Over 1.6 million people in the UK currently use CBD, and its popularity is only continuing to grow. You’ve probably seen CBD products appearing on shelves, but you might still have one important question – what is CBD?
If you’re curious about the new health ingredient that everyone’s buzzing about, or interested in trying it out for yourself, we’ve got all the information you need.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis and industrial hemp.
Although it is a component of the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive and therefore does not produce a “high” in the user. A different cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the psychotropic effects of cannabis.
Despite its lack of psychoactive effects, CBD has the potential to offer a variety of therapeutic properties to its users.
How does CBD work?
Cannabinoids works by stimulating receptors found within our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). They work in harmony with the endocannabinoids we naturally produce when our ECS is functioning properly.
It’s now coming to light that we may well be “endocannabinoid deficient”, and that supplementing with CBD may help us to reach our optimum health.
Is CBD a drug?
Unlike most other cannabinoids, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 does not classify CBD as a drug.
In order to comply with current UK laws, CBD products must have a maximum THC content of 0.2%.
As of 31 March 2021, products also need to have a validated novel food application to be sold in the UK.
The history of CBD
People across the world have been using cannabis as a medicine for thousands of years.
Cannabis was outlawed in the UK in 1928, but remained legal for medical use until it was banned in 1971. The UK legalised medical cannabis again in 2018, but awareness of and access to cannabis-based treatment is still low.
Scientists first identified cannabinoids in the 1930s. However, it wasn’t until the discovery of the ECS in the late 1980s that they started to consider their potential health benefits.
In recent years, CBD has become increasingly popular due to changes in the legislation and public perception surrounding it.
What is CBD used for?
Clinical studies currently suggest that CBD may be an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions.
The effects and health benefits will vary from person to person. Other factors that also influence CBD’s efficacy include delivery method, dosage, and potency.
Though research is ongoing in many areas, early results indicate that CBD can help to alleviate the symptoms of various physical, neurological, and psychological conditions. These include:
- Epilepsy: Evidence suggests that it may be effective in reducing the seizures associated with certain types of epilepsy.
- Anxiety disorders: Preliminary results show that it could help to to reduce anxiety.
- Multiple sclerosis: There have been positive signs that it can reduce muscle spasms and pain experienced by MS patients.
- Arthritis: Research shows that it may have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, which could alleviate some of the symptoms of arthritis.
- Parkinson’s disease: Many people with Parkinson’s disease use it to treat symptoms including tremors, muscle spasms, pain, and insomnia.
- Cancer: Early results suggest that it can kill cells, inhibit cell growth, and reduce the spread of cancer. Some chemotherapy patients also use it to treat symptoms like nausea.
- Chronic pain: Its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects may benefit those who suffer from chronic pain, and it may also increase the immune system’s response to certain conditions.
Side effects of CBD
Though most people tolerate CBD very well, some users have experienced side effects; these include dizziness, weight loss, drowsiness, and fatigue.
It’s always very important to look for approved products. You should also carefully read the product label and information leaflet of any product you’re purchasing.
Additionally, you may need to get medical advice from your doctor if you have a particular condition or are taking any other medication.
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