absorption into the bloodstream. Easy to calibrate dosing.
- Vape oils inhaled – Fast acting but require compatible vape pen. Dosage can be tricky.
- Edibles like gummies or chocolates – Taste good but activate slower. Dosing is often guesswork.
- Capsules and pills – Precise dosing and easy to take along with other supplements or medications.
- Topical creams and lotions – Applied locally for body aches and skin conditions rather than whole-body effects.
When selecting CBD products, quality matters. Seek out brands that follow current good manufacturing practices and feature independent lab testing showing purity and potency matched to label claims. Only buy from reputable companies that provide transparency.
Therapeutic Uses of CBD.
Most health claims regarding CBD remain unproven scientifically. However, preliminary research indicates CBD may help with:
- Chronic pain relief – Studies show CBD engages with endocannabinoid receptors involved in pain modulation.
- Reducing anxiety and depression – CBD may impact serotonin receptor signalling in the brain.
- Neuroprotection and seizure reduction – CBD may have anti-inflammatory effects and be helpful for epilepsy.
- Acne, psoriasis and skin therapy – Topical CBD shows promise for some dermatological conditions.
- Insomnia – CBD’s calming effects may improve sleep duration and quality.
- Nausea and appetite stimulation – CBD may indirectly activate CB1 receptors to reduce nausea while increasing appetite.
- Inflammation reduction – CBD demonstrates the ability to suppress inflammatory response in several studies.
Remember that CBD research remains in its early stages, and robust clinical data is limited thus far. Work closely with a medical professional before using CBD therapeutically, and be wary of overblown product claims.
Frequently Asked Questions About CBD.
Is CBD legal in the UK?
Yes, CBD from approved EU hemp strains containing <0.2% THC is legal.
Will CBD make me high or fail a drug test?
No, CBD without THC does not induce intoxication or show on drug tests.
Are there side effects or risks?
Mild side effects include drowsiness, GI issues, and decreased appetite. More research is still needed.
Can I take too much CBD?
Very high doses may exacerbate side effects. Start low and increase slowly as needed.
How much CBD should I take?
Depends on the product type, your body chemistry, the severity of the condition and more. It is best to start with a low dosage.
How long does CBD last in your system?
Time varies based on dosage, method, and metabolism. The effects are typically felt for 2-6 hours.
With the constant growth of the CBD market, it can seem overwhelming to select the right CBD product and dosage for your needs. Here are some tips for making an informed decision if you're considering adding CBD to your health and wellness routine:
Before trying CBD, discuss it with your doctor, especially if you have any medical conditions or take other medications, so that they can advise you on potential benefits, risks, and drug interactions. Only purchase from reputable CBD brands that provide current lab testing showing exactly what is in their products and follow proper manufacturing practices.
When starting with CBD, begin with a very low dose, around 5-10mg once or twice a day, and slowly increase every 3-4 days until you find the optimal dosage that works for you based on factors like your metabolism, diet, and age. Carefully track the effects at each dosage to determine effectiveness for your needs. Be patient when first taking CBD; it can take up to two weeks of consistent use to realize the full therapeutic benefits. Seek out quality assurances like GMP standards, independent 3rd party testing, and CBD extracted only from naturally grown EU-approved hemp.
Thorough CBD research and starting off slowly can help you safely add it to your health routine, but discontinue use if any adverse effects occur and discuss ongoing use with your doctor.