Throughout the last decade, the use of CBD has become more prevalent and widespread than ever before. Once confined to the realms of medicinal use, the boundaries of what we now understand about this cannabinoid are more comprehensive than ever and its recreational use has grown over time.
Despite this, the reasons for use of CBD, its effects and wider benefits are still somewhat misunderstood by the wider public. This lack of knowledge has given birth to misinformation and fear around CBD and its functional properties.
Taking these concerns head-on, we’re here to put these fears to rest and to leave you more knowledgeable than ever before about CBD.
What does CBD do?
One of the most common concerns of cannabidiol, or CBD as it is more commonly known, is understanding what it actually does. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main cannabinoid found in cannabis, and this is the chemical that is responsible for getting the user ‘high’. CBD, on the other hand, has no psychoactive properties, and it is this that makes the CBD compound popular.
So, what is CBD good for? The effect of CBD is more subtle and is used for its anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and anti-anxiety effects. Users of CBD have reported a decrease in both pain, stress and anxiety as well as improved sleeping patterns and, in some cases, a reduction in insomnia.
Is CBD cannabis?
Normally, this question is linked with another; does CBD get you high? The short answer to this question is, no. The chemical make-up of cannabis consists of more than one hundred different cannabinoids, and CBD happens to be just one of these. CBD can also be isolated from cannabis’s none high-inducing cousin, hemp.
As this is the case, the CBD you ingest from a drink, cream, oil or any other substance may never have even been in contact with cannabis. The slow disassociation with cannabis has opened up CBD use to a wider variety of people.
Is CBD legal in the UK?
Concerns about CBD’s legality has held back many potential users of the compound, and the clouded regulations have only added more fear and misunderstanding into the mix.
CBD in itself is not a banned substance and is not an illegal substance in the UK. It is the source of the CBD that matters here. Provided that the CBD has been sourced from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved, or comes from outside of the EU, it is considered to be wholly legal.
Can CBD be addictive?
Substance addiction and dependency is often caused by dopamine and serotonin release, both of which take advantage of your brain’s ‘reward system’. As CBD does not activate any sort of recognised ‘high’ in our bodies, it is entirely out of touch with what causes any kind of addiction or dependency in users.
Based on this basic chemical understanding along with numerous animal and human testing trials, CBD alone shows no potential for either addiction or dependence.
Are there any side effects to using CBD?
Like any drug or chemical we choose to ingest, even if it is sanctioned and rigorously tested, there is always a risk of side effects. Side effects can vary from person to person, or not show at all; again, this is true to any medicine or substance. Whether the changes to your body are positive or negative often depends on your own approach to CBD.
The main side effects that have been noted in studies include possible diarrhoea, fatigue and changes in weight or appetite. Users must bear in mind that these reactions are quite rare and general use has been reported to show little to no side effects after long term use.
All five of these major concerns are prevalent amongst new CBD users, and with decades of miss information on cannabinoids, it is easy to see why. As we shift away from a one-dimensional approach to CBD and its uses, and as more tests and studies are carried out and published, more of us may start to understand that CBD can, in fact, be beneficial to humans.
Exposure to the general public of more positive approaches to CBD will only increase public knowledge and ease the often misguided fears about CBD use. This progression will continue to open up new possibilities to how we use and consume CBD.