Have you heard of one of the most amazing natural medicines, CBD oil or cannabis oil? It sounds illegal, doesn’t it? But not to worry, cannabis oil is now officially classed as a medicine in the UK but it’s only this year that it received this status. To sell it legally as a medicine, companies now need to have a product licence and the product needs to meet safety, quality and efficacy standards to protect public health (1).
This natural medicine really excites me as I am a strong believer in a power of nature. CBD oil can help with anxiety, certain types of cancer and it can even help to reduce pain. If you have any health issues or know somebody who does, continue reading to learn more about this amazing natural medicine.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is a cannabis oil but not what you think – it’s not going to get you ‘high’ at all, it doesn’t have that ability.
In cannabis you will find over 60 compounds and of these compounds CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations (therefore the most recognised and studied).
A chemical called THC is the one that gets users high but CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive.
A 2011 review published in Current Drug Safety (2) concludes that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions.” The authors add that several studies suggest that CBD is “well tolerated and safe” even at high doses (3).
Apart from cannabinoids, CBD oil also contains vitamins, fatty acids and trace minerals.
How is CBD oil made?
CBD oil is extracted from either a hemp plant or marijuana plant – they both come under the same umbrella of plants, but the difference is that the hemp plant contains high levels of CBD while marijuana plant contains low levels of CBD and high levels of THC (the one that gets you high). CBD oil can be derived from both types of plants.
To extract CBD from the plant there are various different methods that can be used – for example by using alcohol or CO2. For more details on these methods take a look at this article.
Cannabis oil health benefits and effects
There are numerous studies and research on CBD oil (4) and these have shown a long list of health benefits and effects the oil may provide. Just to mention a few:
- It can treat nausea and prevents nausea in chemotherapy patients
- It combats tumour and cancer cells
- It relieves pain
- It combats anxiety and depression disorders
- It helps to reduce inflammation (good for arthritis sufferers)
- It helps with IBS/IBD
- It’s an effective treatment of severe paediatric epilepsy disorders
Just to keep in mind – more studies of CBD oil on human patients are needed to confirm some of the claimed health benefits (lots of studies have been done on animals only).
CBD side effects
Now, all that important question. What are the side effects of CBD oil? Can it be harmful?
Ministry of Hemp (5) have found that the side effects of CBD oil are normally only minor and for most people, the benefits far outweigh the rare reports of discomfort.
People react differently to CBD and some sensitive individuals have reported changes in mood and mild digestive upsets. Some people experience side effects which are purely due to the quality of the oil, so it’s really important to buy a good quality product from trusted and reliable brands.
Also to note, there are certain drugs which could interact with CBD oil so do your research first before you use it. Anti-depressants, Anti-epileptics and Antihistamines could all potentially interact with Cannabidiol. See what other medication could interact with CBD here but please note that this is not a complete list and you should consult a medical professional before taking any combination of drugs at the same time.
How CBD oil has helped people – Online case studies
It’s amazing how many stories you will find online about people who have been miraculously cured of various illnesses or their symptoms dramatically improved, just by using CBD oil. Here are some examples:
Ellie-Jae – a 10-year old who suffers from a rare genetic epileptic condition
Ellie-Jae was selected to take part in a clinical trial for CBD oil for Davit Syndrome sufferers in the Children’s Hospital in Glasgow. As soon as she started taking CBD oil her parents saw a big difference in her – she was more alert and they had more control of her seizures. CBD oil also made her happier and improved her appetite.(6)
Four-year-old boy is a different child on cannabis oil
Alex has been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, autism and epilepsy and CBD oil helped to stop his seizures (7).
CBD oil kills breast cancer cells
A study by Israeli research found that CBD inhibits the development of breast cancer tumours (8).
You can find many more success stories of people using CBD oil online, just do a search on Google. The power of this natural medicine is amazing and as soon as people are made aware of this I am sure they will want to buy it, BUT is it legal to buy and what are the reliable and trusted sources?
Is CBD oil legal in the UK?
CBD oil has recently been classed as medicine in the UK (1) and for this reason, companies which are selling it as a medicine must have a product license. An MHRA has been working with individual companies to make sure legal requirements are satisfied – if a company is selling CBD oil as a medicine they need to have a license, otherwise they cannot sell it as medicine (they cannot make any medical claims on their websites). If we set this aside… CBD oil is completely legal in the UK but the law about it is quite complex, as explained by Release (9).
It’s also good to know that it’s perfectly legal to import CBD from the EEA for your own use or to administer it to a child. But you really have to make sure CBD oil does not contain any traces of THC (which gets you high), otherwise you could be under an offence and could face a prosecution under 1971 Act (9). This doesn’t make things easy so it’s important to buy this medicine from a trusted and reliable source.
If you are a USA reader, the legality of CBD is somehow complicated – whether CBD oil is legal or illegal it really depends on its source (10).
Where can I buy cannabis oil from?
Buying CBD oil may not be all that simple, especially if you haven’t bought it before. You shouldn’t buy it from the first company you found it’s selling it and never buy the cheapest products (they may be mixed with other chemicals).
You need to make sure CBD oil is as pure as possible and doesn’t contain harmful toxins and pesticides. Hemp naturally draws toxins from the soil so a good quality soil which hemp has been grown in is really important – basically, you should buy CBD oil which is certified organic, if you can.
There are some British companies which are selling organic CBD but they don’t have the organic certification to prove that. These companies are Love CBD and CBD Oils UK, for example. Although their products are not certified organic, they both have certificates of analysis on their websites to prove the purity of their products (the amount of CBD they contain).
There is one British company which I managed to find called CBD Brothers and they are able to provide the organic history and certified quality and strength of their medicinal CBD oil but it’s not all in the open for some reason? (11).
You can also buy organic CBD oil from companies outside of the UK – CBD Sense is one such company and they are based in Netherlands. CBD Sense sell the widest range of CBD products in Europe and that includes MediHemp products which are all certified organic. You can see their organic certification online here.
Have you heard of CBD oil before or do you have any experience of using it? I would love to hear any success stories or just your opinions!