The popularity of CBD is growing, it’s considered the latest “buzz” within the health and wellness industry. The CBD craze initially exploded in the United States and that trend has transferred over to Europe. In the UK, CBD has only been legal for three years, with very few understanding its benefits. Today, there are an estimated one million CBD consumers, in the UK alone.
According to the online platform, Wowcher, CBD product sales have almost doubled last years sales, already this year. The British public has turned to CBD as a food supplement, as well as health and beauty products. Quite simply, its increase in sales is staggering.
What is CBD, and what’s the big deal?
CBD is a molecule that is known as a cannabinoid, it’s scientific term is cannabidiol. Found in the cannabis plant, and more common in the non-psychoactive cannabis plant, hemp.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid found naturally in the cannabis plant. There has long since been a taboo about cannabis and drugs, born from the fact that it has been pretty much universally illegal for decades. However, there are some cultures which have been using cannabis for thousands of years for its medicinal qualities and it is only recently that the UK, Europe, and US governments have started to entertain the fact that there might be something in it.
It was during research in Israel around cannabis that scientists discovered a new system in the human body – the endocannabinoid system. This system is central to ensuring that the body is working at optimum levels, and scientists found that when the endocannabinoid system isn’t working properly, we begin to see problems with our health.
CBD is a cannabinoid which, although made by a plant, can interact with the endocannabinoid system, helping it to work properly. And this is why there is so much potential for CBD.
Although in the UK, it is illegal to say that CBD is a medicine, there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence which suggests that it can be useful in helping to deal with a number of health issues, including:
- Pain relief
- Some types of Epilepsy
The critical thing here is that CBD as it is, doesn’t cure anything, it helps to get the body in good working order so that it can help itself.
Is CBD Legal?
There are over 100 compounds in the cannabis plant – CBD is one of them, and THC another. THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol and it is very similar to CBD. Its molecular makeup is identical and the only difference between the two is that THC binds directly with the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, and CBD doesn’t. However, it is this biding which sends a message to the brain to bring on the feeling of being high.
Due to the fact that technology now allows us to break down the different compounds in cannabis, we are now able to be more specific in the law. This is why now, in the UK and many other places, THC at high levels is illegal, and CBD is becoming increasingly accepted. As it stands in the UK, CBD is totally legal and THC levels must be below 0.2%.
For this reason, cultivators have created hemp – a particular strain of cannabis which has very low levels of THC and is, therefore, legal and won’t make you high.
Why is CBD becoming so popular?
We have seen the rise in popularity of CBD products in the USA for the past few years, especially since the Farm Bill was passed, allowing the commercial production of hemp products.
- With this loosening of the laws in the USA, we have seen other countries following suit, and as a consequence an increased amount of research being carried out into CBD, THC and other compounds from the cannabis plant.
- With this increased research, we are seeing more and more evidence to support the idea that CBD is good for your general health as well as ideas about more specific things that it can help. Alongside this increased research, we are seeing a breaking down of the taboos which have traditionally been associated with cannabis-derived products, and more and more people having access to CBD if they need it.
- We are seeing an increased number of high profile people who are using CBD or even opening up their own ranges. Joe Rogan, for example, was one of CBD’s first and most outspoken advocates of CBD, and a whole host of celebrities have followed suit – from Jennifer Anniston to Morgan Freeman to scores of NFL players.
- Britain’s GW Pharmaceuticals have now had their CBD based medicine, Epidiolex approved in both the UK and the USA, which, although still not easy to get prescribed, is a step in the right direction. This has also been a massive influence on the breakdown of the cannabis taboos.
- There have been a number of high profile cases of parents who have had to try to bring medicine into the country to help treat their children. Although this medicine includes the high levels of THC which their children need as well as CBD, it is, yet again, testament to how effective cannabis derived-products can be for some people.
- Another major reason for the rise in uptake of CBD products is, simply put, because it is easy to get. There are many outlets online where you can get your CBD – although care should be taken to ensure that you are getting what you think you are. Make sure that you check the lab examination before buying it to ensure that you are getting what you think you are. You can also buy CBD products from responsible health food shops. Holland & Barrett, for example now stock a range of CBD products and have seen a 37% rise in uptake.
- We are seeing an increase in the range of products that are available. It is now much easier to take CBD, measure doses of CBD, and of course, as it is much more widely accepted by general society, making taking CBD easier.
- Last but not least, CBD is, well marvelous. It is safe to take and non-addictive and no-one has ever died from an overdose of CBD. It must be working for people or they wouldn’t be going back for it over and over again.
As we get more research into the medicinal qualities of CBD, we are hopeful that it will increasingly be made available legally and easily to those who could benefit from it. But for now, we are pleased to welcome CBD into the world of health and nutrition and suggest that it is here to stay, becoming more readily available to anyone who wants it.
It is important to remember that CBD affects everybody differently. What works for one person won’t always work for the next. The best doses can also vary according to your own physiology, genetic makeup and what you are looking for CBD to help. It is best to start off with small doses and then slowly increase them until you find the right dose for you.
It is advised that if you want to try taking CBD you should first talk it through with your doctor if you are already taking medication as it can affect the impact of the medication on your body.
There is no single reason why Britain is growing in its affection for CBD, but certainly a better understanding, a breakdown of taboos and legal availability are all playing a part. It used to be very difficult to get hold of, and now getting CBD can be as easy as walking into a trendy coffee shop.
CBD is natural and safe, and this means that people are happy to try it and keep on using it if they feel that it is helping them.