CBD: Effects and Legality in the UK

CBD products, from oil tincture droppers, to CBD infused teas and edibles have been appearing more and more on the market in recent months. In both high street shops and online brands like Dayzed CBD is more widely available than ever, and it’s leaving some people confused. Isn’t it illegal? And what does it for you – especially if, as reported, it doesn’t produce a high? What’s it for?

Today we’re looking at this proliferation of CBD options and helping to answer some of those questions.

What is CBD?

CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis or hemp plants. It’s similar to compounds created in your body called endocannabinoids, which are a kind of neurotransmitter – these neurotransmitters and the receptors they bind to are known as your endocannabinoid system. It’s by affecting these receptors that CBD can have the effects it’s claimed to.

One thing to take note of is that CBD is only one of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, and crucially, it’s not the one that produces the high. The psychoactive compound is known as THC – and for products to be sold legally in the UK they need to contain no more than trace amounts of THC, meaning they can’t cause a high.

What’s Legal?

Products for consumption like oil, tea bags and gummy sweets are all legal to be sold online or on the high street in the UK. Cafes and restaurants can also sell CBD infused food and drink subject to certain requirements (mainly that they are clearly signed and that they obtain the right license).

It’s not legally to sell buds, flowers or seeds of cannabis plants on the high street, even if they are of strains that contain only the legal, low amount of THC. Growing the plants requires more specialist licenses and selling the supplies needed is also controlled.

What Does it Do?

It’s important to note that clinical testing of CBD for its effect on various issues in the human body is in the early stages. For a long time, it was tainted by its associated with THC, and given that it was illegal, testing was pointless. Now it’s more of an option for doctors and consumers, more testing is being done, but for now we have to talk about preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence.

Many people have reported that CBD can help them manage depression, anxiety and low mood – it’s effect on your endocannabinoid system is comparable to the effect anti-depressant drugs on your brain but without a number of the unpleasant side effects. Notably, CBD is not addictive.

It’s also reported to be useful for managing pain, especially chronic pain that can arise as a result of certain cancers. The broad range of options for taking it, from oils and tablets, to teabags and edibles, make it easy to adapt a dose of CBD to particular needs, and make it part of your lifestyle.

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