Yes, CBD supplements are legal in the UK, when purchased from a reputable source and confirmed to be made from an approved strain of an industrial hemp plant. CBD is also legal in the EU and the US. CBD is not a controlled substance because it doesn’t cause a ‘high’ like marijuana. Legally, hemp is defined as a cannabis plant that contains 0.2% or less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), whereas marijuana is defined as a cannabis plant that contains more than 0.2% THC. THC is the compound that is illegal under the Misuse of Drugs act; the low proportion of THC in CBD products means that it doesn’t cause psychoactive effects (a ‘high’) like marijuana.
Although legal, CBD supplements are carefully regulated. CBD was classed as a Novel Food in January 2019 (a food product which does not have a history of consumption before May 1997). This helps to ensure a sufficient quality of CBD is being sold and prevents the market from being flooded with substandard and potentially unsafe products.
Any business selling CBD must submit an application to the Food Standards Agency for a Novel Foods license. Possession of such a license means that businesses have to ensure their CBD products are safe for human consumption, be transparent about any potential risks associated with consumption, not mislead consumers about potential health benefits and be compliant with certain other criteria. The Food Standards Agency ensures that all CBD products do not contain illegal or harmful ingredients such as pesticides, are free from allergens and don’t cause environmental damage when disposed of (e.g. being flushed down the toilet).
Possessing cannabis for recreational or medicinal use is illegal, unless it has been prescribed by a specialist (i.e. you cannot ask your GP to refer you to receive medical cannabis). Medical cannabis (containing more than 0.2% THC) is prescribed, very rarely, for certain medical conditions in the UK, if other treatments have not been successful. Eligible conditions include rare and severe forms of epilepsy, chemotherapy-induced vomiting or nausea, and patients with multiple sclerosis-induced muscle stiffness and spasms.
What is CBD?
Also known as hemp oil or hemp seed oil, cannabidiol (CBD for short) oil is a food supplement. It is a naturally occurring cannabinoid compound extracted from the hemp plant, a botanical class of the cannabis plant grown specifically for medicinal use (‘medical cannabis’). Hemp is a cannabis plant that contains 0.2% or less THC, meaning it doesn’t cause any psychoactive effects (a ‘high’) allowing the user to remain in complete control.
The manufacturing process of extracting, concentrating and purifying CBD from the hemp plant is extensive and includes using the highest quality ingredients and third party laboratory testing to ensure the premium quality of end product.
Fun fact: hemp is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and is used for a wide variety of industrial uses ranging from printer’s ink and detergent to wood preservative and cloth.
What are the benefits of CBD Oil?
A lack of large long-term clinical trial data means that commercially available CBD products cannot be marketed with medical claims. They are not to be used to treat, cure or prevent illnesses. However, over a million people are currently using CBD in the UK to support a healthy lifestyle and improve everyday mental health and body wellness. Many people believe that use of high-quality CBD is a natural way to manage a wide range of conditions, including pain reduction, anxiety, nausea and insomnia.
How does CBD Oil work?
CBD is a cannabinoid, a naturally occurring compound which stimulates the receptors in the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates numerous essential daily functions such as appetite, digestion, sleep and moods
CBD/Hemp oil product range
Hemp oil is incredibly versatile and can be formulated into a wide range of products from edibles to cosmetics meaning there’s something to suit a wide range of different preferences and palates. Even better, all products are completely legal, THC-free and laboratory tested to ensure premium quality. You can even enter your batch number on our website to learn about the origin and heritage of your CBD products.
Edible formulations include liquid drops, atomiser sprays and gummies. CBD liquid drops are the most popular formulation and are available in a variety of flavours (natural, peppermint, Valencia orange and wild cherry) and different strengths (mild, medium, strong, super strong). The drops should be placed under the tongue and held there for a minute before swallowing to allow optimal absorption. The oils can also be added to other products such as peanut butter, salad dressing, smoothies, mocktails, cooking oils etc before consumption (however do avoid directly heating the oil!), although this may reduce its absorption. There are plenty of recipes online for inspiration. An atomiser spray formulation is also available for each flavour – easy to use on the go.
Edible formulations of CBD result in a slower release of the product; the initial effect is less intense, however, the effects last for a longer period of time. Think snacks or dessert – CBD is available as vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free gummies (zesty orange, succulent strawberry or delicious blackcurrant jelly domes) or dark chocolate balls (64% cocoa).
For those who prefer to take daily supplements there are easy-to-swallow flavourless vegan-friendly capsules enriched with organically sourced premium quality CBD (5 mg, 10 mg or 20 mg of CBD per capsule).
For those who prefer topical application, an organic hand-blended luxury body salve blend of CBD with beeswax and essential oils will soothe dry, irritated skin. There’s also a CBD hand sanitiser gel scented with lavender and aloe vera.
When to take it
CBD can be taken at any time of day. However, timing may improve the benefits, for instance if the goal is to improve sleep, CBD should be taken/applied shortly before bed whereas taking upon waking will be more suitable for those wanting to treat anxiety. One of the many benefits of CBD is that there are no restrictions to using it while driving or operating heavy machinery. However, taking it with alcohol is not recommended as this may cause excessive drowsiness.
However, if you are planning to take your CBD products on your travels it’s advisable to check the local laws of your intended destination as legislation is constantly changing. Currently, CBD is banned in China and Russia, and rules vary by state in the US. It’s also worth checking in-flight guidance to check if CBD oil is permitted to be carried in hand luggage.
Who shouldn’t take it?
CBD is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding or taking medication. Always check with your doctor or a pharmacist if you’re on any prescribed medication or have a serious medical condition. CBD can also affect how other medications work, either making them less effective (e.g. blood-thinning medication) or increasing the likelihood of unpleasant reactions to existing medication.
Are there any side effects?
The World Health Organisation reports that ‘CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile’. However, as with all medications and health remedies, some people will experience side effects. Always read the label on the product so you know what to look out for.
The most common reactions are dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, light-headedness, loss of appetite, nausea or diarrhoea. It can sometimes cause a small drop in blood pressure. Most people consider the benefits such as pain reduction to offset any mild reactions.
Always consult your doctor if you experience any adverse reactions after taking CBD. To minimise any adverse reactions always purchase the highest quality of CBD oil that has been rigorously tested. Low-grade untested CBD may contain a proportion of THC that can induce psychosis, hallucinations and dependency. It is also recommended not to exceed a daily dose of 70 mg. Some people find it helpful to keep a symptom diary to help track the effectiveness of CBD in terms of improvement in symptoms and/or occurrence of side effects.
In summary, CBD oil is 100% legal, as long as it’s purchased from a reliable source that guarantees it’s THC-free, and can help promote physical and mental wellbeing. For those who aren’t sure which format to choose there are multiple starter packs containing a variety of options from edibles (gummies, liquid drops or atomiser sprays) and capsules to cosmetics. For those new to CBD it’s best to start with a mild dose such as 10 mg per day and gradually increase over time until the most effective dose is found (but no higher than 70 mg per day). All products are vegan-friendly and THC-free. Love hemp. Love life more.