Have you heard of CBD Oil? Up till about a year and a half ago I certainly hadn’t, and yet now it is one of our most popular food supplements. There are a lot of claims made about it and a huge amount of interest in it, so this month I thought I would explore a little about what CBD is and where it comes from. It might be easier to start first what CBD oil is NOT:
- It’s not hemp oil (this is an oil produced from hemp seeds)
- It’s not medical cannabis or marijuana (these come from a different plant) and they contain THC which is what gives Cannabis users a high (CBD oil does not contain THC).
CBD is an oil made from the buds and flowers of the Hemp Plant. Some of the detail is a little confusing. For example CBD oil is extracted from the Hemp plant (whose botanic name is Cannabis Sativa). It’s active ingredients are classified as Cannabinoids (as is THC) but they do not have any hallucinogenic characteristics. So CBD oils come from a plant that is closely related to the Cannabis plant, but they contain no THC.
CBD is sold over the counter and online in Ireland, perfectly legally, as a Food Supplement, meaning we are not allowed to advise anyone takes it for any medical conditions and you will not get it on prescription from your GP. This is because recent legislation from the EU regulates precisely what ‘claims’ can be made for Food Supplements, and in the case of CBD there are no legal claims at all.
Personally, I take CBD Oil nearly every day. I take it in my morning smoothie, and I find it very calming and helpful in balancing fluctuating moods. If I know I am facing a challenging day I will take an extra dose during the day. I also find it helpful for getting a good night’s sleep, particularly if I am feeling stressed in the evenings. But we cannot suggest that it will work this way for anyone else!
If you want to know what scientists are researching CBD for, you can read online on PubMed and other research sites which publish peer reviewed research. If you type ‘CBD and …’ you will see articles on the top conditions covered by research. Not that I can completely understand any of these papers but it’s possible to get an overview of what is being studied. It does not mean that the research found a benefit, but they considered it was worth studying.
However it is important to be aware that CBD is certainly not a panacea and absolutely does not benefit everyone who takes it. And because CBD affects everyone differently, each person has to experiment with dosage and has to work out what suits them personally. There are no universal guidelines for taking CBD that we are aware of. We always advise taking the dose on the box and keeping a note of how you feel, and adjusting up or down as required.
Cannabinoids aid healing processes in the human body and have by now also been the subject of several scientific studies. Of the more than 80 cannabinoids that have already been researched, the psychoactive THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the best known. CBD is not psychoactive, but many of its excellent properties make it an ideal ingredient for use in food supplements and cosmetics.
If you do some research online and you decide that CBD might be a good addition for you to make to your diet, then the next things is to work out how you want to take it. In Organico we stock CBD in a number of different strengths from a few carefully selected companies, and it comes as an Oil, in Capsules, and as a vape liquid.
When you ingest the oil or the capsules the effect takes a little longer to take effect but it also lasts for longer. Vaping, on the other hand, is quicker to take effect but doesn’t last very long. Sometimes people use both, but the Oil is the most popular by far. There are also a number of different brands available and we have selected the ones we think are the best quality - it’s challenging because everyone claims they are the best. If you would like an overview of the brands we carry check out the information here.
As with many new supplements, there is a lot of hype about CBD, and it is very important to distinguish the hype from the realistically achievable benefits of CBD oil. The only way to know if it will make you feel better is to try it out. Luckily, there seem to be few side effects from taking a moderate dose of CBD - although if you are on prescription medication it is ALWAYS essential to get medical advice before taking it.