The 2020 guide to CBD oils in the UK
We want to create a guide that gives UK residents confidence in buying CBD oils, by explaining more about them and the law.
We know that there is a wide array of information out there and that many sources are just trying to sell you a product. So we have taken the time to look over as much data as we could find, looked at the research, and gathered the most accurate information possible to create this guideline to buying the best CBD products in the UK.
This article should give you an idea of your options and benefits as well as highlight potential side effects.
We have chosen to focus on the UK in particular because that is going to allow us to give the clearest law and legislation information.
You can buy CBD products and supplements in the UK legally for personal health choices. You will also learn how to use a number of CBD products and what they are best for.
What to look for in the best CBD oil
When looking for the best quality CBD oil on the market, we feel there are six essential areas to look at to determine quality.
1) Easily comprehensible CBD amounts
The percentage indicated on a CBD bottle can often confuse customers because the amount of product included also affects strength. The primary thing that you should be looking for is if the CBD product you are looking at includes the CBD amount in mg.
Every person has their own needs and has a specified amount of CBD that is ideal for them. You want to make sure that you can see how many milligrams per millilitre of CBD is in a given product so you are able to determine how much CBD you are realistically taking in a given dose.
2) Supercritical CO2 extraction
When buying CBD, you want to look for a product that has had CO2 supercritical extraction done as this is the industry standard for high-quality CBD. The reason for this is that the technique preserves the majority of cannabinoid products in the CBD.
Cannabis has over 100 cannabinoids with an additional 300+ chemical compounds within it naturally that come with the CBD when it is extracted. Extracting CBD from its source properly ensures that you get these other useful chemicals that work with CBD to help make it effective at its job.
There are other extraction methods like butane, but methods like that are not good at preserving the plant’s active compounds in a way that maintains their safety for general usage.
3) Safe amounts of THC
With CBD being legal and not THC, you need to make sure you are buying CBD products that have less than the legal limit of THC content. If you are buying CBD from any seller, making sure it meets the legal THC guidelines will ensure its legality.
4) Organic and toxin free certifications
A major consideration to keep in mind when looking at CBD products is to see that the product is organic and toxin free.
Since cannabis is a plant that collects the chemicals it is grown in and around, you need to make sure it is grown organically in a clean environment so that it is not taking in unwanted and harmful chemicals.
Finding a company that only uses oil extracted from organic seeds, properly harvested and extracted plants, and bottled according to government standards will help you get a solid product.
If a brand is being honest and transparent, they will provide the relevant certifications and data that shows how they make their products and that they lack harmful materials.
5) Having the whole package
As is the case with most natural products, the CBD oil you get is only as good as it’s source plant. CBD comes from the cannabis plant along with a number of other beneficial chemicals, so seeing those included is a bonus.
These ingredients from the cannabis plant include CBDa, CBN, CBG, CBGa, flavonoids, terpenes, waxes, and a number of other nutrients. There have been many studies linking improved CBD effects when used with other nutrients of the plant.
Since every strain of CBD is coming from different plants and regions, they are all going to have slightly different chemical makeups that may have subtle effects on how they perform. Making sure the source area and facility is clearly outlined so you know where your product is coming from.
6) Proven to be effective
Anyone can claim their product is the best and has great performance, but a number of poor performing products can easily get customers interested with empty promises and false praise.
Any brand that is not willing and eager to give you the information about their product and how it is made should be avoided at all costs and put on your blacklist.
You need to make sure brands are being open about things like the cannabinoid potency and origin, pesticides, heavy metals, and a number of other factors that affect how the plant was grown and extracted.
To ensure you are getting the best CBD available, make sure you are using these sic guidelines to make sure your products are organic, extracted right, legal, and safe to use.
For the product that meets all of the above requirements, many magazines agree that Blessed CBD is the best CBD brand to buy from in 2021:
Understanding the differences between cannabis and hemp in relation to UK CBD laws
Hemp and cannabis have been around for thousands of years with humans using them for dietary as well as medicinal purposes.
The hemp seed is packed full of nutrients and can be ground down to create things like flour and create hemp oil when desired. The leaves and flowers of the plant have also seen medicinal applications throughout history.
The fibers within the plant make it a prominent fiber in the textile industry and rope creation. The plant itself has so many diverse uses that allow it to help society in many shapes and forms.
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is the most popular cannabinoid that comes from the cannabis plant. This substance is non-intoxicating when used unlike THC which also comes from the same plant.
When used properly, CBD is a safe to use supplement that has a number of benefits when added to a person’s diet.
The difference between cannabis and hemp
The terms cannabis and hemp describe two different variants of the Cannabis Sativa plant that each act slightly different.
Hemp is the term used for cannabis strains that have a THC content of less than 0.2%. Hemp is used for a number of industrial purposes including using the seeds to create oil, the stalks for fibre, and the leaves and flowers can make CBD food supplements.
Cannabis is the overarching term that describes plant varieties that are made with higher THC levels. These strains are usually used for recreational purposes.
The differences between CBD and hemp oil
The creation of CBD oil involves using the entirety of the cannabis plant while hemp oil is just pressed from the hemp seeds. This creates the following differences.
CBD oils are rich in a number of cannabinoids and can be seen being sold in the form of food supplements, oils, candy, and other edible CBD forms
Hemp oil contains a large amount of omega fats that can be eaten raw as a salad dressing. There are a very limited amount of cannabinoids contained in hemp oil.
The versatility of hemp oil allows it to be used for things such as the making of industrial compounds like plastics and fuels while also being able to create a variety of natural beauty products.
Understanding the CBD laws in the UK
CBD products are legal to buy within the UK. But, while it may be legal, there are several laws and regulations that ensure the safe production and marketing of all CBD containing products.
The most common way that companies will try to explain the law is by stating that any product containing less than a 0.2% THC is going to be legal. The common 0.2% THC content regulation is only intended to apply to hemp plants that are specifically grown to create CBD products.
The EU only has a few hemp varieties that are allowed to be legally grown because the varieties that are allowed to be grown all contain less than 0.2% THC content. This CBD law does not however apply to CBD products that you can readily buy in the UK.
CBD products sold within the UK are not allowed to be promoted with the idea that they offer a medicinal benefit or that they can be used for medicine. To create a clearer picture, the Medicine and Healthcare products Agency, or MHRA made a statement stating:
“We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) used for medical purposes are a medicine. Medicinal products must have a product license (marketing authorization) before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK, unless exempt. Licensed medicinal products have to meet safety, quality and efficacy standards to protect public health.”
The CBD products that you can purchase online and on the high street fall under the “unless exempt” section of this statement. Exempt products are sold as food supplements and not for medical use.
To be considered exempt, the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (MDR 2001) sets out certain criteria a CBD product must meet to be sold. These are found on a government fact sheet and state:
“An “exempt product” means a preparation or other product consisting of one or more component parts, any of which contains a controlled drug, where—
- the preparation or other product is not designed for administration of the controlled drug to a human being or animal;
- the controlled drug in any component part is packaged in such a form, or in combination with other active or inert substances in such a manner, that it cannot be recovered by readily applicable means or in a yield which constitutes a risk to health; and
- no one component part of the product or preparation contains more than one milligram of the controlled drug”.
Cannabis oil legality in the UK
Here is some more information on cannabis oil legality in the UK.
While it is currently illegal to buy products like cannabis oil with a higher level of THC within it in the UK, there are options to access the products with a medical prescription. In November 2018, the UK government announced this decision on who could use the substance.
The primary reason for this change is due to the fact that a number of families with children who suffered from medicinal resistance due to certain forms of epilepsy would benefit from the usage of medically regulated cannabis.
While it was in a way possible to receive a Sativex prescription for assistance with MS issues, it was very hard to get a prescription before 2018. Sativex is a common spray that includes amounts of both THC and CBD.
What has limited this product is its high cost for those who use it for MS help as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has deemed it not cost effective.
In comparison, markets such as the Netherlands have a wide range of cannabis oils available, yet their CBD oil industry isn’t quite thriving like the UK. Brands such as Nutra CBD are quickly proving popular though, with their range of CBD oils (CBD olie), capsules and gummies.
The benefits of CBD oil
Among the cannabinoid family, CBD is easily one of the most popular and well known compounds. The term cannabinoid is an overarching term that describes the various natural substances found within the hemp plant.
A full-spectrum strain of hemp plants has been known to have over 100 cannabinoids within the plant that each have various properties and effects on the body’s internal systems.
The way that CBD and its fellow cannabinoids are able to interact with the body is due to something known as the endocannabinoid system that is where these cannabinoids are able to work with and have certain effects on the body.
The endocannabinoid system
Within the body, the endocannabinoid system contains a wide array of receptors that respond to outside as well as human cannabinoids that are called endocannabinoids. These receptors are located throughout the body and are specifically localized around the peripheral nervous system.
The CB1 receptors that are located in the body are seen around the brain and spinal cord while there are a number of other receptors throughout the body classified as CB2 receptors.
Among the research into the endocannabinoids that are naturally within the body, the found variants are the 2-AG and anandamide. The body produces these endocannabinoids under various situations with the compounds serving a number of roles and functions.
The molecule with the most research behind it is the anandamide that has been given the term the bliss molecule. There has been research and a few correlations that lead many to believe this is what is responsible for the runners high that people experience.
Role of the endocannabinoid system
What the endocannabinoid system is primarily designed to do is to ensure that the body is able to have a fully functioning homeostatic system. What this system is responsible for is ensuring the body is always kept in a state that helps achieve ideal health.
This means that when your body gets too hot or cold, the homeostatic system will kick in and adjust the body to get back to an optimal operating state.
A number of studies and researchers are further believing that there is a direct link to the improved maintenance of your homeostatic system is essential to preventing a number of chronic issues and diseases.
With the endocannabinoid system to help it out, the homeostatic system can be given a needed boost of help to respond faster and more effectively.
What makes cannabinoids like CBD so useful is that they are able to directly interact with the bodies CB1 and CB2 receptors to give the body a helpful boost to allow the endocannabinoid system work even better than without CBD.
An increasing amount of research is surrounding the endocannabinoid system is helping to support the numerous benefits of CBD usage, but the medical community is still holding out on giving their official support until more research and facts are able to be established.
Considering the fact that cannabidiol is not an addictive or intoxicating substance like THC, the benefits of CBD are still going to be appealing for many.
How CBD affects your body
Unlike THC, which is known to give you an intoxicating experience, CBD is not going to intoxicate you. For the vast majority of people, an average dose of CBD once consumed will give the user an overall feeling of relaxation and calmness.
What makes CBD so popular and why so many choose to use it is because of the numerous reported health bonuses that come with using CBD.
Effectiveness of CBD oil
As is the case with every medication and supplement, each person will require a different amount and strength of CBD to get the desired benefits and effects.
There are a number of different factors that play into how someone will react to certain CBD amounts that include factors like the individual’s unique genetics and body type, the timing of the dosage, and what amount of CBD they are using as a supplement.
The first thing a user needs to consider when determining the effectiveness is a person’s unique aspects and other exterior factors. Something like weight and height plays a role as that can influence how much CBD a person should take based on their size.
Metabolism is similar in that it can affect how quickly a number of supplements are digested into the body. Other medication that you are taking can also play a role as chemicals can mix or cancel each other out depending on what you are taking.
A number of environmental factors like climate, stress, and other things out of your control can affect your body’s response to the CBD. The way a person lives, how they eat, how they exercise, and their amount of sleep similarly play a role in how effective a CBD dosage is.
Once you understand the factors that are unique for the individual, the CBD itself also can have different effectiveness based on a few factors. The type of product used affects how it is absorbed into the body as oils and vapes act differently than creams and pastes.
The quality of CBD also plays a large role as it determines how potent the CBD will be and how intense the effects will be felt. Lastly, the cannabidiol properties that are unique to every stain may play a small yet noticeable role.
CBD is unlike many other supplements as it is not designed to immediately grant you relief and it takes time to set in. Every person has a different reaction to CBD usage and you need to try it yourself to see how it affects you.
The best way to get into CBD is to start with lower doses and increase strength over time if desired.
How to properly use CBD oil
The great thing about trying out CBD based products as opposed to other alternatives is that they are considered safe and have no unwanted effects to put you off trying them out.
While you can really try a number of CBD products, you want to make sure you are choosing a high-quality product, finding the best amount needed for personal use, and choosing a product that appeals to your needs.
Picking the right dose
When using CBD as a standard food supplement, it is recommended that adults take somewhere less than 200mg of CBD. If a doctor recommends it, then there are times when a higher dose is viable.
For those who are trying CBD for the first time, using a dosage of 10mg two times per day is recommended. After you adjust to that, you can then move up to around 20mg a day if desired.
Increase the amount as you see fit while still remembering to keep the dosage somewhere below 200mg every day. You can take CBD a few times a day if desired and as you feel you need to use it. After you get acclimated to the CBD and understand how much is right for you, you can better understand how it affects your body.
If you are still a little skeptical about just jumping right in to CBD, you can always talk to a doctor to see what kind of CBD is right for you.
CBD oil content and percent amounts
Every brand is a little different and seeing a percentage of CBD marked on the bottle does not immediately indicate the quality or effectiveness of the CBD product.
The other factor that determines the quality of a CBD product is how much it comes with in ml. Buying products that share the same label will allow you to ensure you continue getting the same amount of CBD desired with every product.
Picking the right CBD products for you
Within the UK, there are 7 primary CBD products you can buy legally. Every product has its own unique benefits and drawbacks that you need to look into when choosing the right one for you. Every method is unique in that they all offer different bioavailability.
This is what essentially refers to how the body is able to take in and successfully use the included cannabinoids in every product and how long the desired effects will last.
There was a time when both research and product types were extremely limited. That is no longer the case. Companies like Blessed CBD have a lot of research that goes into their products. They create products that are designed for specific purposes and they have an endless array of options.
The thing to keep in mind is that different products do have different benefits and your own preferences might reflect which type of product you choose to purchase. Blessed CBD provides us with effective products that are of the highest quality and they don’t over charge for the products.
Reliability and consistent quality are incredibly important with these products and Blessed CBD gives you just that with each and every product they produce.
To get the most potent and pure CBD oil product, you will want a full-spectrum and whole-plant CBD extract. This organic oil is known to contain upwards of 400 cannabinoids, terpenes, phenols, flavonoids, and many other beneficial compounds.
When these compounds work together, they help create a synergistic package that works in harmony creating what is known as the entourage effect.
Using a CBD oil by mouth will take about an hour to take effect, but its effects will last for around 8 hours. The reason why CBD oil is the most popular form of cannabidiol is because it is very easy to use and highly effective.
A number of researchers have noted the presence of triglyceride fats like MCT that help CBD more effectively absorb when taken in the oil form. Another way to increase the effectiveness of the CBD is to use it under the tongue which we will look into next.
Standard CBD oil is usually in a thick liquid form that has a flavor of undiluted hemp. When you use the oil via your mouth, you are supposed to get the dropper close to the mouth and use around five drops which is conveniently the amount that most droppers are going to be able to hold anyway.
Many users will take the oil with meals so that the absorption rate of the cannabinoids is higher than on an empty stomach.
When administering to your mouth, it is recommended that you place the drops under your tongue so it absorbs effectively.
The reason for placing the drops under the tongue is that this area will allow the CBD to absorb directly into the bloodstream as the mouth itself is a mucus membrane that allows for fast transference of chemicals to the body.
While standard CBD oil is a thick compound that is viscous, adding other compounds such as coconut oil allows it to take the form of a spray. The benefit of a spray form of CBD is that it is arguably the most convenient way to use CBD as it won’t leak and can be used in seconds.
CBD sprays are what is often recommended to those trying CBD for the first time as it is a less potent concentration. You can also find a number of flavors that many find easier to use than the natural hemp flavor. You can also find higher concentrations of CBD spray for more advanced users.
CBD hemp tea
Hemp tea is an affordable and pleasant way to get cannabinoids in your system. The Hemp plant creates a variety of products like leaves, flowers, and stems that are used to create tea for users to enjoy.
The tea is easy to drink and make with its benefits being similar to the other options all while feeling just like a normal cup of tea.
CBD body creams
CBD body creams are unique in that they are not ingested but applied to the skin directly. These absorb right into the bloodstream via the skin and are great for targeting specific sore areas of the body with the CBD cream. Applying it after a shower or massaging it into the skin is the best way to ensure you get the desired relief.
Just like any other pill, CBD capsules are easy to take and come in a variety of dosages. These are a great way to get the perfect amount of CBD you desire all while having the ability to get it in your body with ease.
Similar to CBD sprays, CBD vapes are used with an electronic device that helps the CBD to enter the respiratory system for faster effects. Vaping CBD often makes the effects come into action much quicker than other methods, but the effects are also only likely to last a few hours.
Vaping is something many people are accustomed to and adding flavors to CBD makes the adjustment a breeze.
The last way you can take CBD is with CBD gummies (also known as candy). This is perfect for those who just can’t stand the taste of the CBD oils and sprays and want something a little enjoyable with their CBD.
There is some caution that needs to be had with CBD candy however as you can easily eat more than your dose requires and children may be tempted to try them if available