CBD – or cannabidiol – is a buzz word in health and well-being circles at the moment. It is a compound that is naturally found in the cannabis plant and is one of the compounds that is most beneficial for our health. As more and more research comes in, we are seeing more and more benefits of taking CBD, and still no real negatives.
CBD helps the body to keep itself balanced and regulated, in a state of ‘homeostasis’ and has been linked with giving a number of health benefits for those who take it.
What is CBD and How Does it Work?
CBD is one of the main compounds in the cannabis plant. During recent research, scientists have found that it is another compound – Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC which has the effect of making you feel high. This and other research means that CBD is safe to use, and therefore completely legal if taken on its own.
CBD products such as CBD oil and CBD gummies are made from the hemp plant. Hemp is a particular strain of cannabis which in the UK has levels of THC of less than 0.2%, meaning that it is safe to use and has no chance of making you high.
CBD and THC are cannabinoids that work with the body in a similar way to the endocannabinoids which are made naturally by the body. The endocannabinoid system is the system that has the job of ensuring that a number of aspects of the human body are regulated properly. Some of the aspects include:
- Central nervous system and pain
- Immune system and inflammation
- Digestive system
The cannabinoids present in the human body – known as endocannabinoids – interact with cannabinoid receptors to send messages to the brain and CBD can do a similar thing. This means that it can enhance your endocannabinoid system and give your general health and well-being a boost as well as some of these more specific systems.
CBD isn’t addictive and has no long-lasting side effects – hence why it is completely legal to take. There are many ways which you can take CBD, two of the most common being through CBD oil and CBD edibles like gummies.
CBD oil will usually consist of just the CBD itself and a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil which will help it to be absorbed better into the body. CBD oil can be put into food when cooking but most people take it as drops under the tongue. This gives you good control over the dose that you are taking. It also means that the CBD is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, coming into effect within about 15 minutes.
When you hold the drops of CBD oil under the tongue (usually for around a minute) it is absorbed into the thousands of tiny blood vessels near the surface of the lining of the mouth. If you swallow it, it can take up to a couple of hours to come into effect.
Some people don’t enjoy the ‘green’ taste of CBD oil. You can eat or drink something after taking it or buy CBD oil which is flavoured to disguise the taste.
CBD edibles such as gummies are an enjoyable way to take CBD. Unless you are making your own edibles, buying edibles can give you a very precise dosage. For example, you will know that one gummy has a certain amount of CBD in it, and as long as you eat it all, this will be the amount that you get.
There is a range of different brands and doses of CBD available, so it is a good idea to do some research into which are the best CBD gummies available in the UK when you are thinking of buying them.
When you take CBD as an edible, it enters your bloodstream through your digestive system. For this reason, it takes longer to be absorbed – usually a couple of hours. It does, however, stay in there for longer – up to about eight hours – which means that it is a great option if you are longing for a long-lasting effect.
Another option for taking your CBD is through vaping. Here you can buy the e-liquid with CBD in it, which is put into a vaporiser or e-cigarette and then smoked in a similar way to a cigarette.
Vaping is the quickest way to get the CBD into your system as it goes in through the lungs. It does, however, also stay the least amount of time in your system. It can also be difficult to dose unless you carefully measure the e-juice and vape it all.
Vaping can be done discretely, but make sure that you do your research into it before you try it as there can potentially be some dangers due to its lack of regulation.
For those who want to use CBD for skin problems, sore joints or muscles, CBD topicals are a great option. Instead of consuming it you apply it to the skin. This means that you get a much more localised application and as it is not entering your bloodstream you can use it as much as you like.
CBD is non-addictive and can have very mild side effects – none of which are long-lasting. However, if you are taking medication it can affect how your body metabolises certain drugs – making them more, or less effective. It is therefore important to speak to your doctor if you are taking medication and thinking about trying CBD.
There is no ‘best dose’ of CBD for everyone, so it is important to start with a low dosage and work your way up until you have reached the best one for you. Once you find your dosage you can start to enjoy the benefits that CBD can give you.