CBD Oil UK is a popular product that’s taken as a supplement or applied to the skin to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress. It’s also been linked to healthy weight loss. But what is it exactly, and does it actually work?
CBD is a cannabinoid that interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies to relieve pain and calm inflammation, among other things. The cannabis plant contains 104 cannabinoids, which each have different impacts on our systems, but the two most well-known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC has psychoactive effects that can make you feel high. But CBD doesn’t have this effect, and it can be legally bought and sold in the UK. It’s also a component in two medicines available on prescription, Sativex and Epidiolex.
There are now plenty of CBD products on the market, including gummy sweets, capsules, sprays and oils. However, some of these are not fully regulated and may not contain the levels of CBD advertised on their label. According to research by the think tank Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, more than half of the high-street CBD products tested contained less than the amount advertised on the packaging.
A number of studies have shown the potential of CBD to reduce the symptoms of a range of conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety and depression. But, while it is possible that these effects are due to the placebo effect (where a patient feels better simply because they believe a treatment is working), Professor Sumnall warns against trying CBD without talking to your GP first.
There is an argument that the ‘wellness’ market is taking advantage of consumers, says Mike Power in The Guardian. He points out that most CBD products are labelled as ‘food supplements’ rather than medicinal products, so they can be bought in health food stores and don’t need to be authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This means they are not tested for safety or efficacy, and can be mislabelled with inaccurate information on their packaging.
In terms of dosage, the current advice from the FSA is that healthy adults shouldn’t take more than 70mg CBD a day. But many of the high-street oils, capsules and sprays on offer have far lower doses than this, says Power.
One of the best-known brands is Hempura, which offers a wide range of different strengths, from 500mg to super high strength 25,000mg. It’s available in drops and capsules, and you can choose a flavour to suit you. A typical oil will recommend you take 2ml a day and should be dropped under the tongue to allow it to absorb more easily. We found that this product worked very well for reducing stress and general wellbeing, but it’s quite strong in taste and harsh to take, so try a smaller dose if you’re new to it. It also comes in a tasty chocolate-hazelnut flavour, which our testers really enjoyed.