Millions of people in the UK have already tried CBD and reports suggest the market could soon be worth as much as £1 billion a year. It is clear the use of CBD is a growing trend – one that is not going to go away any time soon.
Our guide to CBD oil in the UK tells you all you need to know about these exciting new products.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol – usually referred to as CBD for short – is one of the cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for close to half of the plant’s extract.
CBD can be taken in a number of different ways, but oil is the most common in the UK. CBD should also not be confused with THC, which is the element of cannabis that leads to psychoactivity – the feeling of being ‘stoned’ or ‘high’. CBD is also not the same as hemp oil.
CBD usually only contains a very small amount of THC. While CBD has an impact on the body, this is not the same as what happens when taking THC by smoking marijuana, for example.
The CBD oil most commonly sold today in the UK is typically made by extracting it from hemp paste, which in turn is created from the leaves and stem of the plant.
How does CBD oil work?
CBD oil is usually taken by putting it under the tongue. Users ought to take a few drops of the oil, leave it in their mouth for a minute or so, then swallow.
It is recommended not to do this more than two or three times a day, while CBD capsules can also be purchased for those who do not like the taste of the oil.
CBD oil has a distinctive taste which many consumers find appealing but having a small drink of water after taking it is an easy solution for those who do not.
Taking CBD oil impacts on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. Sleep and pain are both affected by the body’s ECS.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), CBD “is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”, while the body said in a review that “there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”.
Is CBD oil safe and legal to use in the UK?
In the UK, CBD oil has been legal to buy and use since a change of legislation made in 2018.
This led to a number of CBD products being launched on the market and they have been rapidly growing in popularity since then.
The UK Food Standards Agency said at the start of 2019 that CBD oil should be classed as a ‘novel food’, which means products must be proven to be safe before they can be sold.
CBD oil products in the UK typically have a very low THC percentage – they are not permitted to be above 0.2 per cent THC, which means they are generally considered to be very safe to use.
As mentioned above, the WHO does not believe there are significant risks to taking CBD.
Benefits and advantages of using CBD oil
CBD oil has been used by people around the world for decades, but it is only relatively recently that the medical industry has begun to carry out trials on how these products work.
Many find using CBD oil has the impact of reducing the chronic pain they experience, making it a lot more manageable and having a huge impact on the quality of their life. People with multiple sclerosis – often known as MS – have also found that taking CBD oil can reduce their symptoms such as muscle spasms.
CBD oil can also be used to treat anxiety, seizures and epilepsy, as well as drug withdrawal, stopping smoking and even the impact of Alzheimer’s disease. Tests are even being carried out to see if CBD can impact cancer, as well as acne and diabetes.
Does using CBD oil have any side effects?
The majority of people who take CBD oil do not experience any side effects at all. However, it has been known for some users to find taking CBD can have an impact on their appetite, potentially resulting in either weight loss or gain.
Others may find the use of CBD oil leads to an increase in tiredness, while taking CBD in addition to other medications may have an effect on how well those treatments work.
Studies are ongoing to work out whether there are any long-term side effects of taking CBD oil in addition to some of the short-term side effects that may be experienced by using the products.
It is recommended to speak to a doctor before taking CBD oil if you are at all concerned.
How to find the right CBD oil for your needs
A lack of regulation in the industry means it can be difficult to find good quality CBD products.
Some of them on the market contain very little CBD at all, while some CBD products contain ingredients such as pesticides and herbicides.
A review published by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) in June found that over half of CBD products in the UK did not contain the level of CBD promised on their labels. In fact, a product examined by the CMC in their study found it even contained 3.8 per cent ethanol.
Consumers looking to try CBD oil for the first time therefore need to do their research before shopping. And it can be best to try out a range of products to see what works best for you. Perhaps start with a product with a relatively low CBD percentage to see if it has an impact before working up to stronger products.
This list of the UK’s top CBD oil products by CBD Shopy can help users find what they want. Reviews include details such as the price per mg of CBD, as well as the extraction methods used, so consumers know exactly what it is they are buying when they purchase CBD oil.