CBD has become an increasingly popular supplement and you can now purchase it in the UK’s high street shops and online. It comes in different forms including oils, capsules, muscle gels and sprays.
It’s important to check the label before buying a product, as it can contain different strengths and ingredients. It can also interact with some medications if taken together so always check with your healthcare professional first.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is a natural supplement made by extracting the compound from the cannabis sativa plant, then diluting it with carrier oils such as coconut or hemp seed oil to make it more easily digested. It is most often taken orally and may be used in a number of different ways depending on the product.
The way CBD works “interacts with our own endocannabinoid system to promote balance and homeostasis in the body, helping with anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain management, neurogenerative disorders, and traumatic brain injuries,” says Bissex. It can also help with conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis, and has been shown to be effective in treating certain types of epilepsy.
There is some evidence that CBD can interact with certain antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as zoloft, tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as phenelzine (Nardil). It can also cause drowsiness when mixed with these drugs, so it’s important to avoid this combination until you know how your body responds to CBD alone.
How does it work?
CBD is one of 104 chemical compounds in the cannabis (hemp) plant and differs from the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD-rich oil is usually diluted with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut to improve bioavailability.
The oil interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system to reduce pain sensations. It is also used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatments and muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis.
In the UK, health food stores stock a wide range of CBD products including oils and capsules. These are not regulated and have little clinical evidence behind them.
The UK Food Standards Agency recommends healthy adults limit their intake of CBD-rich foods to 10mg per day – equivalent to 4-5 drops of a 5% CBD oil. In addition, you should avoid using CBD products if you are taking any medication that is metabolised by the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes. This is because it may prevent them from working properly.
Is it safe?
CBD does not contain the psychoactive component of cannabis that can make you feel high. It is considered safe, although it can cause side effects like diarrhea and changes to appetite in some people. It may also interact with some prescription medicines, so always check with a healthcare professional before taking it.
CBD is legal in the UK, provided it has been registered as a novel food with the Food Standards Agency and contains less than 1mg of THC per serving. A reputable supplier will be happy to provide you with this information and lab reports showing that the product you are buying meets these criteria.
Physicians (consultants and members of the Specialist Register of the GMC) were more likely to believe that CBD could have therapeutic properties, be less likely to cause psychosis and not have dangerous side effects than nurses and other staff with patient contact. This may suggest that physicians are aware of the evidence supporting the use of CBD but have a hidden cannabis bias and/or may be concerned about potential interactions with other prescribed medications.
Is it legal?
CBD is one of 104 chemical compounds called cannabinoids that’s found in the cannabis or hemp plant. It can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system – a network of millions of receptor pathways in the brain, glands and organs that are responsible for maintaining balance in the body.
Unlike THC, the component that gives cannabis its psychoactive effects, CBD isn’t classed as a controlled substance in the UK. It can be incorporated into many different products, including capsules, tinctures and even gummy sweets.
As long as the product has been registered as a novel food by the Food Standards Agency and contains less than 1mg of THC, it can be sold legally in the UK. It’s important to find a reputable supplier that will be happy to show you lab tests and other evidence of the purity and potency of their product. Products that don’t meet these requirements could be confiscated by UK customs officers.CBD Oil UK