CBD, or cannabidiol, is extracted from the flowers and leaves of non-drug varieties of cannabis plants that are known as industrial hemp.
This extract is then combined with an oil – often hemp oil derived from the seeds of the same plant – to produce CBD oil.
Healthspan Medical Director and Medical Nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer says CBD
has beneficial effects on the brain to promote relaxation, better sleep, and general feelings of wellbeing.
She added: âCBD is non-intoxicating and void of any psychoactive-inducing properties. Itâs been widely researched in the States for its health benefits and is increasingly used as a herbal supplement to promote general feelings of wellbeing.â
Despite the rising popularity of CBD oil, new research from Healthspan found while 50 per cent of those surveyed were trying products like CBD to treat anxiety, the vast majority said they were not clear what they should be buying.
In fact, only one in 10 admitted that they knew what to look for when buying products like CBD Oil.
Dr Brewer advises âItâs important to choose a supplier who provides certification of analysis showing actual CBD and THC levels of purity for each batch produced sometimes known as a âtestingâ report and making sure the company is a member of the Cannabis Trade Association.â
She adds âDonât just buy the product based on âWhole Plant Extractâ as this is misleading. You need to compare the actual levels of CBD in milligrams (mg) in the product. On the packaging of products, the norm is to see the amount of CBD displayed as a percentage. Products with this labelling allow you to see exactly how much CBD youâre taking. If you donât know exactly how many milligrams of CBD is in your capsule then it might be difficult to dose effectively.â
Here are six things you need to know about CBD, according to Dr Brewer.
CBD is legal as it is extracted from non-drug strains of cannabis. These have naturally high levels of cannabidiol but only trace amounts of the legally-regulated, psychoactive ingredient known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is found in medical marijuana. Because CBD does not stimulate the psychoactive receptors (CB1 and CB2) which are targeted by marijuana, it does not cause a high, is not addictive, and is therefore legal to take. The Cannabis Trades Association UK recommends that CBD should not be sold to anyone under the age of 18.
CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a âhighâ and is not addictive.
By buying a quality product that supplies a CBD/THC batch testing certificate, such as those sold by Healthspan, for whom I act as Medical Director.
CBD has been extensively researched to confirm its benefits and safe use as a food supplement and, at higher doses, for medical use in some rare forms of epilepsy. There are over 2100 published studies relating to CBD on PubMed alone, of which 970 relate to human studies.
CBD food supplements include capsules, gummies, drops and sprays. Naturally flavoured drops are often dark and murky and have an earthy taste which some find unpleasant. Filter clear drops are available which are flavoured such as Healthspan CBD Oil Dropper in peppermint. Capsules are now also available and preferred by many as they have no flavour.
For general well-being, a typical dose is 10mg to 30mg per day. Higher doses are used for particular conditions, but as a food supplement, doses should not exceed 200mg per day. NB Packagings will include the total amount of CBD present in the whole product (eg 192mg, 384mgm 450mg, 900mg) â this is not the dose per drop or capsule.
Check with your GP if you are on other medication as CBD can interfere with certain drugs including benzodiazepines and anti-depressants
CBD interacts with liver enzymes involved in breaking down many prescribed medicines. This can slow the way some drugs are metabolised, so their blood levels rise, which may lead to side effects. If you are taking any prescribed medicines, itâs important to check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking CBD.
If your doctor is unable to help, Drugs.com have a useful Drug Interactions checker which, while it does not specifically include cannabidiol (CBD) does include cannabis. https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html If your medicine is known to interact with grapefruit juice then you should also avoid taking CBD.
Do you struggle to sleep? Experts claim CBD can help you get a better nightâs rest.