With so many “snake oil” products on the market, it can be hard to keep up with the new miracle ingredients. From goji berries to guarana, products arrive on the shelves full of hype and promises, only to quickly become yesterday’s news. While CBD oil may initially seem like another natural ingredient that has shot to fame in recent years, it’s actually been studied and used in healthcare for many years in the UK, but only recently has it enjoyed more widespread awareness.
Unlike medical marijuana, which has received a lot of attention for its use in treating the symptoms of epilepsy, chronic pain and many other conditions, CBD flies under the radar with its milder impacts and less controversial nature.
If you’re new to the world of cannabinoids, you may well be asking, “what is CBD?” The answer is – not what you think.
CBD Is Not Marijuana
While it may start its life in the leaves of the cannabis plant, taking CBD is vastly different from smoking marijuana. The first step in understanding this differentiation is to understand the botany behind the plant.
The cannabis plant has two different strains, hemp and marijuana. While they may look similar, the two plants grow differently, have different biological footprints, and are used for different purposes.
Hemp is a versatile plant cultivated in the UK for various industrial purposes, including the manufacture of rope and biofuels. The seeds of the hemp plant are a great source of protein and minerals that support our immune system and so are often used in health foods.
Marijuana is a bushier plant grown for its flower buds, which are harvested for their potent psychoactive properties. This effect comes from the THC, which is present in high concentrations in marijuana but has been all but eliminated from the plants used in CBD production.
With over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis, two, in particular, are found in the greatest quantities: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Both have positive health benefits in terms of anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiolytic properties, but while THC produces the “high” we associate with marijuana, CBD does not. While marijuana may contain as much as 20% THC as dry weight, through selective breeding, the hemp plants used to create CBD have no more than 0.2%, much of which is further filtered out through the extraction process.
This allows you to enjoy the health benefits cannabis has demonstrated for centuries without the adverse effects of dependency or an altered state of mind.
CBD Isn’t An Illegal Substance
A common misconception is that CBD must be illegal if it’s extracted from the cannabis plant. But, as we covered above, the difference between hemp and marijuana are what allow CBD to be created and sold in the UK.
While marijuana is illegal and a controlled substance due to its THC content, CBD is not. The vast majority of CBD sold in the UK is processed from hemp farms in Europe, where the CBD market is already well-established and faces less red tape. Within the UK, licenses for hemp farming are issued by the DEFRA arm of the Home Office, and the licensing process is prohibitive. That being said, with so many people experiencing improved health due to CBD, we anticipate the demand to grow further over the coming years, so you may well find a hemp farm coming to a field near you!
CBD Isn’t Just For Chronic Illness
In the UK, CBD is prescribed through the NHS for severe cases of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and to alleviate nausea and other side effects of medical treatment, such as chemotherapy. However, CBD isn’t only for those suffering from chronic illness; it can also be used to support general wellbeing, as well as for many milder conditions.
Research has shown CBD may help with:
In particular, CBD is fantastic for inflammatory conditions and has helped people suffering from IBS, arthritis and even acne. Although you should consult a medical professional before taking CBD due to its interaction with some pharmaceuticals, the World Health Organisation reports that “CBD is generally well tolerated, with a good safety profile.”
We think you’ll agree; there’s a lot more to CBD than meets the eye. With its links to cannabis, many people are missing out on its benefits purely due to misinformation. So, next time you tell someone about CBD oil, make sure to let them know, “It’s not what you think!”
Explore our full range of CBD oils.