With claims that it reduces anxiety, eases pain and soothes inflammation, CBD oil is all the rage. You can buy it in shops and online, from capsules, tinctures and sprays to drops that you can drip under your tongue. There’s even beer, gummy bears and hummus made with the compound, which some claim can cure everything from stress to insomnia.
But the popularity of CBD in the UK has also seen the growth of a whole new industry, with many products on the market that aren’t properly regulated. It can be confusing to navigate the different brands and terms, especially for those who are new to the world of CBD.
The compound is derived from the cannabis hemp plant, which contains less than 0.2% THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that produces the “high” associated with marijuana. CBD is legal to sell in the UK as long as it meets certain stipulations, including that it has under 1mg of THC per product and is sourced from approved industrial hemp plants as defined by the Misuse of Drugs Act. It can be sold as a food supplement, and at V&YOU we sell a range of CBD oil products that are classified as ‘novel foods’.
The CBD oil on the high street is often labelled as a medicinal product, and indeed it can be used to help with some conditions such as chronic pain and nausea from chemotherapy. However, there isn’t enough evidence that it helps with a wider range of issues like anxiety and depression, and even if it did, the amounts used on the high street are far smaller than those given in controlled trials.
A report by the centre for medical cannabis blind-tested 30 products advertised as CBD bought on the high street and online, and found that almost half had measurable levels of THC, which would mean they were illegal to sell in the UK. This is because the legal limit for THC in a non-medicinal product is 0.2%, and the law doesn’t differentiate between cannabis cultivars with varying THC levels.
Another issue is that CBD can interact with some medications, particularly those metabolised by P450 enzymes (which include anticoagulants, antibiotics, antidepressants and antifungals). This means that you could have an adverse reaction if you take both products together.
For these reasons, it is important to research and choose a trusted source of CBD UK, and ensure that you are getting quality, genuine products that have been vetted by health professionals. You should also check with your doctor before trying any new supplements, to make sure they won’t interfere with your treatment. Finally, if you have to undergo a workplace drugs test, it’s worth bearing in mind that CBD can cause a false positive if your levels of THC are too high. In this case, you should discontinue use of the product and speak to a pharmacist for advice. CBD UK