The demand for CBD (cannabidiol) oil in the UK has kept soaring in spite of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is highly unlikely that enthusiasm will dissipate any time soon. If anything it is projected that CBD sales will hit $2.1 billion globally in 2020. In the UK alone, over six million adults were already using CBD products by mid-2019.
Unfortunately, many people do not have a clear picture of what CBD oil represents. And without a clear understanding, it is easy to make wrong conclusions leading to the abuse or misuse of CBD oil. This four-minute read explains everything you need to know about CBD oil, and specifically as it applies to the UK.
What is CBD oil?
CBD is the shortened form for cannabidiol. This is one of the many phytocannabinoids (chemical compounds) that are found in cannabis. The cannabis species has over 100 different cannabinoids even though only a few have been isolated and investigated.
The two most popular phytocannabinoids that are found in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause psychoactive effects.
How does CBD work?
A lot of research has been carried out to investigate how plant-derived phytocannabinoids such as CBD are able to affect the body. It is now clear that phytocannabinoids interact with the body’s unique endocannabinoid system which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis.
The endocannabinoid system regulates different functions in the body including pain and inflammation, sleep, memory, hunger and appetite, reproduction, metabolism, and mood. It has been called “the universal regulator.”
CBD is a weak agonist (supporter) at the CB2 receptor which is one of the two receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
CBD oil supports, maintains, and optimizes the functions of a healthy ECS.
Is CBD legal in the UK?
CBD is legal in the UK so long as it contains less than 1mg of the psychoactive compound THC in the finished product, it is sold as a food supplement and consequently, no medical claims should be made about CBD products. Products that are considered medicinal must get approval from the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
A few tips to keeping in mind when shopping for CBD
Not all CBD is created equal, in fact, a study last year found that many CBD products for sale on the high-street contain little to no CBD in them, worse still, there is always the risk of buying CBD oil that has been adulterated with harmful compounds. Remember that the CBD market is still largely unregulated.
So how do you go about finding high-quality CBD product in the UK? Here are a few tips taken from CBD Shopy’s top CBD oil review.
When buying high-quality CBD oil in the UK, make sure it is backed by third-party results from an independent lab. This will tell you the exact amount of CBD, THC and other cannabinoids found in the product.
The certificate of analysis (COA) from the independent lab should also indicate the presence or absence of contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides. Make sure that the COA report is from an accredited testing facility.
2. CBD Potency
CBD products come in different strengths and concentrations. The potency is the amount of CBD in each mL or serving. Ultimately, you should be paying for CBD potency and not bottle size. Find out how much CBD is contained in the product before purchasing it. It is also important to confirm the presence and concentration of CBD by counterchecking with the COA report. The average market price in the UK ranges from £25.00 to £40.00 for 500mg of CBD.
3. Labelling- No Medical Claims
Some unscrupulous CBD retailers are out to entice customers by making unsubstantiated claims about CBD oil. The MRHA has very clear guidelines on the marketing of CBD. Make sure that there are no unsubstantiated medical claims on the CBD product that you want to buy.
4. Full-spectrum CBD Vs CBD Isolate
Full-spectrum CBD products contain additional compounds apart from the CBD. This includes extra beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes. Science has shown that full-spectrum CBD offers greater benefits for supporting homeostasis as compared to pure CBD alone. Unless you require high amounts of pure CBD, consider going for full-spectrum CBD with full entourage benefits.
5. Consult with Your Doctor
Since CBD affects the endocannabinoid system, it is important to consult with your doctor before starting on CBD. CBD also interacts with some drugs and affects how they are metabolized. A qualified physician or pharmacist will be able to advise you based on what other drugs you are taking.
Once you are confident about the genuineness of the vendor and the quality of the CBD, you can now consider your individual preferences.
CBD comes in different formulations which include oils, capsules, creams, and edibles such as ZenBears CBD gummies.
Each CBD formulation has its own unique advantages and appeals to different people groups. Ask for the most convenient CBD formulation that will suit your preference and lifestyle.
Ultimately, make sure that you are dealing with a verified CBD vendor with numerous positive reviews. It always helps when other customers are saying good things about a vendor that you want to try.