Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, dating back to at least the third millennium BC in written history. But research in the last fifty years has brought a new understanding, supported by many important studies, of the importance of cannabis particularly in maintaining the health of the human body. This research into CBD has led to many applications for health and wellness and has resulted in a number of different types and brands of CBD products.
The Development of Cannabis Over the Last 50 Years
In 1963 and 1964, Dr Raphael Mechoulam made two important breakthroughs in understanding the effects of individual cannabinoids. In 1963 he identified CBD’s stereochemistry (the arrangement of molecules and the effect this has on chemical reactions). In 1964 he discovered the stereochemistry of THC which revealed the direct relationship between cannabinoids in THC and the “high” that is associated with marijuana use. He was also able to identify that CBD was not a psychoactive compound.
Dr Mechoulam conducted further studies on the effects of cannabis in the 1980s, but there was very little attention paid to these important findings because of the stigma of cannabis, but it laid an important platform for new research into CBD. Then, in the 1990s, further understanding of the cannabinoid structure lead to the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System which would have important implications for the CBD industry.
How CBD is Used Today in the UK
In 2018, WHO confirmed that CBD is safe for humans, with very few side effects and, importantly, it does not have the potential for abuse. And since then, cannabidiol (CBD) has been popping up everywhere; it’s covered in the media, offered as an add-in booster for your morning coffee, and can be added to your food. But what is it?
CBD is the second most prevalent active component of cannabis; by itself, it does not cause a ‘high.’ A report released by the WHO states that in humans, “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
What are the Most Common Ways to Take CBD?
There are many different ways to consume CBD; the most popular are:
1.) CBD Oils and Tinctures
CBD tinctures are the most common way to consume CBD oil. They are taken using a dropper under the tongue; and take effect after about 40 minutes. The main reason that they are so popular is that the CBD is considered pure; there has been no additional processing of the product. In most cases, the only addition that is made to the CBD oil is flavouring, to make it taste a bit better.
To consume CBD oil, you put a couple of drops under your tongue. The number of drops will determine the dosage which will vary from person to person. An important point to remember here is that the drops should be placed under the tongue; you then need to wait for them to be absorbed in order to have the best results.
2.) CBD Edibles
CBD can be added to beverages and foods such as smoothies, coffee, tea, honey, sweets, and meals. Another popular form of edible CBD is eating ‘gummies,’ they’re low dosage and available in a range of flavours. The effects of ingested CBD take longer to take effect, often upwards of two hours.
3.) CBD Vaporising
CBD can be inhaled using a vape where it is absorbed into the lungs and quickly takes effect; it’s easy to adjust the dosage and using a vape is straightforward.
4.) CBD Lotions
CBD can be mixed into lotions and creams and is then applied to the skin; they can typically take an hour to have an effect. A search online will quickly reveal a large number of different CBD topical creams that are available including lip balms, lotions and salves.
Before choosing a CBD topical lotion, check that the product has been manufactured using either micellization, nanotechnology or encapsulation so that it is specifically designed to penetrate through the dermal layers. This will ensure that the product is as effective as possible. Topical lotions that have been infused with CBD can be applied the same as any other body products. It is always recommended to follow the instructions on the packaging.
How Do You Choose a CBD Product?
If you’re new to CBD, the number of options can seem overwhelming as there are many different types of CBD and a large number of different manufacturers. There are three key factors (among many others) to consider that will help narrow down your options. The right product will vary from person to person based on your preferences and the effect you want. Look at:
1. Potency – CBD products are available in a variety of different strengths, the level of concentration should be listed on the label but, if not, it should be on a third-party lab report for the product. If the product does not have lab reports available, it’s best to avoid the product. If you’re just getting started with CBD, start with a lower concentration and follow the dosage instructions on the label.
2. Taste – this is only important as it makes taking CBD more enjoyable and therefore, something that you can use regularly as part of a routine. The earthy flavour of hemp is not to everyone’s liking, so it might be best to start off with a CBD product that has been flavoured to mask the taste.
3. Full-Spectrum – full-spectrum CBD contains a number of compounds in addition to CBD including different types of cannabinoids, terpenes and vitamins. It contains the additional compounds that are thought to work together to produce a more beneficial product.
There is still a lot of research that needs to be done investigating the advantages of CBD, although the last fifty years of studies have shown that the compound has some useful applications. Today, CBD products are used in many different ways to maintain general health and wellness and are available in a wide range of different products.