There is a lot of info online about CBD in the UK, most of it coming from CBD companies providing a variety of products to consumers.
Because of this, it can be difficult to navigate this market of products containing CBD in the UK, and so we have put together some info about this wonderfully beneficial cannabinoid.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural, non-psychoactive cannabinoid, a compound which is found in cannabis. It’s one of over 110 such cannabinoids that are currently known to science.
In fact, CBD is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in cannabis, along with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the most commonly occurring and well cannabinoid which is responsible for the “high” that is traditionally associated with consumption.
CBD doesn’t get you “stoned” in the same way as THC does but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful in many other ways.
All Humans and mammals have what is called an Endocannabinoid system, (ECS) a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems that interact with cannabinoids.
Recent studies have found that utilising this internal system CBD can act as an:
- Can help to prevent blindness in Diabetes patients
- Treats Dravet syndrome and other forms of epilepsy
- Prevents psychosis in Parkinson’s patients
- Promotes Cardiovascular Health and much more!
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reclassified CBD in the UK as of January 2017 meaning as far as the British government is concerned CBD is a medicine. MHRA Issuing the following statement in October 2016:
“We have come to the opinion that products containing Cannabidiol (CBD) used for medical purposes are a medicine. Medicinal products must have a product licence (marketing authorisation) before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK, unless exempt. Licensed medicinal products have to meet safety, quality and efficacy standards to protect public health” ((https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-statement-on-products-containing-cannabidiol-cbd))
This meant that as of the start of 2017 CBD in the UK could only be sold as a medicine under license and under strict regulatory controls. There was, however, a legal grey area created by this reclassification. CBD in the UK cannot be sold as a MEDICINE without a license, but it can be sold as a food supplement as long as the proprietor doesn’t make any medical claims about the product or imply that it will do X or treat condition Y when there are no “approved” studies of CBD’s efficacy in the UK. (The same bullshit argument that is made in general around the legal status of cannabis in the UK despite the mountains of international research showing cannabis’ efficacy)
This grey area means that patients and consumers are left in the dark about how CBD could benefit their particular ailments, illnesses and conditions or simply how regular ingestion of cannabinoids could help to improve their general health and well being.
This legal grey area is a continued indictment of the failures of successive governments to acknowledge the truth about Cannabis and a constant reminder why it desperately needs relegalising in the UK and globally!
The restrictions on advertising and publicising the medicinal effects of CBD in the UK is being negated by the sheer volume of international studies and trials taking place around the globe.
Research and that most invaluable of communication tools, the internet is revolutionising the way the world views cannabinoids/cannabis in general and the way it accesses information about it.
This allows even the most hardened prohibitionist instantaneous access to valid scientific information which is slowly eroding the foundations of reefer madness and the failed war on drugs.
A Patient or consumer can now within 30 seconds look up all of the potential benefits of CBD for their condition and purchase a plethora of preparations online legally and increasingly in high street locations too, as companies scramble to capitalise on the recent commodification of this cannabis compound.
Companies currently cannot legally confirm, deny or comment on the potential medicinal application or benefits of CBD. The recent reclassification means it has to be marketed strictly as a food supplement, as Holland and Barrett have done recently and many new companies are popping up intent on following suit.
Consumers are left to experiment with it, titrating dosages and varying ingestion methods seeking to optimise their consumption. They’re also free to swap notes on their condition and how CBD affects it with other consumers creating community consensus on some conditions.
Cannabidiol is non-toxic, non-psychoactive and as with all Cannabinoids, non-addictive so there really is no risk to including CBD into your health regiment or into your diet as a nutritional additive.
Cannabis is, after all, one of the oldest medicines and most studied plants on the planet. As we’ve discussed previously in ISMOKE Magazine, cannabis has been cultivated and utilised by humans for at least 5,000 years, with evidence of its use in nearly every culture on Earth.
There is a growing issue around the sale and use of single cannabinoid medications. Again as with THC oils, there are a large number of “snake oil salesman” and conmen seeking to cash in on the government’s failures and charm sell useless and inferior products to too often the most vulnerable in our community.
There are also companies providing Synthetic, Hemp based or Cannabinoid only preparations and medications which do not benefit from the entourage effect and may, therefore, leave consumers with products that aren’t as beneficial as their full-spectrum counterparts.
Indeed, whole plant extracted products are most effective because they keep all the chemical compounds found in cannabis such as 100+ cannabinoids, The plethora of Terpenes and Flavoroids and many other chemical constituents that all combine to become greater than the sum of their parts, working together synergistically to maximise the benefits of each compound.
Terpenes have been discovered to work in tandem with cannabinoids. Myrcene one of the most prevalent terpenes found in cannabis has been found to reduce resistance in the blood-brain barrier, enabling easier passage of other beneficial chemicals to the brain.
Pinene another commonly occurring terpene has been found to help negate some of the cognitive impairing effects of excessive THC consumption and a combination of Linalool and Limonene with CBD is being examined as a possible anti-acne treatment ((https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/cannabis-entourage-effect-why-thc-and-cbd-only-medicines-arent-g))
This just goes to show the importance of the entourage effect and utilising the whole plant in extractions for preparations and medications. It further highlights the urgent need for further unbridled research into the 10,000+ strains and hundreds of thousands of potential combinations of chemical compositions for future treatments of conditions we cannot yet even imagine.
The recent bill proposed by Paul Flynn, unfortunately, seems like a push by pharmaceutical companies to gain easier access to research cannabinoids to produce patented profitable drugs that they can make billions on continuing their domination and monopolisation of the legal UK cannabis market.
The new bill would seek to put Cannabis in schedule 2, alongside such dangerous drugs as, Amphetamines, Cocaine and Benzodiazepines. This is spitting in the face of cannabis consumers regardless of their reasons for consumption and means that the general population continues to be persecuted and criminalised for growing or utilising cannabis, one of the safest plant medicines on the planet.
It is also worth noting that the largest survey on CBD usage to date found that women were more likely than men to use CBD and once they started using it, were likely to drop their traditional medications. ((https://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/08/02/people-who-use-cannabis-cbd-products-stop-taking-traditional-medicines/#773035722817)) This is another motivator for big pharma to seek to control the inevitable classification of cannabis.
It is a disgrace that in the twenty-first century we’re still having to fight our own elected officials for access to a substance that has not and never will kill a single consumer.