It can’t have escaped your notice that CBD products are suddenly all over the shelves – not just through online retailers, but in supermarkets, chemists and health food shops. The proliferation of CBD oils, CBD teas and CBD vapes means that something has changed, but what has made these products not just popular but legal and available to sell?
To fully understand it’s status and just what these new products are, it’s important to what CBD is, chemically speaking.
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, and it’s a cannabinoid: a compound found in the cannabis plant. Chemically speaking, it acts on the endocannabinoid system in the human nervous system – a series of receptors that can produce or suppress the production of other chemicals when activated. It may be at the root of cannabis’ centuries old reputation as a therapeutic plant.
What CBD is not is THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is another cannabinoid present in the cannbis plant, but it’s psychoactive – it’s chemically able to change your state of mind, affect your decision-making and act as an intoxicant. It’s THC that causes the distinctive ‘high’ of cannabis.
The most important new development in recent years has been a report by the World Health Organisation in 2018. While it didn’t comment on the clinical effectiveness of CBD products for specific conditions, what it did say with authority was that the WHO found no potential for the compound CBD to form addictive pathways in the brain.
With an authoritative judgement that CBD itself isn’t harmful, the way was paved for its wide release. THC is still a key factor: CBD products can contain only trace amounts of the psychoactive compound, and in the EU only specific strains of the cannabis (or hemp) plant containing no more than 0.2% THC are legal for sale.
This has results in a huge variety of CBD products available for sale. One of the most popular is a tincture of CBD oil. This comes in a glass bottle with a dropper – you can regulate the dose you take not just by how much you take, but the strength of the tincture you buy.
You can this oil sublingually – by dropping it under your tongue, and also by adding it to food and drink, which some like to do to mask its flavour. You can also buy CBD tea, vape e-liquid, edibles like gummy sweets and chocolates and capsules or tablets, allowing you to pick a product that best fits your needs and your preferences so CBD can seamlessly become a part of your wellness routine.