I'm sure you've heard all the stories.
Is it safe? Is it even legal in the UK? Should you really be thinking about buying it?
We're pretty sure that by the end of this guide, you'll have all the answers you've been looking for and many more to boot!
Before we dive into some of the greatest and most interesting CBD stories we found throughout history, let's take a moment to set the stage and explain what, exactly, CBD oil is.
MY GRAN KEEPS ASKING ME; "WHAT, EXACTLY, IS CBD OIL?"
I keep telling her "No, nan, it's not the same as weed!" But when I begin my thespian description of what it actually is, scientifically speaking, I see her eyes glaze over.
For some people, it seems, it's enough to know that it's not marijuana or weed as you know it.
If you love a bit of science, however, CBD is short for cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is one of 113 naturally occuring chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in the Cannabaceae genus of plants.
The number of species within the genus is disputed. Three species may be recognized: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.
The plant is also known as hemp, although this term is often used to refer only to varieties of Cannabis cultivated for non-drug use. Cannabis has long been used for hemp fibre, for hemp oils, and as a recreational drug.
Unlike the more commonly known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana - a cultivar specifically bred for recreational and psychoactive use - cannabidiol (CBD) is usually extracted from Hemp, and is not 'psychoactive' in the same way.
Jahan Marcu, PH.D., in his report "Cannabidiol and the CB1 Receptor" explains that "whilst CBD and THC have similar molecular structures, CBD does not directly stimulate CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain like THC does."
In other words, cannabidiol (CBD) won't make you 'high'.
CBD can be mixed with a carrier oil such as hemp seed (as in our 100% Organic RAW CBD Oil Drops) to create what is popularly known as CBD Oil.
IF IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR QUEEN VICTORIA; IT MUST BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU
Yes, Madame, the history of CBD oil and cannabis is laced with intricate political and historical nuances that make its study fascinatingly fun.
To fully appreciate CBD oil in the UK today, we must jump down the rabbit hole to look at its origins. You see, cannabis, the plant from which CBD is derived, wasn't always illegal in the UK.
The official story, in Britain at least, seems to originate with Irish physician William Brooke O'Shaughnessy. He had studied the drug while working as a medical officer in Bengal with the East India Company and brought a quantity of cannabis back with him on his return to Britain in 1842.
But then opinions start to turn against the cannabis plant when, just a short 3 years later, the House of Commons of the United Kingdom had "grown concerned with the effects of hemp drugs in the province of Bengal, India," and commissioned a report to investigate the question.
The report was known as the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report 1893-94.
The report comprised of some nine volumes and 3,698 pages. It is by far the most completed and systematic study of marijuana undertaken to date.
The conclusions were interesting, to say the least:
- "It has been clearly established that the occasional use of hemp in moderate doses may be beneficial.
- "In regard to the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. "
- "In respect to the alleged mental effects of the drugs, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs produces no injurious effects on the mind."
- "In regard to the moral effects of the drugs, the Commission are of opinion that their moderate use produces no moral injury whatever."
The report did not seem to be received by the public or the government with any surprise and it was largely consigned to the 'forget pile' for the next 30 years. Until that is, a renewed international effort to ban cannabis emerged out of Egypt.
HANG ON A MINUTE; WHY WERE CANNABIS-DERIVED DRUGS MADE ILLEGAL IN THE UK ANYWAY?
A great question. And one, we're inclined to say, you will have to dig very deep to find the truth of.
What we can say from our in-depth research across many historical texts and book references is that the banning of any controlled substance throughout history seems always to be inextricably linked to trade policy.
In his book, "Drugs Without the Hot Air" David Nuts offers some insight into the motivations behind the British Government's apparent shift, “In 1925 Egypt, backed by Turkey, proposed that cannabis be included in the Geneva International Convention on Narcotics Control. This was ostensibly on the grounds that 'chronic hashism' was causing widespread insanity."
An unlikely tale, perhaps? Given that the British Government had already concluded in the comprehensive Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report 1894 some 30 years prior that 'hashism' caused "little injury to society".
"It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. The large number of witnesses of all classes who professed never to have seen these effects, the vague statements made by many who professed to have observed them, the very few witnesses who could so recall a case as to give any definite account of it, and the manner in which a large proportion of these cases broke down on the first attempt to examine them, are facts which combine to show most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs."
If not health, what else could have been the motivation behind prohibiting cannabis in the UK?
David Nuts continues, "although since this [hashism] wasn’t occurring in India (and still doesn’t in present-day Britain, for that matter), this was almost certainly an exaggeration of the problem. Egypt did, however, rely heavily on cotton exports, and may have been trying to protect its cotton industry from the competition posed by hemp cloth..."
It's hard to pinpoint an exact reason conclusively, but from all the evidence we've found, the decision did not seem to be based solely on health concerns.
The vote eventually went Egypt's way and although the British delegate made a show of support for the colony by abstaining from the vote, Britain still signed the treaty.
3 years later, in 1928, Cannabis was made illegal in the United Kingdom.
IF CANNABIS IS ILLEGAL, WHERE DOES CBD OIL FIT INTO ALL OF THIS?
Scientifically and legally speaking (in the UK at least), any drug derived from the cannabis plant which contains any trace of the psychoactive compounds that are found in cannabis, such as THC, or ‘tetrahydrocannibinol’, is considered to be a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Home Office guidance on the matter notes that CBD, or cannabidiol, in its pure form is not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 because it does not contain more than 0.2% THC.
CBD Oil, therefore, is completely legal because it does not contain more than 0.2% THC. Not only is it legal, it is also classified as medicine by the MHR if you have a licence.
IS CBD OIL SAFE TO BUY (AND CONSUME) IN THE UK?
CBD Oil is safe to buy in the UK (because it is not illegal) and safe to consume. If you are thinking about giving it to a child, you should observe extra caution and do so only under appropriate medical direction.
In the case of adults, the World Health Organization (WHO) have stated that there are no known health-related problems with the use of CBD.
Indeed, a recent WHO review concluded that “to date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
There are, however, known health benefits.
So yes, CBD Oil is safe but you should always do your own research.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH USING CBD OIL IN THE UK?
We found at least one you should be aware of.
The current lack of regulation in the UK encourages the sale of CBD products with varying degrees of quality to enter the market.
You can avoid this potential risk by showing some common sense in your product sourcing. Do your checks and make sure the retailer you're buying from clearly demonstrates the origins and ingredients of their CBD Oil.
You might also want to ask to see any test certificates they have to validate their claims.
For example, we're proud to state publically that all of our CBD products are produced in the UK. All contain no more than trace elements of THC (less than 0.2%). In addition, our products are 100% lab tested and bought from licensed growers whom are members of the UK cannabis trade association.
WHERE CAN I BUY CBD OIL UK?
You can legally buy CBD oil from a growing number of online stores across the UK without fear of prosecution by law.
As we discussed earlier though, due to the enormous popularity and momentum that CBD oil is experiencing, many inferior products are entering the market. It is vitally important that you only buy from reputable CBD oil sellers who can prove the authenticity of their product with lab tests and certificates.
We sell a number of independently tested and certified CBD oil products manufactured here in the UK. Take the time to view them and if you want to learn more, please get in touch, we'd be happy to help.
BUY CBD Oil Products in the UK:
- Raw CBD Oil Drops 5% 10ml Bottle
- CBD/MCT Oil 10% (500mg) 5ml Chocolate Hazelnut (sample size)
- CBD/MCT Oil 10% (500mg) 10ml Chocolate Hazelnut
- CBD/MCT Oil 10% (500mg) 5ml Raspberry (Sample size)
- CBD/MCT Oil 10% (500mg) 10ml Raspberry
- Hemp seed Oil Drops 20% 10ml Bottle
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