What is CBD oil and which one should you buy? [Photo: Green Stem/ Celtic Wind]
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CBD oil has become a huge wellness trend in 2019.
The medicinal product, which you can buy off the shelves, has rapidly increased in demand over the last few years. According to the BBC there are now an estimated quarter of a million regular users in the UK alone.
The benefits of cannabis-based medicines also continue to be introduced by the NHS, with two cannabis drugs for epilepsy and multiple sclerosis being ‘approved’ for the first time in November 2019.
However, CBD oil needs no prescription, Holland & Barrett became the first high street store to stock medical cannabis oil in the UK in February 2018. It is now a common products on the high street from Superdrug to Boots.
What is CBD?
There are two main compounds in cannabis: CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). It is the THC that is the psychoactive constituent, and therefore, illegal in the UK.
CBD oil, however, is legal as it is made from a natural ingredient found in hemp plant.
“CBD is a chemical substance found in cannabis that has medical benefits. It won’t get you high, because it doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical in cannabis that makes you high” explains the NHS website.
The Home Office only allows licences for oils in the UK that are cultivated from plants with approved seed types and contain a THC content of 0.2% or less.
How it helps?
Research is still being administered by multiple organisations in the UK to prove the health benefits of CBD oil. It is, however, mostly praised by users for helping insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain and period pain.
How to chose one?
Currently CBD oil is not clearly regulated, but, The World Health Organization states “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”.
When searching for CBD oil it’s important to check it’s free from pesticides and solvents, it includes no more than 0.2% THC and that it’s from a trusted brand.
There are also varying strengths of CBD oil, the lowest being 300mg (3%) ranging to 800mg (8%). It’s suggested you start at a low dosage and gradually build up your tolerance.
We tried and tested some of the best CBD oils on the high street
After finishing around four CBD oils over the past year, I was ecstatic when I stumbled upon Green Stem, who have created flavoured CBD oils that don’t share the usual unpleasant earthy taste. I tried the seville orange, but there’s also black cherry and peppermint. The broad-spectrum hemp blend is THC free and has been lab tested for purity. I would most definitely join customers who have already given it an overall 4.9 out of 5 rating.
Crops Oil (5%) by Celtic Wind | £29.99
Made from EU-certified hemp crops in Cooley Mountains of Ireland and produced without fungicides, pesticides or herbicides, Celtic Wind is a worthy first-time choice if you’re wanting to try a CBD oil. You’re suggested to take one pipette (0.7ml) once a day under your tongue. Other brands often allow more drops a day, so I found one drop wasn’t enough for the effects to last the entire day. However, for a CBD newbie who doesn’t want to take it numerous times a day it’s probably ideal. It also wasn’t the most pleasant tasting CBD oil (spoiler alter: CBD oil does not taste good in general, but usually the pay off is worth it).
Stocked at Boots, Dragonfly CBD is on the more pricer end of the spectrum. But, that is because it’s extracted from organically grown Cannabis Sativa plants using a hand-crafted extraction method. The brand are also very transparent with its production, proving organic certification, batch numbers and pesticide testing. With 5.6% CBD, it’s higher strength, and taste wise was a little less oily than others.
I was lured in by the promise of an “easy-to-use peppermint flavoured oral drops” – and I was not disappointed. The hint of peppermint was refreshing, making it another great option for those who don’t like the usual CBD taste. The oil also held a clear consistency, showing the brands filter-clear method, which removes unwanted plant.
Endoca is a brand that I’ve been suggested by multiple avid CBD users. It contains only full spectrum hemp oil and CBD. If you can’t stomach the not-so-pleasant tasting oils, these capsules are the solution. The only down side is that you’re confined to a fixed dosage rather than measuring it yourself using drops. However, not having to taste the oil made it so, so worth it.