If you look at the shelves in any health- or wellness-based shop, or even in chemists, you’ll see that they’ve been augmented in recent years by CBD based products – CBD being Cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant.
CBD Oil is the primary product, in a distinct glass bottle with a dropper for measuring dosages, but other options are available to help people fit the benefits into their lives in a convenient form. CBD tea – in either bag or leaf form – is a good option for people trying to manage low level, chronic issues or to treat insomnia, whereas CBD capsules make it easy to regulate your dosage and fit them into a regime with other medications or supplements.
The question remains, however, of why CBD has suddenly become so popular and why these products have just become widely available. Today we’re looking at these issues in the hope of helping you make more informed decisions about whether CBD is right for you.
Where Does CBD Come From?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid compound that is derived from the cannabis plant and can act on the human endocannabinoid system of receptors to produce physical effects in the body.
Despite coming from the same source as a controlled drug, CBD products are legal to sell, subject to certain conditions. This is due to a landmark report from the World Health Organisation. While the report didn’t assess any therapeutic claims, it did examine the potential for harm in the compound and the most important conclusion it reached was that CBD has no capacity for addiction: it cannot form addictive pathways in the brain. It’s also not an intoxicant in the same way as THC, another compound in cannabis, and the one that produces the plant’s distinctive high.
CBD products can be legally sold in the UK as long as they contain no more than trace amounts of THC. The EU authorises certain strains of hemp and cannabis plant for cultivation as long as they contain a maximum of 0.2% of THC.
Studies on the efficacy of CBD as a therapeutic substances are in the their infancy and as such it’s hard to speak with authority on exactly what it can do best. There is some evidence that CBD can act as an anti-inflammatory, giving it some promise as a way to manage conditions like arthritis. Creams and balms exist that allow it to be applied topically for this purpose.
It’s also much vaunted as an aid to managing depression, anxiety, low mood and even insomnia – the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system is reputed to mirror standard anti-depressants, with many people reporting fewer side effects. It’s not hard to see why CBD products have become so widespread so quickly after they became available.