If like me, you’ve seen the letters ‘CBD’ flying around a lot lately, you may be intrigued as to what it is. Is it cannabis? Is it good for you? Will it make you high? Is it legal in the UK?
CBD oil is a relatively new product to the high street health market, meaning the burning questions are coming in thick and fast. And what better way to find out all the answers than to take a trip to MaxCBD Wellness Shop that has become the best CBD product shop & Blog for CBD users.
What is CBD oil and how is it linked to cannabis?
Okay, you’re about to hear a lot of science GCSE-type words like ‘compound’ here, but stick with me. CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a compound (essentially, a natural ingredient) found in the hemp plant. Hemp is part of the same family of plants as cannabis, known as the Cannabis Sativa family, meaning hemp and cannabis contain many of the same compounds. CBD also exists in cannabis (otherwise known as marijuana), hence the link between the health product and the recreational drug, but you’ll find out below why hemp is the plant used to make CBD oil, and not cannabis.
CBD is a naturally occurring substance, and it has recently experienced a surge in popularity among the wellness community after becoming more widely available on the high street. but, It is not legal for companies who produce CBD oil to make specific claims about exactly what health benefits the product can have, but scientific research into CBD has indicated it’s got the potential to improve mental health issues including depression and anxiety, as well as to provide relief from pain and other illnesses.
Will CBD oil make you high?
In short: no. Back to the science we go. The cannabis plant contains over a hundred compounds, or cannabinoids – many of which it shares with hemp. But the one mixture they don’t have in common is THC (which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, if you’re interested) because THC has been bred out of industrially-produced hemp.
THC is a psychoactive substance, meaning it’s the very thing that changes the chemistry in your brain to make you high when inhaling/consuming cannabis. That’s why hemp is used to create CBD oil instead of cannabis because it won’t have the side effects of getting high (which, when being taken for medical purposes, is advisable to avoid due to a risk of addiction).
Is CBD oil legal?
It is – conditionally. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding this since cannabis is classified as a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act. That legislation specifies that most cannabinoids (including THC) are illegal, but CBD is an exception to this.
Therefore, under the following conditions (which all CBD products being sold on the high street must adhere to), CBD is completely legal:
- If it’s being used for medicinal purposes
- If it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved (there are strict regulations around growing hemp in the EU)
- If it contains less than 0.2% THC, and the THC must not be easily separated from it
Medicinal cannabis, on the other hand, raises slightly different legal issues. While medicinal cannabis does contain the compound CBD, it also contains THC, the psychoactive substance that poses the legal problem. A recent change in the law means medicinal cannabis will soon be legally available in the UK, but only via prescription from a doctor. It is beneficial to patients living with MS, cancer, epilepsy and other serious illnesses. This recent development in the law edges the UK’s policy ever closer to the likes of Canada, Portugal, Holland, and many US states.
What health conditions can CBD oil help?
As mentioned above, legal restrictions mean companies selling CBD oil are not allowed to make direct health claims about it. Having said this, scientific research indicates that CBD could be beneficial to people with epilepsy, while other research has investigated how CBD’s properties could help acne, chronic pain, cancer, depression, and anxiety. Celebrities in the US including Jennifer Aniston and Kristen Bell have both spoken publicly about taking CBD to help anxiety and stress.