Every day we consume products designed to help our skin, mood, biological processes and general health, but we don’t always think about where these products come from.
While the convenience of buying our favourite items from the store or online without needing to know much about them is undeniable, it’s important to understand essential facts about these products to better appreciate their value, purpose, and optimal efficacy. This sentiment is especially true for supplements like cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD.
CBD supplements such as edibles, topicals and capsules are taken for a number of different reasons by people worldwide. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound being studied for multiple applications in the medical industry.
While experienced CBD users are the first (and loudest) to share their personal experiences with taking CBD, the truth is that this cannabinoid compound is so much more than anecdotal reports and clinical studies. Check out the following CBD facts that may surprise you and encourage you to learn more about this unique natural compound.
#1 – CBD Is the Result of Heating Cbda.
CBD is part of a long list of cannabinoid compounds found in hemp plants. While it does occur naturally, CBD is most commonly the result of heating a compound called CBDa (cannabidiolic acid).
CBDa is found in hemp leaves and flowers. When heated, this compound goes through a process known as decarboxylation to become CBD. This simple change results in a compound with entirely different properties than its CBDa precursor.
So why is CBD and not CBDa the preferred branding on products?
The answer is simple – extraction methods used to isolate CBD are not as effective when targeting CBDa. Additionally, CBDa is unstable and quickly converts to CBD when exposed to heat, light or oxygen. This makes CBDa difficult to package or ship without changing into CBD en route.
#2 – CBD Isn’t the Only Hemp Cannabinoid Legal in the UK.
In the UK, CBD products don’t always just contain CBD. While pure CBD isolate products are widely popular and often used for their ability to seamlessly blend into a number of CBD dietary supplements, the truth is that other hemp cannabinoids are also present in these products.
The UK’s CBD legislation stipulates that only CBD (cannabidiol) and specific hemp-derived terpenes are allowed in CBD products. However, this does not mean that other hemp compounds are illegal. Some of these other compounds offer unique benefits to the hemp plant that keep it healthy and resilient.
For example, CBG (cannabigerol) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid known for its ability to fight bacteria within cannabis plants. Cannabichromene (CBC) is another cannabinoid with antibacterial properties that researchers are looking into.
Needless to say, more research is needed on the effects these cannabinoids may have on the human body, but it’s safe to say that they play an essential role in maintaining the overall health of hemp plants – and may offer unique benefits to humans as well.
#3 – CBD Can Interact With Other Prescription Medications.
Even with the natural ingredients and organically grown hemp plants used to create high-quality CBD formulas, CBD can still interact with other prescription drugs.
CBD is metabolized in the liver, mainly by CYP2C19, CYP3A4, and UGT. It is an inhibitor of CYP2C19 and an inducer of CYP3A4. This means that CBD can potentially interfere with the metabolism of other medications, either increasing or decreasing their efficacy.
It’s important to speak with a medical professional before taking CBD if you are currently taking any medication.
#4 – CBD Is Considered Non-toxic.
Over consumption of CBD is entirely possible, though the adverse effects of CBD are usually minor and dissipate quickly. The most common side effects of CBD are dry mouth, diarrhoea, reduced appetite, and drowsiness.
CBD is non-toxic and considered safe for human consumption. In fact, the World Health Organisation has declared CBD to be “well tolerated with a good safety profile”.
#5 – Yes, CBD Products Can Make You Fail a Drug Test.
CBD made into a full or broad-spectrum CBD oil product can contain trace amounts of THC that could make you fail a drug test. The metabolite of THC is COOH-THC, which can be detected on a urine drug test for 30 or more days after consumption.
If you are subject to regular drug testing, it’s important to choose CBD products that have been third-party lab tested and guaranteed to be THC free such as pure CBD isolate.
#6 – Broad-Spectrum Doesn’t Always Mean THC-Free.
Because of how CBD is regulated, “THC-free” claims can be confusing on broad-spectrum CBD products. Some vendors count non-detectable traces of THC as “THC-free”. Though “non-detectable traces” equates to an incredibly small amount of THC, it could potentially affect a drug test or cause stimulation to CB1 cannabinoid receptors.
The only way to know for sure that a CBD product is THC-free is by checking the lab report for the specific batch of the product you are interested in. Lab reports detail the cannabinoid content of a product and will confirm the presence of THC and the amount per product or batch.
Any reputable CBD vendor will make these lab reports available to customers online or via scannable QR codes on the packaging or product label.
#7 – It Is Not Legal to Make Medical Claims About CBD in the UK or USA.
While CBD products are legal for sale in the USA and UK, they can not be advertised as a medical product, only as a supplement. This is because the regulatory agencies that oversee these claims, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK’s Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), have not yet approved general CBD products to use as a treatment for any specific condition including:
- anti-inflammatory relief
- neuropathic pain relief
- inducing better sleep
- anxiety relief
#8 – Those Over 90 Kilos May Need to Adjust Their CBD Routine.
CBD absorption is affected by body chemistry. Everything from hormone levels to body weight can influence how much CBD enters the bloodstream and how long it stays active in the body.
For example, those who are obese may need to take higher doses of CBD to experience the same effects as someone of average weight. On the other hand, underweight people may be more sensitive to CBD and need to take lower doses to avoid feeling overly sedated.
This is still an area of active research, and more conclusive studies are needed to show how exactly body weight affects the use of CBD.
#9 – CBD Is Being Studied for Potential Medical Applications.
While CBD is not classified as a medication in countries like the UK, it is being studied in clinical trials around the world. Some of the most studied areas of CBD research for medical use include:
- Neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease)
- Cancer (pain, chemotherapy side effects, growth reduction)
- Anxiety disorders
- Chronic pain
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease)
- Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, arthritis)
#10 – Low-Quality Extraction Affects the Quality of the CBD Product.
CBD products are made by extracting CBD from the hemp plant and then adding it to an oil or cream base. The quality of the extraction method can significantly impact the CBD product’s final quality.
Extraction methods that use harsh chemicals or high heat can damage the delicate compounds in CBD, making them less effective. On the other hand, gentle extraction methods that use low heat and safe solvents like CO2 produce a higher quality CBD that is more potent and effective.
When buying CBD products, always look for those that use gentle extraction methods (preferably CO2) and avoid those that use harsh chemicals like butane or high heat. Doing so will ensure you’re getting a high-quality product that is effective and safe.
#11 – The UK CBD Industry Made Over £690 Million in 2021.
The CBD industry is growing rapidly all over the world, and the UK is no exception. In fact, according to a report from the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, the UK CBD industry raked in an estimated £695 million in 2021. That is double the previous year and slightly more than half of its expected 2025 sales.
This growth is driven by a combination of factors, including an increase in public awareness of CBD, the recent legalization of medical cannabis, and the recent introduction of legal CBD supplements and beauty products.
#12 – CBD Isn’t Just for Building Wellness; It’s Also for Supporting It.
When it comes to supplements like CBD, many assume it’s only needed if something is wrong. For example, low energy levels could mean that you need more Zinc, while low mobility could mean starting glucosamine supplements.
Adding CBD to your daily wellness routine can help ensure that your body is never without vital supplemental support for systems regulating and maintaining homeostasis within the body.
#13 – Cannabinoids Can Work Together.
Anecdotal evidence indicates the entourage effect of CBD. This is commonly talked about when taking multi-cannabinoid products like full-spectrum CBD oil. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains an array of hemp plant compounds, terpenes, and flavonoids in addition to CBD.
It’s believed that when these different compounds are taken together, they work synergistically to produce an effect more significant than the sum of their parts. This is known as the entourage effect, and it’s one of the reasons why many people prefer full-spectrum CBD products over CBD isolates.
#14 – CBD Isn’t Just for People.
Many are starting to give their own CBD oil tinctures to their pets based on studies showing that mammals – especially dogs – have an endocannabinoid system similar to humans. Please note that in the UK, CBD products made specifically for dogs are illegal. And, most important, you should always speak to a veterinary professional.
Ready to Try CBD?
By understanding how CBD works and what it can do for you, you can make more informed decisions about the CBD products you use and how to integrate them into your self-care routine.
Before you buy CBD, don’t forget to read through lab reports and always look for products that use gentle extraction methods to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product. Remember that when used correctly, CBD can be a powerful ally in your journey to optimal health and wellness.
1. Identification of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes Responsible for Metabolism of Cannabidiol by Human Liver Microsomes, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320511002645
2. Cannabidiolic Acid, a Still Overlooked Bioactive Compound: An Introductory Review and Preliminary Research, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7321064/