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CBD Buyer’s Guide: How to Shop the Best CBD UK
CBD

CBD Buyer’s Guide: How to Shop the Best CBD UK

CBD products are undoubtedly one of the hottest items of the 21st century. Famed for its non-psychoactive properties and ever-growing list of user-reported benefits, people of all ages use CBD products for various purposes.

Made from hemp plants and available in many different types of products including oils, edibles, topicals, and vape liquids, CBD products can be found everywhere in the country, from boutique and retail wellness stores to online vendors. But with the overwhelming number of CBD products and brands available to the UK market, knowing which one to pick can be challenging.

From who’s got the best manufacturing processes to which CBD is right for me, there is a lot to consider when you want to find the best CBD product for your needs. Fortunately, we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide so you can choose CBD oil that is safe to use, ideal for your needs, and won’t break the bank.

What Does CBD Stand For?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of over 100 cannabinoids found in hemp. Cannabinoids are compounds that occur naturally in plants of the cannabis family (which includes hemp and marijuana) and interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

CBD isn’t the only acronym common to the cannabis world. You may have also heard of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and is responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use. THC interacts directly with CB1 receptors and can alter a person’s mood, behaviour, and perception.

Other common cannabinoid acronyms include:

  • CBDa – Cannabidiolic acid
  • CBG – Cannabigerol
  • CBDa – Cannabidiolic acid
  • CBC – Cannabichromene

Each of these cannabinoids is naturally occurring in the hemp plant and could end up in a CBD oil formula you are taking, depending on the extraction process used.

When buying CBD oil, be sure to keep an eye out for any of these other cannabinoids in the product’s ingredient list. Many people believe that mixing these cannabinoids together in the body can produce a more potent effect than if they were consumed separately, commonly called the entourage effect.

Are Hemp and CBD the Same?

Cannabis sativa L, more commonly known as the hemp plant, is a type of cannabis that is used to create many products, including CBD oil. Unlike its cousin, the marijuana plant, hemp plants contain virtually no THC, the psychoactive compound that gets you high. 

Hemp plants undergo an extraction method that separates CBD and other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes to create CBD oil used in products such as CBD gummies, capsules, and body creams.

CBD isn’t the only thing that comes from hemp plants. In addition to CBD oil, hemp plants are also used to make:

  • Paper
  • Building materials like hempcrete
  • Fabrics and clothing
  • Biofuel
  • Food and drink
  • Cosmetics
  • Hemp seed oil

The products mentioned above are not CBD products and will not offer compounds that have an affinity for binding to CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system the same way CBD does.

It is imperative that when you are looking to buy CBD products, you look for those labelled CBD and not just hemp oil or hemp seed oil if you want to truly enhance your daily supplement routine.

The Different Varieties of CBD Oil

One of the most confusing aspects of CBD buying is figuring out the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Each variety of CBD oil is made a little differently, not always carried by a particular vendor, and presents different cannabinoid content for consumers.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is pure, potent CBD oil. Extracted into formulas that are 99.9% CBD with no THC, CBG, CBDa, or other cannabinoids, CBD isolate is an excellent choice for those who want to avoid any trace of THC in their system. CBD isolate is also the most potent type of CBD oil, so it’s a good choice for those who need high doses or are very sensitive to other cannabinoids.

CBD isolate formulas usually serve as the base for CBD products because they are the easiest to work with. You can add CBD isolate to any food or beverage, and it will dissolve quickly and evenly. You can also mix it with other oils or ingredients to create your own custom CBD products.

CBD isolate products typically have an earthy taste that could be difficult to swallow if you don’t like the taste of hemp. Fortunately, there are many delicious and taste-free isolate options for those who want to avoid the natural hemp flavour, including:

  • CBD gummies
  • CBD creams
  • CBD capsules
  • CBD oil drops

Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

Full-spectrum CBD oil is extracted using CO2 to help preserve and maintain the majority of cannabinoid compounds and terpenes found in hemp plants. Full-spectrum oil will usually contain high concentrations of CBD in addition to:

  • CBDa
  • CBG
  • CBGa
  • Limonene
  • Myrcene
  • Pinene
  • Terpinolene
  • THC (< 1mg per product)

Full-spectrum CBD oil is less processed than CBD isolate, so it preserves more of the plant’s original compounds. This makes it a more potent option, which is why it’s often the preferred choice for those who need higher doses of CBD or want to avoid taking isolate.

Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is similar to full-spectrum oil in that it contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytocannabinoids found in hemp plants. However, broad-spectrum CBD has undergone an extra step in the extraction process to remove all traces of THC.

This makes broad-spectrum oil a good choice for those who want multi-cannabinoid support without the risk of ingesting THC. Additionally, because of its additional filtration processes, broad-spectrum CBD formulas have a less earthy taste than full-spectrum or isolate options. So, if you don’t like the taste of hemp, broad-spectrum CBD oil is a good choice.

Types of CBD Products

Knowing the variety of CBD oil you want is only the first step in making the best purchase for your needs. It is also crucial to understand the type of CBD product you want to help meet your particular wellness needs. CBD products are available in many forms, each with its own unique advantages.

CBD Oil Drops

CBD oil drops, or tinctures, are one of the most popular and versatile types of CBD products. CBD oil drops are usually made with full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil and come in a variety of strengths and flavours.

CBD oil drops are sold in smaller bottles (between 10-30ml) that include a dropper. The dropper allows you to control how much CBD oil you take, making it easy to increase or decrease your dosage as needed. CBD oil drops are taken sublingually, holding them under the tongue for a minute or two before being swallowed.

For those that want to adjust their dosage as needed or who want a fast-acting option, CBD oil drops are a great choice.

CBD Capsules

CBD capsules are another popular and convenient type of CBD product. CBD capsules are made with either full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD oil and come in a variety of strengths.

The most significant benefit of taking CBD capsules is that they are quick, convenient, and have no taste. So whether it’s to avoid the earthy flavour of hemp or you want a discreet way to take CBD, capsules are a great option.

Additionally, because each capsule contains a pre-measured amount of CBD, it is easy to know how much you are taking. This makes them ideal for those who want to avoid the guesswork of measuring out drops or for those who want consistent dosages.

CBD Gummies

CBD gummies are a type of CBD edible, which means they are made with food-grade ingredients and can be eaten like any other candy or snack. CBD gummies are usually made with CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD oil and come in a variety of strengths, shapes, and flavours.

CBD gummies are popular because they offer a delicious way to get your daily dose of CBD. They are also easy to take with you on the go and can be discreetly eaten anytime, anywhere.

CBD gummies are available as infused or coated products. CBD gummies infused with cannabidiol need to break down in the digestive system before the CBD is absorbed, which can take up to two hours. Coated gummies, on the other hand, have a thin layer of CBD that dissolves quickly in the mouth, providing faster absorption similar to sublingual oil drops.

CBD Topicals

Growing in popularity with every passing day, CBD topicals are a type of CBD product that can be applied directly to the skin. CBD topicals are usually made with full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil and come in a variety of formulas, including lotions, creams, salves, balms, and more.

Unlike capsules, oils, and gummies, CBD topicals are generally preferred by those who want to target a specific area of their body. Studies show that the skin also has endocannabinoid receptors that can be stimulated by hemp cannabinoid compounds which is why CBD topicals can be an excellent choice.

Often made with the same ingredients as many high-end skin care products such as shea butter, beeswax, and essential oils, CBD topicals offer moisturizing and rejuvenating benefits similar to traditional creams and ointments but with the added bonus of CBD.

CBD Vapes

CBD vape products are made with either full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD oil and come in a variety of strengths and flavours. Many CBD vape products also contain other ingredients, such as vegetable glycerine (VG) and propylene glycol (PG), which help create the vapour when heated.

CBD vape products are popular because they offer a fast and convenient way to get your daily dose of CBD. When vaped, CBD is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs providing nearly instant wellness results.

Vape products usually come in a small cartridge attached to a battery and puffed on as needed throughout the day. Formulas are typically available in India and Sativa strains and a variety of flavours, so you can find the perfect product to suit your needs.

Other CBD Products

The five CBD products mentioned above are the most commonly purchased and offer excellent ways to conveniently dose CBD, depending on your preferences and lifestyle. However, they aren’t the only ways to get CBD into your system. In addition to the five products above, CBD is also available in:

  • Bath products
  • Makeup
  • Oral sprays
  • Deodorant
  • Cooking oil
  • Chocolates
  • Eye masks

More and more, CBD is finding its way into the products we use daily. If you are not sure which product is right for you or if you want to incorporate CBD into your daily routine in a new way, try out one of the many new CBD products that are continually hitting the market.

Potency and Concentration: Which is More Important?

When shopping for CBD products, you will notice that they come in various potencies and concentrations. So, which is more important? The answer may surprise you.

The potency of a CBD product is the amount of CBD in the product expressed in milligrams (mg). For example, a CBD oil may be labelled as 10 mg CBD per serving, while a CBD capsule may be labelled as 25 mg CBD per serving. The potency is important because it tells you how much CBD is in each dose.

The concentration of a CBD product is the ratio of CBD to other ingredients in the product and is usually expressed in terms of milligrams of CBD per fluid ounce (mg/fl oz). For example, a CBD oil may be labelled as 1000 mg/fl oz, while a CBD capsule may be labelled as 500 mg/fl oz. The concentration is important because it tells you how much CBD is in each bottle.

While potency and concentration are essential factors to consider when shopping for CBD products, potency is generally more important. That’s because the concentration tells you how much CBD is in each bottle but doesn’t indicate how much CBD you are actually getting in each dose.

For example, a 10mL bottle with 1000mg of CBD tincture may sound like it has a lot of CBD, but if you only need to take a few drops each day, the actual amount of CBD you are getting in each dose may be very small. Conversely, a 500 mg bottle of capsules may not sound like it has much CBD, but if you only need to take one or two capsules each day, the actual amount of CBD you are getting in each dose may be very high – especially if there are only 20 capsules in a bottle.

When shopping for CBD products, be sure to look at both the potency and concentration to get an idea of how much CBD you are actually getting in each dose. Also, be sure to check the serving size to make sure you are taking the right amount. If you are unsure about potency per dose compared to concentration, simply divide the total mg of CBD by the number of servings per container. This will give you a good idea of how much CBD you are getting in each dose.

Always Buy CBD from Reputable Brands

The key to CBD buying is finding high-quality products from reputable sources. Unfortunately, many CBD vendors on the market cut corners to make a profit, which can pose a risk to your health.

When looking for CBD products, be sure to buy from brands that use independent third-party labs to test their products and make the results available to consumers. These labs test for potency, contaminants, and other important factors to ensure that the products meet the highest quality standards.

In addition, reputable brands will have no problem providing you with information about their sourcing, manufacturing, and testing processes. If a brand is reluctant to share this type of information, it is likely because they are not operating transparently, and that should be a red flag.

Finally, ensure that the CBD products you buy are from brands that use organic, non-GMO hemp grown using sustainable farming practices. This will help ensure that the products are of the highest quality and free from harmful toxins.

Where to Buy CBD Oil Near You (By City)

Buying CBD Oil for Pain Relief, Anxiety & Sleep

UK regulations regard CBD products as a food supplement and not a treatment for medical conditions.

While claims cannot be made about the health benefits of CBD, looking at how CBD works can provide great insight into finding the right product for your wellness needs.

For example, if you are looking to have CBD working its way through your body throughout the day, products that break down in the digestive tract, like gummies and capsules, are usually the go-to. This is because it takes much longer for the digestive absorption of CBD to happen, and the slow, steady release means that CBD will be present in your system for a more prolonged period.

On the other hand, if you are looking for fast CBD absorption that you only have to do once a day, products that are taken under the tongue (sublingual) or through the lungs (vaping) are generally better options. These methods of CBD delivery allow the compound to enter the bloodstream quickly so that you can focus on other important daily tasks.

In addition to absorption methods, dosing will also be a key factor in finding the right product for your needs. The amount of CBD that works for one person may not be the same for another. Because of things like body weight, metabolism, and gender, some people may need a higher dose of CBD to experience the desired effects, while others may only need a very small amount.

Like any new supplement product you start taking, it is usually best to start with a lower dose and increase gradually until you find the best amount for you. Average dosages for low, medium and high strength are:

  • Low dose – under 10mg
  • Medium dose – 10mg – 25mg
  • High dose – 25mg-50mg

Remember that higher dosing may not be necessary to meet your wellness needs, and could result in CBD tolerance. Many people find that lower doses are the perfect amount to help them feel their best without any adverse effects. If you are a beginner or first-time CBD user, it may be best to buy CBD products from vendors with a substantial return policy in case you find that the product you purchase is not the right fit for you.

Can I Buy CBD For My Pet?

CBD pet products in the UK are not legal, and UK regulations forbid creating or selling products specifically for pets. However, this does not mean people avoid giving their pets CBD oil.

Some studies have suggested that the endocannabinoid system common to all mammals may be charged in pets like dogs and cats. As such, their reactions to CBD oil may be more intense than in humans.

If you are considering buying a CBD oil for your pet from a reputable vendor, speak to your vet first, and always look for CBD oil products that are:

  • Low dose formulas (300mg per bottle or less)
  • Made from natural, organic ingredients
  • Clear about their CBD source and extraction process

There are a number of unofficial dosing calculators online that consider the weight, age, and breed of your pet when calculating an appropriate dose. However, with your vet’s approval, it is always best to start with a low dose and increase as needed based on your pet’s reaction.

You should always talk with your vet before buying any CBD product for your pet. While your vet may not be able to provide dosing advice, they can help you keep an eye out for any unwanted side effects and inform you of any risks for adverse reactions based on your pet’s unique health history.

Buy the UK’s Best CBD Oil Products

When you want to buy the UK’s best CBD oil products, there will be many things to consider. But, by looking at important factors such as product quality, CBD type, absorption method, and dosing, you can be sure to find a product that is perfect for your individual needs.

Don’t forget that whether you buy online or from a retail store, always be sure to check the product’s third-party lab results to ensure quality, safety, and potency. Buying CBD products from a company committed to complete transparency is the best way to get the most out of your CBD experience.

References

1. Cannabis, a Complex Plant: Different Compounds and Different Effects on Individuals, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/

2. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals, https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/9/686#cite

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