CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has gained popularity for its supposed health and wellness benefits. It does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana, and as such can be sold legally in the UK without a prescription.

CBD products are widely available as oils, capsules and gummies in many health food shops in the UK. These usually contain between 5 and 20 mg of CBD per dose and are taken orally with a dropper cap or spray under the tongue for 30 seconds to a minute to absorb. There are also some higher strength CBD products available that are specially manufactured to pharmaceutical standards and strictly tested to ensure they do not contain THC. These are often labelled as medicinal and are prescribed under the NHS for specific medical conditions including severe forms of epilepsy such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, to reduce nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment, and to treat the muscle stiffness and spasms caused by multiple sclerosis.

While there is a growing body of research supporting the use of CBD to treat certain medical conditions, it is important that consumers understand what they are buying and the potential risks involved. A recent survey commissioned by Hill Dickinson revealed that 46% of UK adults were unaware that medical cannabis is legal to buy in the UK if prescribed by a doctor. This lack of awareness may be partly due to the speed at which this change in law occurred.

As a result, there are now a growing number of people who are using CBD oil and other products without consulting their doctor or pharmacist. This is worrying as it could lead to them not receiving the appropriate treatment or could expose them to potentially harmful chemicals and heavy metals. Moreover, a recent lab test carried out by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis found that 62 per cent of high street CBD products, including gummies and oils, didn’t actually contain the amount of non-toxic cannabidiol advertised on their label. In some cases, they did contain tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol (CBN), other psychoactive compounds.

It’s important that people talk to their GP before trying any new supplements and never replace existing medication with CBD. They should be aware that while there is some evidence that the oil does help in some cases, it’s likely that much of this effect is down to the placebo effect. This means that it might make people feel better but it won’t actually improve their condition. In addition, there are concerns that some CBD products on the market have been illegally sourced and produced so that they contain very little of the claimed cannabidiol. It’s therefore vital that the industry is brought into line and that stricter controls are placed on manufacturers to prevent illegal, low quality, products making their way onto high street shelves. UK CBD

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