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What is CBD Cannabidiol?

8 September 2021

What is CBD Cannabidiol?

That’s a good question, and we’ll go over it in more detail in this Guide. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a naturally occurring chemical compound or ‘cannabinoid’ found in the cannabis plant.  The cannabis plant contains between 70 and 100 other cannabinoids and terpenes in addition to CBD. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets people high when they smoke a ‘joint.’ CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid after THC and is generally thought to be non-psychoactive.

Because CBD is sold as a food supplement in the UK, the THC content is strictly regulated at 0.2% under UK Government Guidelines for the sale of CBD products on the High Street or online.  CBD is extracted from the Cannabis Sativa hemp plant, which contains a high concentration of CBD (Cannabidiol) cannabinoids and beneficial active terpenes while being low in THC.  Cannabis Sativa is a cousin strain of the Marijuana plant Cannabis Indica that contains high levels of the prohibited compound THC, but low levels of CBD.

Because CBD is a cannabinoid that mimics endocannabinoids found naturally in the body, incorporating it into a healthy diet provides a significant boost to the ECS. Endocannabinoids, also known as endogenous cannabinoids, are molecules produced by the body that function as a component of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).  The ECS is the body’s complex network of chemical compounds (endocannabinoids) and receptors that are constantly working to maintain homeostasis and optimal function.

Will full spectrum CBD get you high?

Full spectrum CBD will not get you high on its own.  The cannabis plant contains two main cannabinoids: CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the plant, which means you won’t experience any effects like euphoria, feeling sedated or altered in any way.  Concerning the THC component of the cannabis plant, scientists worldwide are investigating the combined effects of THC and CBD in medication for more serious conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Crohn’s disease.  Their research into this combination is based on the idea that an element of THC (combined with CBD) could provide more beneficial therapeutic properties than CBD alone.

Not all CBD is created equal.  Keep this in mind.  All high-quality CBD products sold in the UK, whether online or on the High Street, are strictly regulated by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and adhere to UK Government Guidelines.  When purchasing from outside the UK, it is possible to receive a product that is more or less potent than advertised, or even contains higher levels of THC or other contaminants that are not legal in the UK.  It is critical to purchase CBD products that come with authentic 3rd party lab reports.  Third-party lab reports ensure the quality and quantity of CBD in the ingredients, or at the very least, you’ll know what you’re putting in your body…

What’s the difference between Cannabis and Hemp?

Cannabis, marijuana, and hemp are all common terms in the CBD industry. There are hundreds of cannabis plants, but Cannabis Sativa is a hemp plant that contains high levels of CBD with only trace amounts of THC. The Cannabis Indica plant, on the other hand, is the source of marijuana, and it contains high levels of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – the compound that causes a “high.” Both species contain CBD, but the hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa) contains a much higher percentage of CBD than the cannabis marijuana plant (Cannabis Indica).

CBD (Cannabidiol) is extracted from the flowers of the hemp plant and used to make a variety of CBD ingestible products.  The hemp plant’s roots and seeds do not contain any CBD or THC.

CBD oil is not the same as hemp oil. Cold pressed hemp oil is oil extracted solely from the seeds of the hemp plant. When high-quality hemp oil is extracted and tested, it is found to be devoid of the cannabinoids CBD and THC. Hemp seed oil is derived from the small seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant and is high in linoleic acid and other healthy fats. Linoleic acid significantly lowers cholesterol, lowering the risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart disease. Hemp seed oil is used in many beauty products because of its moisturising properties. On the plus side, many high-quality CBD products include both CBD (Cannabidiol) oil and Hemp seed oil to enhance the potential health benefits.

Does CBD have any health benefits?

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence available online to support the possible health benefits of taking CBD as part of a daily healthy diet or exercise regimen, and present research undertaken to date suggests that CBD (Cannabidiol) oil can help with the following:

  • metabolism
  • sleep disorders
  • mood, menstrual tension
  • appetite and digestion
  • memory, cognitive skills
  • chronic pain
  • inflammation
  • other immune system responses

What’s the best way to take CBD?

CBD tinctures, sprays, vapes, pastes, chewing gum and balms are among the numerous products available from a plethora of companies of varying reliability.  From our experience, it is better to start with a CBD oil that you can drop under your tongue a couple of times a day and then gauge your body’s response.  Taking CBD is not an exact science so start slowly and gradually increase your dosage.

Main delivery methods of CBD as a food supplement

There are quite a few delivery methods when it comes to taking CBD as a food supplement:

  • the most common way to take CBD as part of your diet is to drop a dose of CBD (Cannabidiol) under your tongue (sublingual)
  • ingesting CBD in the form of capsules to avoid the natural ‘earthy’ taste of natural CBD
  • water soluble CBD is a very simple delivery method, as you can stir a sachet into any number of drinks on the go
  • balms, although not ingested, can have a very calming effect on irritated skin and also for targeting localised areas such as painful muscles and joints.

What should I look for when shopping for CBD products?

You should now have a better understanding of what CBD Cannabidiol is and the type of CBD products you’re looking for. Now comes the task of determining who are the reputable sources to buy from and who are peddling little more than snake oil

Never go for the cheapest option

Don’t fall into the trap of selecting the cheapest option available because high quality CBD is very expensive to extract and those costs are reflected in the price of quality Cannabidiol.  If it appears to be cheap then there’s a fair chance it’s made from low quality, non-organically grown industrial hemp that contains pesticides and other contaminants.  It’s not worth putting your health at risk by using sub-standard CBD oil.

Online reviews

The best place to start when deciding whether you can trust a CBD supplier, is to see what other people say about them on independent review sites like Trust pilot and if other reputable sites link to them?

Customer service

Examine their website; is it professional, and do they display an email or phone number through which you can contact customer service?  Call the number and see if anyone answers the phone.  Perform a who.is search for the company.  If they conceal who owns their website it could be a sign that they have something else to conceal.

Good Manufacturing Practice

Are the manufacturers of the CBD product you’ve chosen GMP certified?  Only reputable businesses take the time to become GMP certified.  Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is a system for ensuring that products are produced and controlled in accordance with quality standards on a consistent basis.  It is intended to reduce the risks associated with pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated by testing the finished product.

Independent Lab Tests

Are the lab analysis reports from the companies available online? A good lab analysis should look for pesticides and heavy metals, as well as microbial organisms, fungus, mold and other impurities, in addition to CBD percentages.  Simple, transparent and truthful.

How much CBD oil should you take?

CBD dosing isn’t an exact science because each company produces different strengths and types of CBD; however, if the company is reputable, there will be dosage information on or in the packaging.

Apart from taking it on an empty stomach for maximum absorption, there are no hard and fast rules for dosing CBD.  We always recommend starting slowly and gradually increasing your dosage as you learn how your body reacts to this food supplement.  CBD’s effects will differ from person to person, depending on the strength of the CBD content you purchase.

This is known as the ‘Up Titration method of dosing’  in which you gradually increase your dose while monitoring your response and keeping a close eye out for any adverse effects. Overtiredness or overstimulation are examples of negative reactions.  CBD, like caffeine, has an effect on the adenosine receptors.  Some people claim that taking too much CBD makes it difficult to sleep especially late at night.

When you’ve reached your limit, your body will tell you. At this point, take a step back and reduce your dose slightly for a few days to see if anything changes.  Then, either decrease or increase your dose until you find your sweet spot.  What exactly is Cannabidiol?  Cannabidiol is the life-giving elixir!

Will taking CBD oil or CBD products show up on a drugs test?

If you take full-spectrum or broad spectrum cannabidiol (CBD), it may contain trace amounts of other cannabinoids including THC.  This is completely normal unless you are taking a pure CBD isolate, as the legal amount of THC allowed is less than 0.2%. Consumption of certain hemp products may result in a positive drug test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), just as consumption of poppy seeds may result in a positive drug test for opioids.  THC can be found in trace amounts in hemp plants. In the United Kingdom, the legal limit of THC in hemp is no more than 0.2% though it may be higher in other jurisdictions.  It is critical to understand that the underlying science behind the conversion of certain cannabinoids to other related cannabinoids is complex. If you are subject to drug testing we strongly advise you to consult your doctor before consuming any hemp products because individual biochemistry, the potential for cannabinoid conversion, and the presence of trace, but legal, amounts of THC in hemp products are all factors to consider.

What exactly is CBD (Cannabidiol)? If you took the time to read this short guide, you will have all of the answers you need – now go and Enjoy CBD!

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