CBD is the latest health craze to hit the high street, with claims that it can help everything from pain and inflammation to depression and anxiety. However, what exactly is it? And is it legal?
Although it has been over two years since a legislative change made medicinal cannabis available on prescription in the UK, this survey found that most of the public remain unaware. This was particularly true for over the counter CBD wellness products.
CBD is legal in the UK as long as it does not contain more than 0.2% THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. This means that CBD products can be sold legally in the UK as long as they are produced from hemp and do not contain any trace amounts of THC. Hemp-based CBD oil is naturally low in THC, and many brands produce full-spectrum hemp-based oils that also contain other cannabinoids and extracts.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has classified CBD as a novel food and requires companies to apply for premarket authorisation before releasing a product into the UK market. This is to ensure that all ingredients used in the production of CBD are safe for consumption and do not contain any THC or other cannabinoids that could result in a seizure by UK customs.
UK residents can find high-quality CBD oils, tinctures, and capsules in health food stores and online retailers. Many of these products are made with EU-authorised hemp and comply with the FSA’s regulations for novel foods.
CBD products have exploded in popularity over the last two years. In the UK alone, there are now an estimated quarter of a million regular users who use the oil to support general wellness, ease anxiety and sleep problems and help with pain and other health issues. The oil is made from hemp, a cannabis plant that contains high levels of CBD and low-THC content. Unfortunately, this growth in popularity has attracted “CBD cowboys”, who are looking to make a quick profit from the trend.
CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which controls functions such as sleep, appetite and pain. It does not contain the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana, and so is not illegal in the UK.
CBD is available in a range of forms, from oil to capsules and edibles. Companies that produce and sell CBD edibles must submit a novel foods application to the Food Standards Agency, detailing their product’s ingredients and safety data.
The UK CBD market has grown rapidly in recent years. It’s claimed to help with a range of problems, from anxiety and sleep disorders to pain and depression. However, this health craze is also attracting “CBD cowboys” – opportunists who are selling products that may not be what they’re claimed to be.
The good news is that unlike cannabis, CBD does not contain THC – the compound that makes people high. But CBD does have other side effects, including diarrhoea. In order to avoid this, it’s best to start with a low dose and increase gradually.
As per UK law, CBD must be made from industrial hemp that’s naturally low in THC. This is why most UK CBD companies use hemp sourced from the USA and EU, which are known for their superior farming practices. This helps them to meet the 1mg THC limit for legal CBD products in the UK. Moreover, these products are third-party tested for purity and potency.
CBD has been shown to have a wide range of potential benefits. However, it can have some side effects when used with certain drugs. This includes stimulants (like Adderall) and heartburn medicines like Prilosec. Taking CBD with these medications may cause diarrhoea.
CBD can be sold in a variety of different forms, including tinctures and sprays. It can also be found in capsules, which are easy to swallow and discreet. CBD supplements have been known to reduce anxiety and depression. It can also help with sleep disorders and pain management.
Unlike cannabis, which contains THC, CBD does not get you high. It is also legal to buy and possess CBD in the UK, provided that it does not contain more than 1mg of THC. Currently, two CBD-based medicines are available on prescription in the UK: Nabiximols (Sativex), a botanical drug licensed to treat muscle spasticity in MS, and Epidyolex, a liquid to be taken orally to control seizures in people with Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes.