Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become the latest health trend, with the oil being added to lozenges, sprays, tablets and even into foods. But what is it? We’ve blogged before on the basics of CBD, but you might have more questions about this range of products.
What is CBD?
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant (or from hemp, which is a variety of this plant), and has been investigated for its potential benefits in several medical conditions. CBD oil is available in products in the UK without a prescription, and is classed as a food supplement, not a medicine, so no direct medicinal claims can be made for it.
Is CBD oil legal?
CBD oil is legal in the UK, as long as it is derived from one of the 63 industrial hemp strains that have been EU-approved. It must not contain more than 0.2% of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and this fraction must not be easily separated from the CBD oil.
Can CBD oil get you high?
No. CBD oils don’t produce intoxication as there is little or no THC in the oil; but they can make some people sleepy.
How do I take CBD oil?
You can take CBD oil in the form of a lozenge, in drops which are put under the tongue, or by adding drops to your food. To add to food, just add a few drops after cooking. Don’t use it as a cooking oil, as heat can remove the active compounds.
Are there any side effects or drug interactions?
CBD is known to have some potential side effects, including drowsiness, decreased appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea, although these are usually mild or moderate and don’t last long, if they are experienced at all. CBD products can clash with some prescribed medicines, including those for epilepsy and blood thinning, so you should consider not using CBD products or consulting your doctor if you take these.
As CBD products are not licensed or regulated as medicines in the UK, there is a lack of good quality medical evidence about the potential for side effects or drug interactions, so we’d always advise you to stay on the side of caution.
Can I drive after taking CBD oil?
CBD can make you sleepy. If this is your first time taking it, avoid driving until you are sure whether the oil makes you tired or not. You should also bear in mind that cannabis (THC) is covered under UK drug driving law, and although most CBD products contain little or no THC, there is a chance that some may be present.
Can I take CBD oil on holiday?
CBD oil is not yet legal in all countries, so it’s best to leave it home, just in case.