What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural chemical compound derived from the Cannabis plant. You can take it as a pill, sublingually as drops under the tongue, in tea or even smoke it in vape juice form, and it’s estimated that around three hundred thousand people in the UK are already using it, whether it’s to aid their physical health, their mental health, or simply to boost their sense of wellbeing as part of a natural health routine.

What Does it Do?

Studies into the clinical effects of CBD are only just beginning, and a scientific consensus about what conditions it can help most effectively is yet to emerge. The MHRA (that’s the UK governments Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) released a statement in 2016 agreeing to classify the substance as a medicine, although it’s only used by the NHS in very specific circumstances.

It’s claimed by many of its users to help with chronic pain relief, insomnia, depression and anxiety, among a host of other problems though doctors can only prescribe medical CBD products for very specific conditions including MS and Epilepsy.

A survey by the Brightfield Group revealed that 42% of the respondents had stopped using traditional pain medication after finding the right CBD product – showing that CBD isn’t just hype. It’s a natural health boost that’s ready to go mainstream!

How Does it Work?

CBD is a chemical compound derived from cannabis plants, one of more than 100 of these compounds, which are called cannabinoids. Specifically, to qualify for legal sale in the UK, it must be derived from specific, EU approved varieties of the hemp plant that contain no more than 0.2% traces of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). That’s not the only place you get cannabinoids, though. They’re also naturally created by your body and used as neurotransmitters in what’s known as the endocannabinoid system.

Your body uses endocannabinoids for all sorts of vital processes, from helping you sleep to natural analgesia (that’s pain reduction). CBD products stimulate and interact with your endocannabinoid system to produce these effects, working with your body’s own systems in a way that people have been using the cannabis plant to do for thousands of years.

Using approved CBD products gives you access to these age old health benefits without the intoxicant properties that would make using them day to day impractical – as well as illegal.

Does CBD Get You High?

This is one of the common questions people have about CBD oil, understandably, as it’s derived from cannabis and has been the subject of some inflammatory stories in the media.

Legally, to be sold in the UK, CBD products may contain no more than the smallest traces of THC. THC is another cannabinoid – one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive component of the plant and produces that distinct sensation of being high or ‘stoned’ that smoking cannabis causes.

Many of the negative stories about CBD in the media, and attitudes in the medical establishment are caused by blurring the boundaries between CBD, THC and the plant they come from. The World Health Organisation’s enquiry into CBD found no evidence that cannabidiol (the technical name for CBD) had the potential to form addictive pathways in the brain.

How Do You Take CBD?

If you’re interested in the health benefits of CBD oil, you have a lot of options to choose from, so you can find the product that meets your needs.

You can massage it into your skin as a gel or lotion. While studies have yet to conclusively prove the effectiveness of CBD applied topically, your skin is your biggest organ and a massage gives your body ample opportunities to absorb the chemical. This allows it to work as an anti-inflammatory, and many people report CBD is an effective treatment for muscle pain.

You also have the option of taking CBD pills, sublingual drops (placed under the tongue), inhaling it as a vape juice or edible products. As with less legally sanctioned cannabis products, CBD edibles can have a more profound effect but take longer to get to work.

Choosing the right product for the issues you’re trying to address is important. If you’re experiencing problems with insomnia CBD can help, but the way you experience insomnia dictates the right solution: if you have trouble getting to sleep initially, a CBD vape can provide a fast acting way to relax your brain, whereas if you have difficulty staying asleep, an edible, which acts on your system over time is the right way forward.