Complete Guide to CBD

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the UK CBD industry has exploded in recent years, with up to 11% of the adult population having consumed a CBD product within the last year. This equates to a massive 6 million people.

So, what is it that is attracting all these people to CBD?

Is it just another fad that will soon fade, or is there more to the world of CBD than meets the eye?

Let's take a closer look.

What is CBD?

One of the most searched-for phrases when it comes to the industry, a specific CBD definition is hard to put into just a few words. That being said, you do need to know what is CBD and what does CBD mean before you decide to find CBD products online.

CBD stands for Cannabidiol and is a chemical compound that is found in the Cannabis sativa plants. The other compound found in this plant is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the compound which gives the feeling of relaxation and euphoria, or 'high'.

The term CBD is used to encompass many types of CBD extracts, which has made the use of the term confusing. CBD can come in any of the following product forms:

  • CBD capsules
  • CBD oil
  • CBD tinctures
  • CBD gel tablets
  • CBD vape oils
  • CBD edibles
  • CBD creams

There are also multiple types of CBD oils such as CBD Isolate, Broad-Spectrum CBD, Full-Spectrum CBD, and PCR Hemp.

Where does CBD come from?

The Cannabis Sativa plant variety has two main species that we are familiar with Hemp and Marijuana. Both of these varieties contain CBD, but hemp includes a much higher level of CBD and low levels of THC compared to marijuana which has higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD.

Until recently, hemp farmers had to grow vast amounts of hemp to produce a sufficient amount of CBD oil, but now many are growing PCR (phytocannabinoid-rich) hemp plants which allow for smaller crops containing higher CBD yields.

How is CBD oil made?

The extraction process most commonly used is CO2 extraction, and this involves extracting the CBD from the plant under high pressure in a specially designed extractor. This is costly to the producer but also provides a premium and safer product. After extraction, the CBD oil must be refined and purified to create either a full spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or a CBD isolate. 

Other extraction methods include oil extraction, which typically involves the use of olive oil and liquid solvent extraction that is cheaper but much more dangerous than other extraction methods.

Is CBD legal in the UK?

Yes, CBD is legal in the UK. Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, cannabis is a controlled substance, meaning that it is illegal for people to possess, supply, produce, or import/export it. However, non-psychoactive cannabinoids are not controlled under this act, so are completely legal in the UK.

CBD oil must not contain a THC content of more than 0.2% to be legally sold in the UK, as this is what gives the high effect. Most CBD oils are sold as food supplements, but some products containing cannabidiol can be classed as medicines if used for medicinal purposes. In 2019, CBD was announced as a novel food and was added to the Novel Foods catalogue.

How to use CBD?

Before embarking upon your CBD journey, it is always a good idea to speak to your doctor first. This is particularly important if you are taking any prescribed medications. Once you have got the go-ahead from a healthcare professional, you now need to choose the best CBD product for your needs.

When it comes to finding out the answer to what does CBD help with, you will find lots of conflicting information online. As of yet, any CBD health benefits are still unproven, with research and studies still ongoing into the potential effects of CBD.

That being said, this does not mean that you won't enjoy using CBD as long as you use it in a safe way. When it comes to taking CBD, there are three main elements that you need to consider:

  1. What is your desired effect?
  2. What type of product do you want to try?
  3. How much CBD should I take?

CBD oil is known for taking effect more quickly than other CBD products because it is applied sublingually, which gets it into your bloodstream fast. CBD capsules, on the other hand, offer maximum convenience as you simply swallow one daily and then adjust as and when needed.

If you want to incorporate CBD into your daily massage routine, CBD topicals such as balms and CBD creams are the way to go. Simply massage around one-third of a tsp directly onto your skin.

In regards to how much CBD you should take, this is dependent on a number of factors and is more of a trial and error process. As a general rule, you should start with a small dose and gradually increase this as and when needed. You should be able to find the recommended CBD dosage for each specific product on either the packaging or labelling, and you should never go over the maximum recommended amount as this can, in a few, small number of cases, cause unwanted side effects. If you are worried about taking too much CBD, check out our CBD dosage chart that will help you find the right CBD dosage for you.

Other factors that you should consider when using CBD include:

  • Is the CBD product third-party lab tested?
  • Is it made from locally grown hemp?
  • Is it vegan?
  • Is it grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers?
  • Is the CBD supplier legally licensed to manufacture and sell CBD?