CBD oil is something that is rapidly gaining popularity in the UK. It wasn’t all that long ago that it was the preserve of stoners, and those who participated in niche sports that had a culture surrounding cannabis and its derivatives. Today, CBD oil is near-mainstream; it can even be found in health food stores such as Holland and Barrett and online outlets such as CBDLife UK.
CBD oil is the latest ‘must-have’ health product and alternative to medicinal cannabis, but what is it and how did it become so popular?
According to a report published by the Cannabis Trades Association UK, CBD-containing product use is increasing, with the amount of people who regularly consume cannabidiol up from 125,000 in 2017, up to 250,000 in 2018. That’s a huge leap for a product that most people did not even know existed a few years ago.
Cannabis-derived products are nothing new, but what has changed is that they are now more socially acceptable. The World Health Organisation has acknowledged that CBD could be useful for helping sufferers of MS, anxiety, pain, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Cannabis itself is still considered to be a drug, and since it contains THC, which is psychoactive, many people choose to avoid it. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive, which means that it has more use for those who are looking for natural remedies without the ‘high’ that comes from cannabis itself.
CBD made headlines last year when a mother tried to bring a large stash of CBD oil into the UK from Canada for her son, who has epilepsy and was suffering from as many as 100 seizures a day. The case started a campaign to address the legal status of CBD oil, and after the child was admitted to hospital, the Home Office granted a license to allow it to be used to treat his condition.
Cannabis has been illegal in the UK since 1928, but resistance to its use is declining as the potential medical benefits have become known. The issue with CBD oil is one of ignorance and misunderstanding. CBD oil that is made from cannabis, rather than from hemp, suffers from a bad reputation through a lack of understanding. Technically, hemp and cannabis are the same plant, just bred differently. Hemp does not have any significant THC content, while cannabis does. Hemp derived CBD oil is widely available in stores because it has nothing to do with cannabis. As long as CBD oil is free from THC, it is perfectly legal. CBD oil that contains traces of THC, even miniscule traces, is illegal.
CBD oil has many potential uses. As with any relatively new trend, there are some unscrupulous marketers that are trying to promote CBD as a cure for cancer or a treatment for other scary and dangerous ills and some of the sales of CBD oil in the UK are being driven by those overblown claims.
That’s not to say that CBD oil is not useful, though. It has documented benefits for helping with seizures, nausea, vomiting, anxiety and aches and pains. It is even, yes, used in cancer care in some parts of the world. CBD oil can help to reduce the side effects of cancer treatments, improving the quality of life for cancer sufferers, and therefore helping to improve the prognosis. That’s a significant benefit.
CBD oil is typically taken orally, either sublingually (held under the tongue for a while before it is swallowed) or used in recipes. For example, there are CBD candies and gummies on the market.
CBD oil is on sale at many health food stores and also sports and supplement stores. It can also be purchased online. It is important that you source the oil carefully, looking at the percentage of CBD in it before you buy. Many health food stores sell very weak CBD oil, and given that a small bottle can be almost £20, it is easy to understand why you would not want to waste your money.
Check, also, whether the oil contains other compounds that come from the cannabis plant. Full Spectrum CBD oil contains not just CBD but also a number of other terpenoids, and these are thought to have additional benefit, making the CBD even more effective. Full Spectrum CBD oil is usually more expensive than other types, but it is worth the price to get the best quality of oil. Cheaper oils are often made in a way that can leave residues of butane or other solvents on them, which is not ideal.
From the beginning of November, doctors will be allowed to prescribe CBD oil to patients without having to go through the approval of a panel of experts. This could be valuable for people who are suffering from chronic pain or who have other conditions that are not quite controlled with general medication.
CBD is not a miracle cure, but its popularity does have some basis in science. It has a lot to offer to people who want a gentle and natural way of managing day to day issues, and is certainly a better choice than traditional pharmaceuticals for those who are struggling with anxiety or stress. It is still worth seeking advice from a doctor, especially if basic self-care and home remedies do not produce an immediate improvement, but the option is there. CBD is now in the mainstream and it is here to stay.