Anyone with any interest in the health and supplements market will probably have heard of CBD. It is certainly a buzz word at the moment and something that is up there with smashed avocado on toast and kombucha in terms of trends. What it’s not, however, is a fad. Research shows that CBD is here, and is here to stay, with more and more people around the world beginning to enjoy its benefits.
But what is CBD? Where does it come from? What can it do for you and how do you take it?
Read on and we will reveal all…
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol – or CBD as it is also known, is a compound which is naturally found in the cannabis plant. It is a compound known as a cannabinoid, but, unlike its cousin cannabinoid – THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) it won’t make you high.
There are over 100 compounds in the cannabis plant, with different strains having different combinations of these compounds. One variety is known as hemp, and this is a variety which has been specially cultivated to have higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC. In the UK, the hemp must have a THC level of less than 0.2%, meaning that it is completely legal, won’t make you high and can, therefore, be used to create some of the wonderful CBD products which we have today.
The reason why so many people love CBD is because of the health benefits that it has for the body. It is completely natural and yet can do us no end of good.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
When scientists were researching into the cannabis plant, they discovered a whole new system in the body. They named it the endocannabinoid system and found that it is a system that is responsible for regulating a number of other systems in the body. These include the immune system, the central nervous system, body temperature and mood.
The endocannabinoid system works through the interaction between cannabinoids (or ‘endocannabinoids’ – cannabinoids made naturally in the body) and cannabinoid receptors. When they interact, they can help to control certain aspects of the body and maintain a state of ‘homeostasis’ – or balance. It is this system which helps the body to ensure that we don’t have too much, or too little of anything in our system.
Scientists believe that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating systems such as the immune system, the central nervous system and mood.
You can find out more about the endocannabinoid system here.
Therefore, by taking phyto cannabinoids like CBD, it is believed that you can give your endocannabinoid system a boost and keep your body working in tip-top form.
How to take CBD
There are a number of different ways that you can take CBD. Some people like to use a vaporiser or even rub it into their skin. However, two of the most common ways are either through CBD capsules or CBD oil drops – under the tongue.
These two common delivery methods are different in the way that the CBD is absorbed into the body.
CBD that is taken in an edible or capsule form is ingested, so it passes through the digestive system and digested just like food. It, therefore, can take up to about 2 hours to take effect but can stay in your system for up to about 8 hours. CBD capsules can be taken with food supplements as part of your daily health routine or in edible food such as baked goods or gummies, which offer an interesting and flexible way to take it. CBD edibles and capsules are discrete, and no-one needs to know that you are taking them.
CBD that is taken in oil form is usually taken under the tongue. The CBD is infused into a carrier oil – usually hemp, coconut or olive oil – which help it to be absorbed better. For a speedy effect, the CBD oil should be held under the tongue for 1-2 minutes, to allow the CBD to be quickly absorbed through the lining of the mouth (if you swallow it, it will be the same as CBD edibles). Due to the fact that there are hundreds of blood vessels near to the lining of the mouth, it will become effective quickly – within about 15 minutes – but will also go out of the system quickly.
Is CBD Legal in the UK
The fact that CBD comes from the cannabis plant can put a lot of people off. However, the law in the UK at the moment stipulates that as long as it is made from industrial hemp – with a THC level of below 0.2%, it is legal to buy and use.
It is important, however, if you are buying CBD that you do so from a trusted supplier who can provide a 3rd-party lab report confirming the advertised CBD dosage is actually in the bottle, here is a list of UK’s top CBD oil brands.
As more and more people are enjoying the benefits of CBD, we will see it becoming more accessible to everyone. If you are thinking about trying CBD for the first time, you should always speak to your doctor first.