A Beginners Guide to CBD
If you’ve heard of CBD oil and want to try using it, there may be a couple of things that are confusing you. The terminology in particular, as well as the extensive range of options, can be overwhelming. So, in this article, we’re covering the basics, answering questions like:
- What is CBD, and can it get you high?
- Is it legal?
- What’s the difference between CBD, cannabis and cannabinoids?
- Is organic important?
- How do I start using CBD oil?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an active compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. The compound is non-psychoactive and products containing CBD in the UK are derived from industrial hemp.
CBD is not like THC, which is an active compound found in marijuana. CBD from industrial hemp contains less than 0.2% THC, so there are no psychoactive effects from consuming CBD oil. The level of 0.2% is set under UK laws based on an EU directive stipulating that industrial hemp, the plant from which CBD is made, must have levels of THC below 0.2%. Thus, CBD oil is legal in the UK if the level of THC is below 0.2%.
Important CBD Terminology
Understanding the different terms and acronyms used in the CBD industry can be confusing; these are the more important ones:
- CBD, this is the acronym used for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid that is non-psychoactive and is used to support health and wellness.
- Cannabinoids, this is the group of compounds found in the cannabis plant. In addition to CBD, other well-known cannabinoids include CBN, CBC, CBG and, of course, THC.
- Cannabis, under UK law, Cannabis is defined as the tops of any plant (flowering or fruiting) that belongs to the genus Cannabis. Cannabis is also referred to as marijuana or weed.
- THC, full name tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that mod altering effects.
- Bioavailability, the proportion of a substance that enters the circulation after being introduced to the body that is, therefore, able to have an effect.
- Sublingual administration, the administration of substances so that they diffuse into the blood through tissues under the tongue.
Is it the same as hemp seed oil or hemp oil?
Hempseed oil, sometimes called hemp oil, is not the same as CBD oil. Where hempseed oil is made from the hemp seeds, CBD oil is made from the stems, leaves, flowers and buds of industrial hemp. Hempseed oil is generally used topically to maintain skin health or taken as a food additive or supplement.
Is it legal in the UK?
CBD oil derived from industrial hemp is completely legal in the UK, which is why you can purchase it online and from stores on the high street. The one important thing to note is that not all CBD oils are the same, and it’s important to purchase a product made from a reputable manufacturer that offers the results of third-party testing of their products on their website.
As there is still some stigma attached to using CBD oil because of its association with cannabis, a good option for purchasing is to buy online as an online CBD shop will offer discreet delivery with no marking on the box.
Checking That Your CBD is Organic, and Why it’s Important
Whether your CBD product is organic or not will depend on the type of CBD product and the ingredients that have been used. If you are using a tincture, in most cases, the only other ingredient in the tincture, aside from the hemp extract, is an oil. This is likely to be coconut oil, olive oil or hempseed oil. As they are all plant-based oils, it is entirely possible to find CBD tinctures. It is simply a case of verifying the oil and the hemp extract to ensure that both ingredients are organic. If both the oil and hemp extract were grown without the use of fertilisers or chemicals, then it is an organic CBD oil. For other products such as lotions and edibles, it will take some time to work through the ingredient list to verify if each component is organic.
Using an organic CBD oil is important because hemp is a bio-accumulator. This means that chemicals and pesticides are absorbed by hemp plants faster than they can be excreted. In fact, hemp is so effective at accumulating toxins that hemp plants have been used to clean up the Chernobyl site. So, with this in mind, using CBD that has been manufactured with organic hemp is very important. In the UK, most CBD products are made from industrial hemp grown in Europe. There are strict laws and regulations governing the growth of hemp, and only EU-approved strains of industrial hemp are allowed to be grown, which gives you peace of mind that CBD products from European hemp are safe.
How to Use CBD Oil
If you’re trying CBD for the first time, a good place to start is using CBD oil. Although there are many other different options, CBD oil offers the maximum bioavailability as it can be directly absorbed by the body. Follow the instructions on the bottle to ensure that you are using the product correctly.
To use CBD oil:
Step 1: Shake the bottle; this will ensure that the CBD oil has the right consistency and that the oil and hemp extract is mixed thoroughly together.
Step 2: Using a dropper, place the oil under your tongue. This method of consumption is known as sublingual administration. Most CBD oils will come with a dropper, or a dropper mechanism will be fitted on to the top of the bottle.
Step 3: Hold the oil under your tongue for at least 30 seconds, up to a few minutes before swallowing.
Step 4: Once you have finished using the CBD oil, close the cap tightly and store it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat.
CBD beginners, hopefully this article has cleared up some of your questions! Remember that CBD oil is legal in the UK and is widely available both online and in brick and mortar stores. It’s important to buy CBD products from a reputable manufacturer and to check the results of third-party lab tests to ensure that your product contains the advertised level of CBD and does not contain any contaminants. Many people choose to start with a CBD oil rather than edibles, vapes or other options as they are easy to consume and can be better absorbed by the body.