I think most of us have heard about CBD oil (also sometimes referred to as hemp oil), and we may have heard that it is good for helping with pain as well as for anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders, but if you are anything like me that was the limit of my knowledge about the subject.
I decided it was time to do some delving in to the subject because, frankly, it was all a bit of a mystery to me. I had no idea what to buy, how much to take, how often, and whether it was safe to take with other medication. I was being asked about CBD oil by my clients who were interested in finding methods of self help that they could use at home. I thought it might be helpful to you if I put this information together in a beginner’s guide.
What does CBD stand for?
CBD stands for cannabidiol which is a type of cannabinoid – an active compound from the cannabis plant. There are hundreds of cannabinoids, but CBD has become one of the most popular.
Where does it come from?
CBD hemp oil is extracted from the flowers of the hemp plant which is a variety of cannabis plant. This is a totally different variety to the recreational drug which might jump to mind. It is important to know that there are many types of cannabis plant. Marijuana is a type of cannabis and is the variety which is used as a recreational drug because of its high THC content. (THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol which is the element which produces the euphoric ‘high’.
The CBD that we are looking at comes from hemp, which is also a cannabis plant, but this variety contains a very tiny amount of THC, so it retains its therapeutic properties without the mind-altering effects.
After extraction, the CBD is added to a carrier oil and bottled for sale.
What strength CBD oil should I buy?
CBD oil comes in different strengths for use in various ways. There is no conclusive answer because we are all different – different sizes, different body chemistry, etc, and so it is recommended to start low and slow with a couple of drops per day and gradually increase until you find the dose which works for you. You will find plenty of guidance on the Blessed CBD website.
What should I look out for when buying CBD oil?
Look for organic CBD which is grown on licensed farms such as Blessed CBD. Many CBD products in the UK are low quality, weak and don’t contain very much CBD such as those you find in high street health stores – avoid these. Make sure you can read the latest lab reports online. Read the reviews from customers.
Where should I buy CBD?
Be wary of where you purchase CBD as not all oils are alike. As mentioned above, look for organic CBD. I recommend Blessed CBD which is a small family run business who produce organic CBD grown on licensed farms. They have been voted The Best CBD Oil of 2021 by Express.
Are there any clinical studies?
Research is ongoing and the benefits are not clinically proven. The studies which have been carried out are from animal studies. Most of the evidence is therefore anecdotal, but feedback overwhelmingly shows many beneficial results which is why people are trying it.
What do we know?
The World Health Organisation has declared CBD to be generally safe, non-toxic and non-addictive. I have to say, this can’t be said of many pharmaceutical products.
How does it work?
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. The human body produces some cannabinoids of its own, which are called endocannabinoids. The ECS helps regulate functions such as sleep, immune system responses and pain. Ref: MedicalNewsToday
CBD is entirely different from THC. CBD does not produce a ‘high’, it does not impair functioning, but it influences the body to use its own endocannabinoid system more effectively.
CBD can increase the body’s level of anandamide, which is a compound associated with regulating pain, thus reducing pain perception, and improving mood. CBD may also limit inflammation in the brain and nervous system, which may benefit people experiencing, pain, insomnia, and other immune system responses.
Are there any side-effects?
Some people report a dry mouth or drowsiness. It is important to start at a low dosage and build up slowly to prevent this.
Will it interact with medications I am on?
If you are on medication it would be advisable for you to consult your GP.
Is it legal?
CBD is legal in the UK. It is the THC element which is not legal. CBD does contain a small amount of THC and therefore, CBD is only legal if it contains 0.2% of THC or less, and under 1 mg THC per dose.
The hemp that the CBD comes from must be EU approved or come from outside of the EU.
Sellers of CBD are not allowed to claim any medical benefits and may only advertise CBD as a food supplement. That is why, if you see the product for sale in a well-known high street health store, the shop assistants will not be able to answer your questions. It is up to you to do your research, which is why I have put this guide together.
Anything else I need to know?
Don’t confuse CBD hemp oil with hemp seed oil. CBD hemp oil comes from the flowers of the hemp plant whereas hemp seed oil is made by cold pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. The hemp seed oil contains no CBD. Check labels carefully to ensure you are buying CBD hemp oil.
Admittedly, CBD oil is not cheap – but if you buy an inexpensive product then it is usually ineffective. If you spend more on a better-quality product, then you don’t need to use as much.
CBD is reported to be helpful for pain, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues. More research is needed. CBD oil is promising as it is safe and minimal side effects are reported. When you compare this with opioids which are regularly prescribed for pain and are addictive then it makes CBD an attractive alternative.
If you don’t like the taste of the oil, then there are all sorts of other ways of taking CBD such as tinctures, capsules, vapes, gummies, and so on.
Choosewellbeing are an affiliate of Blessed CBD who are a UK company providing quality CBD oil.
Thanks for reading.