What is CBD?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the Cannabis Sativa plant, which is also known as marijuana or hemp. It's a naturally occurring substance that's used in products like CBD oils and CBD edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike its cousin, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the major active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is non-psychoactive.
So CBD won't get me high?
No. The cannabis plant is made up of two main components: CBD and THC. "CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so what that means is you won't have any effects like euphoria," says Junella Chin, DO, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert for cannabisMD. "You won't feel sedated or altered in any way."
There are two possible exceptions to this - The first is that some people, for unknown reasons, just react differently to CBD. According to Dr. Chin, about 5% of people say they feel altered after taking CBD. "Usually they're the same people who have side effects from Advil or Tylenol," she says. You never know how your body will react to any new supplement, so when using CBD for the first time, make sure you do it safely and stick to the recommended intake guidelines.
It's also crucial to buy third-party tested CBD for quality assurance. Due to the lack of regulation around CBD, it is possible to buy a product that is more or less potent than advertised, or even contains small amounts of THC.
Where does hemp come in to all this?
You've probably heard the terms cannabis, marijuana, and hemp all tossed around in relation to CBD. The plant Cannabis Sativa has two primary species - hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD, but there's a much higher percentage of CBD in hemp, which also has very low (less than 0.3%) levels of THC compared to marijuana.
When people talk about hemp oil, they're referring to oil extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. There are no cannabinoids - CBD or THC - in hemp oil. This ingredient is packed with healthy fats and often appears in beauty products for its moisturising benefits.
What are the benefits of CBD?
Over 6 million people in the UK acknowledge using CBD in the past year, while there are currently 1.3 million regular users. The CBD oil market in the UK is projected to grow to a £1 billion industry by 2025. The hype around CBD stems from the miraculous health benefits many consumers associate with CBD. So the question is; what are the health benefits of CBD, and are they proven?
Many people swear CBD has helped with a slew of health conditions. However, Houman Danesh, MD, director of integrative pain management for the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, states that despite a lot of anecdotal evidence around the health benefits of CBD, "it's still very difficult to say" what the real benefits are due to a serious lack of research.
"Right now, you just have pharmacies trying to make some sort of sense out of it and say, 'Yes, it works for this,'" he says, "but that's not the way medicine is practiced - it should be based on evidence, and there's not a lot of evidence to really support these claims."
The Smoking Dilemma
There has been some buzz around CBD oil being helpful to people trying to quit cigarettes, and one small, short term study published in 2013 in the journal Addictive Behaviors supports this idea:
A group of 24 smokers received inhalers with either CBD or a placebo substance and were encouraged to use those inhalers for a week whenever they felt the urge to smoke. Over the treatment week, placebo treated smokers showed no differences in the number of cigarettes smoked. In contrast, those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by ~40% during treatment.
The results “suggest CBD to be a potential treatment for nicotine addiction,” the study authors wrote - but they also admit that their findings are preliminary. Ryan Vandrey, PhD, a cannabis researcher and associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University (who was not involved in the 2013 study), agrees that larger, longer-term studies are needed to know if CBD might be helpful for smokers looking to kick the habit.
I've heard of CBD tinctures, CBD edibles, CBD vape pens... What's the best way to take CBD?
The biggest differences between tinctures, edibles, and vape pens are speed of delivery and how long the effects last. CBD vape relief is faster but wears off faster too - usually in about two hours, says Dr. Chin. "Say you wake up in the morning and pulled your back out, you might want to take CBD through a vape pen, which delivers in 10 minutes."
CBD tinctures and CBD edibles take longer to work but last four or five hours. "A tincture looks like a little liquid that you put under your tongue, and you feel relief within half an hour," Dr. Chin says. "If you prefer to taste something, you choose an edible, whether it's a capsule, gummy, or baked good."
How do I find the right CBD oil for my needs when shopping for CBD online?
The first thing you will notice when shopping for CBD online is an overwhelming list of options to choose from. But how do you choose the right CBD online for your needs?
Here are some key factors to consider when identifying the right CBD oil for you:
The strength of a CBD oil refers to the concentration of CBD, typically shown as a percentage or ‘mg’ on the lab report. If you are new to using CBD oil, it can be difficult to predict how it will affect you. We therefore advise that you start with a small dose and increase incrementally after a few weeks until you are satisfied that you have achieved your desired effect.
- THC content
The UK legal limit for THC in CBD is 1mg per product. Although this is not enough to get you ‘high’ – some people would prefer no THC content at all. If this is the case with you, look for Broad Spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate, both of which contain no THC. Avoid full spectrum CBD oil as this may contain trace amount of THC.
- Entourage effect
CBD isolate is effectively pure CBD extract, with no other cannabinoids present.
On the other hand, broad spectrum CBD products contain a blend of other cannabinoids, flavonoids, fatty acids, terpenes, and vitamins from the hemp plant. With all of these compounds working in tandem, the benefits of CBD oil are thought to be enhanced. This is known as the ‘entourage effect’.
The price of CBD oil has a lot of variation between brands, and it might be tempting to go for one of the cheaper options. However, it is important to acknowledge that cheaper isn’t always better, particularly when it comes to your health!
It is worth investing in a quality CBD oil from a trusted brand, even if it costs slightly more.
CBD oils naturally have an earthy flavour due to the terpene compounds of the hemp plant. This flavour is not for everyone, so if you are sensitive to taste there are a number of flavoured CBD oil options available online.
- Lab reports
Reputable CBD brands will always readily provide independent third-party lab reports to verify the quality of their CBD oil products. If the CBD brand doesn’t provide independent, third-party lab testing, or if they don’t make their lab reports available, then you can’t guarantee what’s in your CBD oil. We recommend you steer clear of brands that do not provide transparency in this area!
- Organic hemp
The way in which hemp is grown makes a significant difference to the quality of the CBD oil. We recommend choosing a CBD oil from hemp that is grown organically in a regulated jurisdiction.
- Manufacturing standards
When shopping for CBD oil online UK, make sure you look for CBD companies that comply with international standards such as GMP and ISO. This will guarantee that your CBD oil has been manufactured in a high-quality in accordance with rigorous industry standards.
- Medical claims / health benefits of CBD oil claims
When shopping for CBD online, frequent Google searches include “health benefits of CBD oil”, “benefits of CBD oil”, “CBD oil health benefits”, “CBD oil benefits”. However, although there is a plethora of information published about the health benefits of CBD oil, brands that make such claims about the health benefits of CBD are in violation of MHRA guidelines. Be cautious when buying CBD online from such brands!
Why buy Dr Watson CBD oil?
Our hemp oil is 100% natural. We only use the best MCT coconut oil and our organically farmed hemp is cold extracted in Switzerland. All of our products are non-GMO and free from chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. Made using broad spectrum distillate which includes CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids (zero THC).
All of our CBD oils are GMP-certified and third-party lab tested, with all labs reports available to view on our website so you know exactly what it is you are taking.
The Dr Watson CBD oil range;
Support - 1000mg Broad Spectrum CBD Oil with Vitamin D & CoQ10.
Unwind - 2000mg Broad Spectrum CBD Oil with GABA, Yuzu & Eucalyptus.
Relief - 3000mg Broad Spectrum CBD Oil with CoQ10, Passionfruit & Ginger.
Goodnight - 4000mg Broad Spectrum CBD Oil with GABA, Chamomile & Peppermint.
With the exception of Support, which has a light earthy hemp taste, each CBD oil has its own unique flavour, which caters perfectly for those who aren’t too keen on the taste of hemp/cannabis. Unwind has a mild citrus flavour from the Yuzu additive - Relief tastes tropical and fruity with the addition of passionfruit and ginger extracts – Goodnight has a chamomile + peppermint flavour, perfect for pre bed relaxation.