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Is CBD legal in UK?

Is CBD legal in UK?

The Legality of CBD in the UK

Despite the rise in popularity among the UK population, legislation has been slow to adopt a pro “legal CBD” stance. In fact, strictly speaking, cannabis oil is generally illegal to use, supply or possess…with one major caveat…

Since its addition to high street stores the Cannabis Trades Association UK reports that the number of UK residents participating in CBD consumption has increased from an estimated 125,000 to over 250,000 within a brief 12-month window of time.

The times, as they say, are “a changing”. As the world moves to a more progressive stance on cannabis and its derivative products we may see laws continue to evolve towards a more positive stance on CBD.

Currently CBD will continue to be extracted from hemp and as such will be governed under FSA and MHRA in the UK as a food type rather than a schedule 1 drug.


How Cannabinoid Oil Became Legal in the United Kingdom

Cannabinoid Oil legally became a medicinal ingredient in the UK on October 13, 2016. CBD oil must meet stringent production standards to be allowed for sale. This may pose an issue for smaller producers selling CBD oil as an herbal remedy. 



Types of CBD Products Legal in the UK

Cannabinoid oil comes in many different forms. Some prefer the taste of one way of taking the oil to another, so it is good to have options to choose from. Understanding what your options are will help you to make the decision on which method you would like to use to consume your CBD oil. Your doctor can also recommend the best method for your particular ailment.

 CBD Oil

CO2 extraction is used to extract the CBD oil from the cannabis plant. Put simply, this environmentally-friendly process breaks down parts of the plant and turns it into a super-concentrated oil. It can be ingested after holding under the tongue for about a minute, or you can use a vaporizer to inhale it, similar to an e-cigarette.


CBD oil capsules are easy to swallow. It is a good way to take CBD if the taste is unpleasant, however some of it will be broken down before the body can use it. They are pre-measured, so you know how big of a dose you are taking

  Topical CBD Uses

CBD also comes as lotions or balms. You can rub this into your skin for pain relief or to help treat arthritis. If you choose to use this method to apply CBD, know that it can take longer to take effect. It has also been reported that this topical method can provide longer lasting effects.

 Edible CBD Products

Known as “edibles” for short, these products are food infused with CBD oil. These products are usually snacks like candy or brownies. Some restaurants have started to experiment with CBD-infused foods. CBD-infused foods are not only trendy, they are extremely delicious!

 CBD Paste

Paste is thicker than CBD oil but embodies the same concept. It can also be taken under the tongue or mixed into food or drink for consumption.

 CBD Tea

Tea infused with cannabinoid oil is available in loose-leaf or tea bag form. This is a great method for extra relaxation. It is also very relaxing to put some CBD oil into your favourite tea! An herbal stress reliever tea combined with a drop of CBD oil in the evening is a great way to relax for bed!




CBD vs THC: Why it Matters

With the increasing popularity surrounding cannabis derived products for both recreational and medicinal purposes, it is important to distinguish between those that illicit the “high” we all are aware cannabis can cause (largely via THC) and other medicinal cannabinoids such as CBD, or cannabidiol which do not cause such effects and are routinely used as holistic health treatments.

In layman's terms, THC is the psychoactive part of the hemp plant, while CBD offers multiple health benefits without the psychoactive properties.


The Debate Rages on

Given the rise in use and popularity, the medical, scientific and general population have been engaging in heated debate concerning the benefits of both THC and CBD compounds on the mind and body.


The Endocannabinoid System

To fully understand the health benefits of CBD, it is important to study the ECS, or endocannabinoid system that is present in the body.

CBD in the UK is legal as an oil. As a whole-plant product, it is not. It is important to be sure to purchase CBD oil and that the extraction is free from THC.


What are Endocannabinoids?

Endocannabinoids are molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors. They are made naturally by the body and come in two forms: anandamide and 2-AG. These are formed on an as-needed basis by your body. Endocannabinoids can help regulate inflammation and optimize neuron communication in the brain.


How the Endocannabinoid System Works

The endocannabinoid system is made up of cell receptor proteins, meaning that these receptors exist for cannabinoids in the human body.


Types of Cannabinoid Receptors

There are two types of cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are present in massive amounts in the brain. This is the type of receptor most associated with THC use. The other type of receptor is CB2. CB2 receptors are more abundant in the immune system. Both types of cannabinoid receptors exist throughout the body in some amount.


Making Use of Legal Cannabinoids in the UK

Modern medicine is a wonderful field and being able to combine proven remedies from the past with advances in science enables humankind to take advantage of the best remedies from every area.

Whether it is a pill or a plant, many items can work together to promote the functioning of healthy minds and bodies. CBD oil, now harvested with modern techniques, analyzed in a lab to ensure quality, and packaged in multiple forms of enjoyment, can help people in many ways. Whether it is a beauty product or a treatment for someone desperate to feel relief from their condition, CBD oil being legal in the UK helps everyone.

  • Jonathan Nadler

The difference between CBD and CBDa

Both CBD and CBDa are cannabinoids, unique compounds formed within cannabis. CBD has always been seen as the most promising of the cannabinoids for potential medical research, and as such, CBDa has fallen to the wayside. However, a trend of raw juicing cannabis has brought CBDa firmly back into the spotlight, leaving many people wondering what the difference between the two is.


Firstly, it is important to understand what both of these cannabinoids are in relation to each other. CBDa is the acidic precursor to CBD. When cannabis grows, its produces THCa and CBDa, not THC and CBD. These cannabinoids in their acidic form are often seen as being ‘inactive’. When cannabis is heated, such as through smoking, cooking, or vaporization, a process known as decarboxylation occurs. Decarboxylation turns both THCa and CBDa into THC and CBD respectively. Both CBDa and CBD are non-psychoactive, meaning they won’t get you high.


Although CBDa is largely seen as inactive, that status may not really do it justice. There is currently only little research into the properties of CBDa, but what has been done has found potentially beneficial properties... for maintaining optimal health.

CBD on the other hand has had much more in-depth research surrounding it, and as far as the scientific community is concerned, it is much more promising in terms of potential. This is not to say that CBDa does not have potential, but according to research the potential is greater for CBD.

For example, Dr. Sean McAllister, a highly prolific scientist in the field of cannabinoid research, found that THC and CBD appeared to inhibit and kill cancer cells. But also that “compared to CBD, CBDA had negligible effects in cell viability assay against multiple cancers. We therefore never took a great interest in the molecule.”


So to conclude, both CBD and CBDa have very similar properties (one is the precursor to the other), but as things stand, CBD is the molecule of choice - and the research reflects that.

  • Jonathan Nadler