As CBD products – including oil, sprays and capsules – enter the mainstream, they’re attracting attention from everyone from athletes to pensioners. Some say it’s a miracle cure for back pain and arthritis, others claim it reduces anxiety and improves sleep, while some brands are even offering CBD-infused chocolates and sexual lubricants. But is it safe? And what does the UK law say about it?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s a compound found in the cannabis or hemp plants. CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive properties of THC – the compound that gives marijuana its high – but it does have other medicinal benefits, such as helping to ease anxiety and insomnia, and it can also be used to treat skin conditions like acne.
While CBD is legal to purchase in the UK, there are some things to bear in mind. As the NHS explains, as a ‘food supplement’ rather than a’medicine’, it’s not regulated and there’s no guarantee that the products you buy will contain the ingredients they claim. Indeed, research by think tank the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis has found that many products sold on the high street don’t contain the concentration of CBD that they promise.
In the absence of regulation, it’s important to look for a product that has been third-party lab tested. This ensures that it’s accurately labelled, and that it doesn’t have any contaminants that could be harmful if you are sensitive to them.
If you’re purchasing a CBD oil, spray or capsule, it’s also worth looking for one that’s made using premium hemp extracts. This will be more expensive than lower-quality alternatives, but the added quality will be worth it if you want the best results possible.
Finally, if you’re considering using CBD to help with a specific medical condition, it’s best to talk to your doctor before doing so. It’s especially important to speak to your GP before trying any new supplements or oils, as they can advise you on whether or not they are appropriate for you.
As for the future, if the latest trials continue to show positive results, there may be a time when CBD oil becomes available on the NHS. For now, however, the only CBD-based medicine that’s been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is Epidiolex, which treats two forms of epilepsy. CBD Oils UK