What is CBD and How Is the UK Utilizing it?

CBD, which is the abbreviation of cannabidiol, is having its moment in the spotlight.

This plant extract is currently being used in all kinds of products from snacks to moisturisers, these products that contain CBD (including oils, tinctures,  gummies, etc) seem to be everywhere you look from gas stations to beach side popsicle stands.

The number of consumers has doubled over the last year and now that Canada has become the latest country to legalise cannabis for recreational use, these products are now in the news more than ever before.

So let’s quickly talk about what CBD is exactly, and how it is making waves in the medical fields and the media?

What exactly is Cannabidiol?

CBD is a cannabinoid which is extracted from the cannabis plant and is the non-psychoactive chemical compound found in both marijuana and hemp. So the good news is it won’t disrupt your central nervous system, this is due to it not containing any tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short, which as many know is the other major compound in cannabis which does indeed have psychoactive or euphoric effects.

So basically products which contain CBD, such as tinctures and extracts won’t lead to changes in mood and perception like recreational use of marijuana in its complete form is known to do.

Is CBD legal?

Products containing CBD are not currently illegal as long as they contain only trace amounts of THC. While cannabis is classified as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, Cannabidiol itself is a legal cannabinoid that has been sold in the United Kingdom for years. However, products containing CBD which claim to have medicinal benefits need to be licensed under the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency or else they could be fined, shut down or both. In July, home secretary Sajid Javid announced that doctors in England, Wales and Scotland will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis oil as of the 1st of November, this was after it was found to relieve symptoms of childhood epilepsy.

How is CBD being used in medicine?

There are two cannabis-based medicines in the UK as of right now, these medicines contain both CBD and THC. One of which, “Sativex” has been licensed for a decade and is approved to treat shakes and spasms associated with multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, NHS watchdogs in England and Scotland have said it is not cost-effective, it is however recommended in limited cases in Wales. The second drug in a little more well known and is called “Epidiolex”. This CBD/THC medication is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy and is made by the same United Kingdom company that makes Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals.

How is CBD being used outside of the UK?

Cannabidiol products are sold in mainstream health shops, primarily as food supplements, and speak of benefits such as relieving inflammation, pain relief and reducing anxiety.

A growing number of beauty brands now make their own CBD-based creams due to the compound’s supposed anti-inflammatory properties which is being used to help patients with acne. Some studies also suggest CBD is useful ingredient for helping with irritation, signs of aging and reducing redness, all of which are highly sought-after qualities in skincare products.

In and out of the UK, CBD seems to rising in popularity for its numerous proposed health benefits as well as new and amazing products that seem to pop up everyday. 

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