It’s safe to say that over the last few years, CBD oil (also known as cannabidiol), has taken the wellness industry by storm. From skincare to smoothies, tampons and vape pens, the cannabis-derived compound is popping up across no end of products. And, with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Whoopi Goldberg and Seth Rogan endorsing CBD oil and its health benefits, it’s no wonder that so many people are becoming increasingly curious to try the new must-have supplement to see if it can really improve their wellbeing.
In fact, CBD has become so popular that the industry is only expected to grow, and is projected to reach a whopping $20bn by 2024. With this in mind, it’s also interesting to consider that while many retailers have suffered during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the CBD industry has benefitted, with reports from entrepreneurs and small businesses alike that demand has soared.
Needless to say, CBD is big news, and it seems like this is only the beginning. With on-going research into how the cannabinoid can impact our health, not to mention the ever-flowing stream of CBD products entering the marketplace, it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how the industry evolves in the coming years.
So, why exactly are people so desperate to try CBD? What are the health benefits? And crucially, what is it good for? We take a detailed dive into the world of all things herbal to find out what the fuss is about and answer these all-important questions. But first, let’s get down to the basics, from what CBD is, to how it’s used, this is everything you need to know about the wellness industry’s most chilled-out ingredient.
WHAT IS CBD OIL?
While the buzz around CBD is fairly recent, using the cannabis plant for its health benefits isn’t exactly new. In fact, there’s evidence of it being used throughout history, dating back to as early as 4000BCE in China.
The cannabis plant has two primary species; hemp and marijuana which both contain CBD. While CBD can be extracted from each of these strands, there’s a far higher percentage in hemp, which also harbours less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than marijuana. It’s for this reason that in the UK and EU, CBD is typically extracted from hemp rather than marijuana.
There are several ways to extract CBD, depending how you plan on using it. At VSAVI, we use the CO2 method which requires a combination of heat and pressure to create a gas which cleanly extracts the CBD from the cannabis plant.
Once the CBD is extracted, it’s then mixed with a carrier oil to create CBD oil. At VSAVI, our CBD is mixed with an organic olive oil base. We use olive oil because we believe it’s the safest and most efficient medium to blend with CBD. A 2013 study by Leiden University in The Netherlands backs this up, stating that “of all the solvents tested, this leaves olive oil as the most optimal choice for (CBD) preparation.”
WHAT IS PURE CBD OIL?
Arguably, the most effective type of CBD is full-spectrum CBD oil. This is considered to be a pure CBD oil as it has a profile as close to the complete version of the plant as possible, without the psychoactive THC component.
By opting for a full-spectrum CBD oil you can ensure that the product you’re using hasn’t been compromised or contaminated in any way. Essentially, you’re staying clear of any artificial ingredients, and can feel safe in the knowledge that you’re using a high-quality product in order to maximise the chances of receiving any health benefits.
Just to let you know, at VSAVI, we produce CBD oil of the highest quality. Our products all contain pure CBD that is 100% organic and free from any additives, artificial colours or flavourings. So rest assured, any product you purchase from us will be a totally natural substance.
DOES CBD OIL GET YOU HIGH?
If you’re unsure about whether CBD can get you high, you’re not alone. It turns out, a recent study showed that 71% of surveyed British adults believe or are unsure whether CBD has drug like effects. This is likely to do with the fact that CBD is associated with cannabis, which is typically linked to its psychoactive properties.
So, to set the record straight once and for all, the answer is no, CBD oil will not get you high. The reason for this is that CBD does not contain any THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant.
Dr Mary Clifton, a licensed doctor and CEO of CBD and Cannabis Info explains that there is still a lot of confusion around CBD, imploring that it is crucial to realise there is a difference between CBD and cannabis. She said “It remains a concern for people that they are going to get into trouble using CBD, traveling with their CBD or having it in their home, but with there being no risk for a psychoactive effect CBD is totally different than cannabis or whole bud cannabis.”
Despite the uncertainty around CBD products now, as the industry continues to grow, it’s safe to assume that people will naturally become more informed about CBD, and begin to distance it from THC within their minds. Many brands are already actively educating consumers of the differences between CBD and THC, relaying that rather than producing a ‘high’, CBD is a compound that can be used to benefit our overall health and wellbeing.
IS CBD OIL LEGAL?
Another question that often comes up on the topic of CBD is whether it’s legal or not. The confusion around this issue is partly to do with the fact that when people think of CBD, they think about smoking cannabis or marijuana, and partly because laws vary depending on which country you live in.
To break it down, in the UK, CBD is legal to sell, buy and use provided that it’s been derived from an EU-approved industrial hemp strain that contains less than 0.1% of THC. The absence of THC ensures that the CBD will have no psychoactive effects, meaning that you can enjoy the health benefits of CBD without the ‘high’ sensation you would get by smoking or consuming the cannabis plant.
And, in case you’re wondering, at VSAVI, all of our CBD products contain less than the legal limit of THC, meaning that they are totally legal to buy and use.
IS CBD OIL SAFE?
Just like any other food supplement, It is perfectly safe to use and buy CBD oil, provided that it’s purchased from a reliable seller that is EU-approved. In fact, in 2018 CBD was declared safe by the World Health Organisation.
Despite this, there have been recent news reports declaring that “Alongside reputable sellers, the rapid growth of the industry has attracted “CBD cowboys” – opportunists trying to make a quick profit.”
With an estimated quarter of a million people using CBD in the UK alone, it’s unsurprising that companies and individuals are looking to capitalise on the new trend. Recently, a report by the Centre for Medical Cannabis who blind-tested 30 products advertised as CBD found that 45% had measurable levels of THC, making them technically illegal in the UK. What’s more, some CBD products actually contained very little of the advertised ingredient and only 38% of the products tested had levels of CBD within 10% of the amount advertised on the bottle.
Based on this study, it’s clear to see how important it is to research not only where your CBD is coming from, but also the ingredients it contains. If you’re worried about how safe your CBD oil is, or whether you can trust the brand you’re purchasing it from, there are a few things you can do:
- Check whether the company is a member of the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) who are a non-profit organisation dedicated to checking the safety and legality of cannabis products on the market. If the company is approved by the CTA the likelihood is that their products are legitimate.
- Ask the company for a certificate of analysis. This is a third-party laboratory test that will tell you the cannabinoid contents of your CBD products. In other words, it’s a great way to check whether the quantity of CBD on the bottle is the same as what’s inside.
- You can also ask for a full ingredients list from the manufacturer to ensure that the contents of your CBD is natural and pure, and will, therefore, maximise your chance of feeling any health benefits.
HOW DO YOU USE CBD OIL?
There are many ways to use CBD oil, and as the industry continues to expand, our options will only increase. However, four of the most popular ways to use CBD oil right now are sublingually, topically, orally or vaping. Want to know more about this? Here’s a brief overview of how you can safely enjoy CBD oil:
SUBLINGUALLY: If you’re using CBD oil sublingually, place 2-3 drops of CBD underneath your tongue and hold for 60-90 seconds. It’s important that you do this as if you swallow too early, you run the risk of your stomach acid breaking down the CBD before it’s taken full effect.
ORALLY: Another way to consume CBD oil is orally. Why not add a couple of drops to a smoothie, health drink or your food? This is a perfectly effective way to take CBD oil, and it’s also a good way to disguise the taste if you’re unsure about it.
TOPICALLY: Due to its hydrating properties, CBD oil is quickly becoming a favourite in the beauty world. In fact, many brands are now embracing the trend and including CBD and hemp as essential ingredients in their ranges. To use CBD oil topically, simply apply to your skin in place of a moisturiser or serum.
VAPING: There are several reasons why people may prefer to vape CBD rather than consume it. For starters, vaping is considered to be one of the fastest ways for your body to absorb CBD meaning that it’ll enter your bloodstream quickly. Another advantage is that you can choose a flavour, as not everyone is a fan of the natural, earthy taste of CBD oil. If you’re looking to vape CBDl, you will need to purchase vape oil rather than CBD drops.
It’s important to note that CBD oil is available to buy in a range of different strengths, which should be selected based on your own personal preference. Each strength contains a different quantity of CBD. While the higher the strength of CBD, the more prominent the benefits, if you’ve never tried CBD before, it may be advisable to start with a lower quantity and work your way up to a higher strength should you feel this is right for you. You can take CBD oil as many times a day as you feel necessary, it’s a completely personal choice.
At VSAVI, our CBD oil UK drops are available in 10ML bottles in five different strengths: 300mg, 400mg, 500mg, 1000mg or 1500mg.
HOW DOES CBD WORK?
To understand how CBD works with our bodies, we have to throw it back to the 1990s, when scientists discovered the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ESC is a molecule system, designed to balance many processes within the human body. While scientists are still working to fully understand the ESC, research shows that some of the bodily functions it could impact include sleep, mood, memory, appetite, fertility and reproduction.
The EDS itself is made up of three parts:
- Endocannabinoids: Produced naturally by our bodies, these molecules are similar to cannabis. Their purpose is to make sure that our bodies are balanced and functioning properly, and are produced as and when we require them.
- Endocannabinoid receptors: Found throughout our bodies, there are two types of endocannabinoid receptors; CB1 (found in the central nervous system) and CB2 (found in the peripheral nervous system). Endocannabinoids bind to these receptors to let our bodies know that the EDS is unbalanced.
- Enzymes: Once endocannabinoids have alerted our EDS to take action, enzymes break them down.
Although there’s research to show that THC interacts with our EDS by binding itself to our receptors, just like endocannabinoids, experts aren’t yet sure how CBD interacts with the EDS. Although there’s still a lot of uncertainty around this subject, CBD has gained attention from the medical community due to its potential for therapeutic use.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CBD OIL?
In the UK, medicinal products have to be tested and approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA), a government agency who are responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices are safe for patients to use. What’s more is that in order for products to be marketed as medicines, they require either a marketing authorisation, a traditional herbal registration, or a homeopathic product registration granted by the European Commission or by the UK Licensing Authority.
Although there are many articles and news reports that claim cannabis oil to be a cure-all component that can be used to treat both physical and psychological illnesses, as it’s not an MHRA approved medicine it cannot legally be sold as such. In fact, when the industry was first evolving, the MHRA actually contacted many CBD companies asking them to stop selling their products due to these dubious claims.
Luckily for the industry, since then the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) has been formed and are now responsible for regulating the sale of CBD products. Today, any CBD that is available to purchase is classed as a food supplement, and should only be taken to support and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. With that in mind, here are some of the ways that CBD can contribute to your overall well-being:
The hemp plant is a source of numerous vitamins and minerals, which means that consuming CBD can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet. Why not drizzle an olive oil-based CBD oil on top of your salad, or add a few drops to your morning smoothie for an easy and effective health boost? If this sounds like something you’d be into, we’d opt for VSAVI’s Full Spectrum Raw CBD Oil (a product which uses the entire hemp plant) to maximise any health benefits.
Exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health, but your mental health too. Whether it’s your morning run, your weekly online spin class or a spot of reformer pilates, be sure to follow up with CBD oil alongside your regular food supplements to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimal recovery, so you’re ready to work out again the very next day.
Why not enjoy a little self-care and use your CBD oil in place of a massage oil? Not only are massages a great way to relax your muscles and ease tension in your body, but at a time where we all feel so isolated, human touch (whether it’s yours or somebody else’s) can help you to feel reassured and less alone. All you need is a candle (or four), a calming space and a couple of drops of VSAVI’s CBD oil.
Not only are the vitamins and nutrients found in hemp beneficial to your body, but they’re great for your skin, too. Due to its nourishing and hydrating properties, CBD oil is an ideal skincare solution – proven by the fact that many beauty brands are now naming it the new must-have ingredient. CBD oil also contains a low comedogenic rating, meaning that it will moisturise your skin without clogging your pores, making it an excellent option for people with spot-prone skin or acne.
WHY ARE PEOPLE USING CBD DURING THE PANDEMIC?
Interestingly, new research shows that an increasing number of people in the UK are purchasing CBD, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The study was commissioned by Alphagreen.io, the UK’s largest marketplace for certified CBD products, after noticing a rise in the demand for CBD products in the UK from the beginning of March onwards, when the coronavirus first hit the country. Surveying 5000 adults, the report suggests that more than 8 million Britons are now buying CBD products, with spending exceeding £150m in the first four months of 2020 alone.
The study also found that some 42% of purchasers are focused primarily on relieving or managing pain, with 21% seeking to tackle their insomnia, and 19% hoping to address anxiety. The study also showed that 38% of purchasers were taking CBD products alongside conventional medicines.
Speaking with Forbes, Alphagreen.io CEO Alexej Pikovsky gave his view on why this might be, saying, “The key here is that with people feeling anxious, having trouble sleeping and, in some cases, feeling let down by the traditional health system, they have looked for alternatives.”
HOW DOES CBD OIL MAKE YOU FEEL?
The effects of CBD vary from person to person, and can also be largely dependent on the strength of the CBD you’re using. However, it’s thought that the majority of CBD oil users don’t experience any negative effects, with a report by the World Health Organisation confirming that that “in its pure state, cannabidiol does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm.”
One frequently asked question in relation to how CBD makes you feel is ‘Does CBD oil make you sleepy during the day?’ If this is something you’re concerned about, we’d recommend taking a lower quantity. Dr Sarah Brewer, Medical Director at Healthspan, says: ‘In doses used as a food supplement, CBD poses few risks, and side effects are unusual but can include a dry mouth or drowsiness,” adding that “Higher doses used medically are well tolerated, and there are no serious safety concerns.”
Despite CBD posing no threat to our health, if you have a pre-existing health condition, it’s important to inform your doctor that you’re taking CBD oil to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with any of your prescribed medication.
DOES CBD OIL WORK?
Now that we’ve explored what CBD is, how it’s used and its potential health benefits, you may be wondering ‘Does CBD actually do anything?’ As discussed, each person’s experience of CBD is totally individual, which makes the overall effect of difficult to measure. That being said, there are many positive CBD stories, some of which you can check out on our product pages, under customer CBD oil reviews.
If you’re currently taking CBD and feel like it’s not working, here are a few things to consider:
- Are you taking the correct dosage? You may need to increase the strength of your CBD to feel the benefits, especially if you’ve been taking CBD for some time.
- Are you taking CBD regularly? Consistency is key when it comes to CBD. If you only take a few drops here and there rather than working it into your everyday routine, then you’ll be less likely to feel any significant benefits.
- Are your expectations too high? With so many hailing CBD as an all-curing, wonder substance, it’s easy to get carried away with how powerful you think the effects may be. Remember that CBD affects everyone differently, and your experience may not be the same as someone else’s.
WHICH CBD OIL TO BUY
Here at VSAVI, we offer an extensive range of high-quality CBD products to suit you. From CBD oil drops (which can be taken sublingually or orally), to vape oil, and e-liquid for e-cigarettes, our entire range is CO2 extracted from high-grade, organic hemp.
We produce all of our CBD products in pharma standard laboratories where everything is tested under strict control. We also batch test for quality assurance to be certain that none of our products contain over the legal limit of THC, which is 0.1% in the UK. So, rest assured you’ll find no artificial colours, flavourings or additives in any of our products, and anything you purchase from us will be a naturally occurring substance. And, just to let you know, our products are also suitable for vegetarians, too.
So, if you’re Googling ‘CBD oil near me’, or ‘CBD oil UK buy’? Look no further than our online store for the best CBD products. We ship across the UK with free delivery on orders over £48.99.
And, don’t just take our word for how fantastic our products are, why not read our customer reviews, too?