Once a fringe product, CBD oil has been attracting more attention in the UK over the past few years, and public interest in it is growing. However, as popular as it is, not a lot of people know exactly what it is. For one, it’s often confused with marijuana, and UK regulations about it are hardly black and white, with changes likely in the near future.
If you’re still a bit in the dark about CBD oil, its effects and where the law stands on it, then you’ve come to the right place.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is a type of oil that contains significant amounts of CBD (cannabidiol), a compound that’s found in the cannabis plant. Although both hemp and marijuana are considered cannabis plants, CBD oil in the UK is exclusively made of hemp, and it doesn’t have the same psychoactive effect as marijuana.
CBD oil has been used all over the world for centuries as a pain reliever and treatment for insomnia, among others, but its therapeutic properties are only being confirmed now by science. Remarkably, it can induce feelings of calm and tranquility without causing the “high” that’s typical of marijuana. There are many forms of CBD oil with different dosages, including isolate powder, capsules, edibles, balms, and vape juice.
How is CBD oil produced?
CBD oil can be harvested from either hemp or marijuana. In areas where marijuana is illegal, like in the UK and most states in the US, CBD oils are hemp-based by default.
The most popular manufacturing method is to extract CBD oil from hemp. Afterwards, it’s evaluated for CBD content and then heated so the effects are stronger and faster. Another option is to create CBD oil synthetically in the lab.
Is CBD oil related to marijuana?
Hemp and marijuana are two classifications of the cannabis plant. Both of these have CBD, but the main difference is that marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), while hemp contains only 0.3% or less. THC is the active constituent in marijuana, and it’s responsible for getting people high or stoned. In contrast, hemp contains very little THC, so standard CBD oil made of hemp won’t get you high. It won’t be detected by drug tests, either.
How does CBD oil work?
CBD impacts our endocannabinoid (ECS) system, which involves endocannabinoids or cannabinoid receptors that are all over the body. The ECS system is connected with the nervous and endocrine systems, and it plays a wide role in basic body functions like sleep, appetite, and body temperature.
Research is still ongoing about how exactly CBD oil works, but it’s thought to induce the body to produce and use more of its own cannabinoids.
What are the effects of CBD oil?
Although CBD has been used for centuries, its effects aren’t thoroughly documented yet by science. For now, there are already several studies that link CBD oil with pain relief, increased sleep, and even mood regulation.
Here are some of its therapeutic effects:
- Promote healthy sleep
- Reduce anxiety and trigger the release of serotonin, which improves mood
- Ease stress
- Lessen chronic pain in conditions like multiple sclerosis and arthritis
- Treat epilepsy and seizures
- Help with stopping drugs and smoking
Are there any side effects?
So far, studies show minimal side effects even among people who use high dosages, and there’s no recorded case of fatality from overdosing. Still, it’s worth noting that CBD oil can have different effects depending on the dosage. Higher dosages can cause more sleepiness, for example.
Sleepiness or mild drowsiness is the most common side effect, especially among first-time users, but this tapers off with experience. Other side effects include slight euphoria or red eyes, although these are much rarer.
What are my options for taking CBD oil?
CBD oil is most often taken orally as a tincture, capsule, or edible. Because this has to be processed by your digestive system first, there’s a waiting time of as much as two hours before the effects can kick in. This works great for issues with sleep and stress. If you want to feel the effects sooner, dropping a CBD oil tincture under your tongue sends it directly to your bloodstream, so you’ll notice changes in 20 minutes or less.
Alternatively, CBD oil can also be applied topically as a lotion, balm, or patch. This is for relieving pain and stiffness and even soothing the skin. Vaping is another way of taking CBD oil, whether for leisure or for physical benefits. Compared to the other methods, vaping allows you to take in more CBD oil at a faster rate.
How do I vape with CBD oil?
Even with vaping CBD oil, you have several options. Aside from using raw CBD or hemp concentrates, you can try CBD vape oil.
CBD vape oil is set apart from other CBD oils because it’s manufactured to be compatible with vaping devices. This often means that there’s vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), or another substance added to it that makes it turn to vapour easily. Don’t vape with other CBD oils that aren’t meant for this purpose!
Despite the name, CBD vape oil isn’t really an oil. In the UK, CBD vape oil is made from hemp, and it’s packaged as either an individual e-liquid that can be vaped on its own or as an additive meant to be mixed with another e-liquid.
CBD vape oils are compatible with certain vape pens and tanks as well pod devices like Juul. For convenience, you can even buy pre-filled cartridges.
Where can I buy CBD oil?
CBD oil is already available in many areas of the UK, mostly from specialty physical and online stores as well as pharmacies. Ay Grow Guru we offer a wide range of wholesale CBD products, including vape oils, flowers, capsules, and raw materials.
Notably, Amazon UK doesn’t allow CBD-related products, though, so anything there that’s branded as CBD oil is likely to be fake or just hemp seed oil (which doesn’t contain CBD).
Is CBD oil legal in the UK?
There is a lot of fine detail when it comes to CBD oil’s legality in the UK, but the simple answer is yes, it’s legal. Unlike marijuana, which is illegal in the UK, hemp products are fine. The conditions for CBD oil are:
- It has to be made from industrial hemp that’s approved by the EU
- It must have 0.2% THC or less, so it’s not psychoactive
- The THC must be easily separated from it
- It must not be advertised as medicine unless it’s licensed by the MHA
Regulations have also been relaxed so certain cannabis-based (CBD) products have been approved for medical use. Doctors in England, Wales, and Scotland can prescribe CBD products to patients in specific situations like severe epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. These include CBD oils with much higher concentrations of THC.
What are the recommended dosages of CBD oil?
Regardless of how CBD oil is used, the average dosage per day is 10 to 30 mg, but people who use it for intense pain relief can go up to 1000 mg. As always, the optimal dosage varies per individual. It’s best to start with lower dosages then gradually increase while monitoring your body’s reactions.
For vaping, 1 to 2 mg of CBD is a good starting point. You can keep increasing your dosage by 5 mg after at least every six hours. A vape pen or tank delivers more CBD per puff than a vape cartridge.
With at least 300,000 people already using CBD oil in the UK, it has already caught the attention of researchers, medical professionals, and the public at large. While it’s still far from mainstream, CBD oil is gradually gaining ground, and its traditional properties are already being verified by science.
Overall, CBD oil has a great deal of medical and therapeutic potential, delivering a greater sense of ease and calm without the high of marijuana. The CBD oil scene will be seeing plenty of changes in the near future as regulations adjust and more scientific studies surface, so stay tuned.