CBD UK containing products are currently available to purchase without prescription in the UK as long as they don’t contain THC which remains prohibited. This includes over the counter CBD wellness products like KLORIS.
Physicians were less likely to agree that CBD lacks dangerous side effects or is easily accessible in the high street and instead favoured it being prescription only. This could reflect their pre-existing biases about cannabis.
What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid that is extracted from the Cannabis plant. CBD does not contain any THC (the psychoactive component of Cannabis) which means it does not cause a ‘high’ effect. It has been found to have a range of health benefits, such as reducing the symptoms of inflammation and acting as a sleep aid. It is thought that it may also help to prevent seizures in people with epilepsy and may reduce the risk of diabetes by improving blood sugar levels.
CBD oil is the most popular way to take CBD and can be bought from many online retailers as well as many bricks and mortar health food stores. The strength of the oil can vary so it is a good idea to start off with a lower potency product and gradually increase your intake over time until you reach the recommended daily allowance advised on the label.
It is also a good idea to check that the product has been third party lab tested as there are a number of fake or low quality products on the market. A batch number should be visible on the back of the product to show you that it has been tested by a reputable independent organisation.
Preclinical studies have shown that CBD has potential to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. However, further clinical trials are needed to confirm these results. Doctors on the General Medical Council’s specialist register can legally prescribe CBD-based products, although non-NHS clinicians need to follow the same process as for prescribing unlicensed medicines.
Is CBD legal?
CBD is a natural substance found in hemp plants and can be made into oil, capsules, creams, vape liquids, beauty products and more. It can be used to support the endocannabinoid system, which is a network of millions of receptor pathways throughout the body that are responsible for maintaining balance and function. CBD can interact with these receptors without getting you high, which is why it is so popular for wellness.
Because of this, CBD has become a big seller in health food stores and the high street, but you should always check the labelling and ingredients to make sure it is safe for you. Most reputable CBD brands will be able to provide you with all of this information, including lab reports and certification. It is also worth checking whether they have registered their product as a Novel Food and are able to show you this on request.
CBD-containing products that are sold over the counter as supplements are not regulated in the same way as medicinal cannabis and cannot claim to have any medical benefits. However, NHS England has developed a register for cannabis-based products for medicinal use, which can be prescribed by a clinician on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council. This requires a patient to be referred by their GP or other healthcare professional.
What are the different types of CBD?
CBD is derived from the ‘hemp’ varieties of cannabis sativa plants and may contain trace amounts (less than 0.3% by dry weight) of psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It doesn’t get you high, but interacts with receptors in your endocannabinoid system to potentially reduce pain, anxiety, and depression symptoms.
Products containing higher levels of THC are typically called whole plant or full spectrum CBD. This type of product still contains additional cannabinoids and extracts but also retains some of the plants’ natural waxes and oils. This is a more traditional approach and is popular in countries with relaxed laws around THC. You can find whole plant CBD in a variety of products including CBD oils and premium CBD vape liquids.
There are also zero THC products which retain the extra cannabinoids and extracts but remove the oils and waxes. This is a more popular form of CBD and you can buy it in a range of products from CBD capsules to oils, mist sprays, and more. The potency of CBD can vary between different products and your body chemistry will also have an effect on the dosage you require. For this reason, MNT only chooses products that clearly state the CBD dosage and have a third-party certificate of analysis available on request. MNT also prefers companies that have a transparent sourcing policy and don’t use additives that could be harmful to your health.
Where can I buy CBD?
CBD has quickly become a wellness trend in the UK, with more brands than ever offering high-quality products. Whether you are looking for the benefits of a pure isolate, or the broad-spectrum CBD products that include other cannabinoids and plant extracts, there is something for everyone.
Despite some movements over the past few years, the laws around cannabis and hemp are very restrictive in the UK. CBD can only be produced and sold if it is extracted from the hemp plant and contains less than 0.2% THC. This means that dried and fresh CBD flower, unlike the KLORIS Inhale, is not legal to buy or sell.
However, oils and gummies that are consumed or skin-applied can be legally sold in the UK so long as they have been approved by the Food Standards Agency with a full Novel Foods application. The FSA takes a while to process these applications so CBD products that were on sale before 2021, linked to a validated Novel Foods application can remain on the market.
The best UK-made CBD oil we’ve found is Vibes CBD, which creates a range of products from their carefully-chosen and tested hemp and offers options for different strengths from 250mg all the way up to 1800mg (which could be a little too strong for some!). Another option is Blessed CBD, which uses a careful extraction and testing process to create their oils. They also make a range of gummies and capsules.