What is CBD?
In this article we discuss the following points and questions:
- What does CBD mean?
- Where does CBD come from?
- CBD oil Vs Hemp oil Vs Cannabis oil
- Can CBD get you high?
- Does CBD make you tired?
- How do you use CBD?
- Medical benefits of CBD
- Dangers and risks of CBD
- Is CBD safe for kids?
- Is CBD safe for pets?
- Is CBD addictive?
- Does CBD work?
- Where can I buy CBD oil?
- Are CBD products legal?
What does CBD mean?
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. One of these chemicals is CBD, which stands for Cannabidiol. The most well known cannabinoid in cannabis is THC.
All of the cannabinoids contained in the cannabis plant produce varying effects when consumed. THC directly activates receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which gives it psychoactive properties. CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical due to indirectly activating the ECS.
Where does CBD come from?
CBD can be extracted from cannabis or hemp. Hemp is a plant in the same family as cannabis, however contains negligible THC and low percentages of CBD. Cannabis is federally classed as hemp in the USA if the THC content is under 0.3%.
The chemical compounds, such as THC and CBD, are extracted from the resin in the leaves and flowers (buds) of the cannabis and hemp plants. The stem of the cannabis and hemp plants contain very little chemical compounds and is usually used as a fiber for clothes and building materials.
It is harder to extract CBD (and other compounds) from the hemp plant than from cannabis.
Extraction methods separate the chemical compounds from the plant matrix by use of a solvent. Examples of extraction methods are: Alcohol extraction, Co2 extraction and butane/propane extraction. The end product from these extraction methods are a thick, resinous oil.
Non-solvent extraction methods produce natural end products such as traditional hash which preserves most of the terpenes of the initial plant material.
What is the difference between CBD oil, hemp oil and cannabis oil?
Is CBD oil the same as Hemp oil and cannabis oil? – No, we’ll explain why below.
Hemp oil is commonly found in soaps, cosmetics and food supplements. Hemp oil is pressed from hemp or cannabis plant seeds. It contains nearly no CBD or THC.
CBD oil is extracted from the resins of hemp or cannabis plants which are (usually) low THC content plants. However, some methods use high THC content cannabis to extract CBD. For example, skunk contains high THC and is the primary cannabis strain used to develop epilepsy medicines.
Cannabis oil is extracted from the resins of the cannabis plant through methods listed above. The end product is a very thick oil with a high THC content.
Can CBD get you high?
Unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound. CBD will not get you high. For this reason, CBD oil has remained legal in most countries across the globe. CBD is obviously not consumed to produce a high, however many people consume CBD for the health and wellness benefits which it produces – more on the medical benefits of CBD below.
Does CBD make you tired?
When consumed, CBD produces a similar effect as THC from cannabis, just without the high. CBD oils extracted from specific cannabis and hemp plants that have a high CBD content and a certain terpene profile will make you feel relaxed and sleepy.
There are a number of people who use CBD products for improving symptoms of insomnia.
How do you use CBD?
It is a fairly common way to consume CBD by inhalation through a vaporizer. You can find a wide variety of CBD vape juices/oils online such as these from Vape UK CBD.
Another common consumption method of CBD is edibles, such as gummy bears, sweets and chocolate. Individual sweets usually range from 1mg to 10mg CBD content. You can also find a variety of CBD teas, hemp protein, juices and much more online.
CBD oil can be purchased as a tincture, which is a dropper bottle or spray. These are usually consumed by placing drops or sprays under the tongue, although the drops could also be added to a drink.
CBD can be applied to the skin in topical form. CBD skin balms help people with conditions such as eczema or acne.
Medical benefits of CBD
CBD has been recognized as a medicine in the UK since 2016.
We’ve heard many people ask: “Is CBD oil good for you?” – CBD oil has many health and wellness benefits. We’ll discuss a few of these below.
A highly regarded medicine is Epidiolex, manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK. The medicine contains cannabis plant extracts, specifically CBD. Epidiolex is administered to patients with extreme cases of epilepsy, which dramatically reduces their seizures.
An Israeli study has concluded that CBD helped to improve problematic behaviour in 80% of autistic children.
CBD has been found to contain anti-inflammatory properties which improves symptoms of various conditions. For example, the symptoms of patients with Crohn’s disease and endometriosis improved from the use of CBD.
Patients with serious addictions, such as opioid or alcohol addiction benefit from medical CBD, this study found that CBD administered to patients with serious addictions reduced short term dependency while also stopping the patients from relapsing long term.
There are claims CBD also improves depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychotic symptoms, insomnia, inhibits cancer cell growth and reduces pain.
Check out our infographic depicting the benefits of using CBD.
Dangers and risks of CBD
There have been no recorded deaths due to CBD use, or cannabis use.
The WHO (World Health Organization) stated in a report that there is no evidence of any health-related problems regarding the use of CBD.
The greatest danger of CBD use which is of concern is the use of CBD or cannabis by pregnant women as it is unclear whether the fetus will be harmed.
In high doses, CBD use has been found to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes, which affect the metabolism of certain medications. If you are on any medications listed here and thinking of consuming CBD, it is advisable to consult your doctor prior to use.
Is CBD safe for kids?
As stated above, CBD should not be used by pregnant women, as it is unclear whether it will affect the developing neurons which could affect the child’s memory, behavior and intelligence.
CBD is safe for use in children. It is used to treat children who suffer extreme epilepsy symptoms. CBD is also used in some cases to help children with anxiety and other conditions such as autism.
Is CBD safe for pets?
Yes, it is safe to give your pet CBD. When used on animals, CBD will relieve anxious and scared pets who have recently been through trauma or are not settling in properly. There is currently no evidence to suggest that CBD is in anyway harmful to pets.
Is CBD addictive?
No, CBD is not addictive. CBD has been successfully used to treat patients with severe addictions to opioids and other substances.
The WHO reported that there is no risk of abuse with regards to CBD use.
Does CBD work?
CBD works for improving epilepsy in patients. The epilepsy medicine, Epidiolex, uses CBD as a constituent and is proven to work. It has been approved for use by the FDA in America.
Since there are a high number of people who all claim that CBD works and improves certain symptoms, it would be apparent that CBD does work, however more scientific research and evidence is required to back up the claims.
Where can I buy CBD oil?
You can purchase CBD products from various high street shops. There are an abundance of online retailers who offer CBD oil products. We have an article which lists our favorite 5 CBD products in different categories, and can be found by clicking here – The products listed on this page are food supplements, not medicinal products.
You’ll also find a wide variety of products containing CBD oil for sale online, such as CBD vape oil, CBD tinctures, CBD edibles, CBD topical cream, CBD pet treats and foods, CBD cooking oil or simply pure CBD oil. We could list more.. basically anything from foods, drinks, creams and soap etc can include CBD.
Are products containing CBD legal?
CBD is legal in most countries, including the United Kingdom. CBD oil is not legal in the UK if it contains over 0.2% THC.
CBD buds/hemp flowers are in a grey area. Some people say they are illegal, others say they’re legal. For our views on the legality of CBD buds, read this article.