CBD is short for Cannabidiol. It is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa, and can be taken orally (under the tongue as a tincture) or topically (applied to the skin as a cream) to produce a variety of products.
CBD is legal in the UK, provided it comes from an industrial hemp strain that is EU approved and contains no THC, but you need to make sure you are getting it from a trusted source. Hemp Well organically grown CBD comes from EU certified hemp grown at our own farm, processed and lab tested to make sure it is pure and contains accurate dosages. We control the process from seed to shelf so that you can be confident you are getting a high quality, fully traceable product. For more information on CBD regulations in the UK read our Is CBD legal? post.
The human body contains a complex network of neurotransmitters and cannabinoid receptors known as the endocannabinoid receptor system (ECS). Research suggests that cannabinoids and the ECS may play a role in many bodily processes and that the skin contains cannabinoid receptors.
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a chemical compound naturally occurring in the hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa. Users take CBD in a variety of forms. CBD is ingested orally (as a tablet, capsule or gummy), taken sublingually (under the tongue as a tincture) or topically (applied to the skin as a cream) to deliver a wide range of benefits.
Most importantly, CBD is legal in the UK, provided it comes from an industrial hemp strain that is EU approved and contains no THC, but it’s vital that it comes from a trusted source. HempWell organic CBD comes from EU certified hemp grown at our own farm, processed and lab tested to make sure it is pure and contains accurate dosages.
In short: We control the process from seed to shelf so that you can be confident you are getting a high quality, fully traceable product.
The human body contains a complex network of neurotransmitters and cannabinoid receptors known as the endocannabinoid receptor system (ECS). Research suggests that cannabinoids and the ECS may play a role in many bodily processes including anxiety, stress and mood.
How does CBD work?
To answer that question we need to define a few terms.
First and foremost, our body contains a myriad of various neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, which are compounds responsible for facilitating communication in the central nervous system and brain. In addition, each type of neurotransmitter can only interact with a specific receptor in the brain, and when it interacts, it can either encourage communication (known as agonists) or inhibit communication (known as antagonists).
So far scientists have discovered around 60 distinct neurotransmitters that each have their own specific receptors and function. A transmitter, along with its receptor (and other chemicals which might affect the process) are referred to as a system. With that in mind, you’re ready to understand the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System
To clarify, the endocannabinoid system simply refers to set specific neurotransmitters (cannabinoids) and their receptors that are found naturally in the body (endo). On their own they function like any other system, with neurotransmitters being released at various points to facilitate communication in the brain.
So far the endocannabinoid system has been linked to many aspects of of human behaviour, such as: Mood, Appetite, Memory, Pain-sensation and many more. Moreover, the endocannabinoid system has also been shown to play a role in fertility, pregnancy, and pre- and postnatal development*. The first endocannabinoid to be discovered was anandamide:
Now normally a system’s receptors will only interact with a specific neurotransmitter due to the fact that the receptor is physically shaped in such a way that only the intended neurotransmitter will ‘fit’ in it. In some cases, however, we find other compounds that are chemically similar enough to ‘fit’ as well. CBD is one of those compounds.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is known as a phytocannabinoid (a cannabinoid found in plants). Coincidentally, its chemical structure is similar enough to that of endocannabinoids for it to interact with cannabinoid receptors, specifically as an antagonist of one cannabinoid receptor (CNR1) and as an agonist of another (CNR2):
*This is why CBD is not recommended to anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.
An open question
While clear evidence regarding the impact of CBD on its own is unfortunately lacking, preliminary studies have shown that CNR2 helps to regulate immune response, brain function and the gastrointestinal system. From a lay-perspective, this interaction is proposed by many to influence levels of stress and anxiety. Cannabinoid receptors are also found in areas other than the central nervous system, in-and around many other organs, which has been proposed as the reason behind CBD’s pain-relieving properties.
In conclusion, the exact mechanisms of CBD in the body are mostly theoretical at this point. The CBD industry itself remains relatively new, and therefore research surrounding CBD on its own is unfortunately lacking. Thankfully the rapid growth and adoption of CBD throughout the world will no doubt encourage further scientific study, giving us more insight into why CBD seems to work the way it does.
Until then, we encourage our customers seeking to take control of their anxiety to talk to their GP, counsellor, or therapist to see if CBD is right for them. If you’re a CBD user who’s had success alleviating anxiety with CBD, let us know via email or review! We’re always happy to hear how we’ve helped heal with our hemp!
Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry have been awarded £16.5 million for the Stratification & Treatment in Early Psychosis programme, led by Professor Philip McGuire. 1000 participants with varying levels of psychosis history (from people at a clinically high risk, to those suffering with long term psychosis) will enter a trial using 99%+ CBD medication (the same form as used in Epidiolex, an approved drug for treating seizures in children). 50% of the group will receive placebo medication, while the other 50% will receive CBD, all alongside standard medical treatments for psychosis. Participants will be assessed before and after treatment using a range of clinical, digital, cognitive, neuroimaging, and blood measures.
Completed on 16th March 2023, this trial explored the potential of using CBD to treat alcohol use disorder in 18-65 year olds with a diagnosis of moderate or severe AUD. Participants were randomised to receive either placebo or 600mg CBD/day for 4 weeks, immediately followed by 1200mg CBD/day for an additional 4 weeks. The results are now posted (which you can see yourself through the link above) and show extremely promising results for the first 4 weeks – for example, in week 2, the placebo group reported heavily drinking on 37% of days, while the CBD group reported just 17%; a huge difference. It is important to note that when the dosage was increased to 1200mg/day, the CBD quickly appeared to cease having an effect – it’s important to get your dosage right!
Estimated to conclude in December 2023, this promising trial looks at the effects of CBD on memory. Participants will be scheduled for two visits, where they will receive a 600mg CBD dose on one day, and a placebo on the other. These will be administered via capsules, and 3 hours after taking the dose, they will take a memory recall task which measures hippocampus response. We’re really excited to see the outcome of this trial, particularly as it’s so nearly finished!
With 150 participants, this large-scale clinical trial looks at broad spectrum CBD vs CBD isolate in their effectiveness in treating PTSD. Participants will receive a nightly dose of 300mg 99% CBD isolate/broad spectrum, or a placebo oil, for 8 weeks. They will then take part in assessments post-treatment, on weeks 8 and 13, to measure changes in PTSD symptoms alongside depression, overall disability, quality of life, anxiety, and alcohol use.
Since the removal of the word “hemp” from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, many CBD users and producers have been waiting for certainty and reassurance within the market, however the FDA in January of this year announced that it needs a new regulatory framework for hemp and CBD. This week, a congressional committee directly addressed the FDA on these claims, expressing disappointment at the lack of certainty in the market. In the words of chairwoman Lisa McClain, the announcement “has suppressed the ability for good faith manufacturers to sell CBD products…it only benefits bad actors who capitalize on the confusion and the flood of the market with potentially unsafe products”.
Conducted over 8 weeks on healthy adults aged 18-50, new results have recently been posted from a study looking at the impact of CBD on fitness and health. All participants were provided Fitbits to assess their physical activity, and tracked throughout the study to measure results such as peak power and aerobic fitness. After 8 weeks of taking either 50mg CBD or a placebo capsule each day, the placebo group showed an overall 9.6% reduction in peak power, compared to those in the intervention group. It is thought as a result that regular intake of 50mg CBD for 8 weeks may prevent reductions in anaerobic power with time – a promising result for those wanting to take CBD as a supplement in their healthy lifestyle!
Currently in the UK, CBD is legal as long as it contains 0% THC (like all of our Hemp Well products), however a recent Court of Appeal ruling in the UK (regarding illegal flower importations from Italy) has clarified that it does not consider hemp flower with a THC content below 0.2% as a “narcotic drug”. While this by no means allows or legalises the use of cannabis, or the sale of THC flower in the United Kingdom, it may be a step towards more lenient regulations regarding the THC content in CBD products. At Hemp Well we are dedicated to providing our customers with 0% THC products; we just find they work best for us! Regardless of your views on THC, this could be the first step towards a more lenient view on CBD.
Earlier this year, a package was stopped at London Gateway Standford-le-Hope after being found to contain medicines containing illegal amounts of CBD. The medicines detained were 11 CBD oils intended for use in dogs, however these were not authorised veterinary medicines in Great Britain or Northern Ireland and as a result were seized under Regulation 25 (importation of unauthorised veterinary medicinal products) of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013. A good reminder to make sure to check that CBD is allowed where you are travelling to, and that you aren’t carrying illegal products (such as those containing THC, in the UK).
Tabatha Hambidge, a research scientist at the National Measuremant Laboratory, LGC, has produced an e-seminar for workers in official control labs, the food industry, and individuals involved with the UK official control system. The video was funded in part by the UK government, and includes clarifications for questions such as “What is CBD?”, “How is CBD obtained?, and “How does CBD differ from other cannabinoids?”. It’s great to see that people are becoming more informed about our favourite cannabinoid!
A recent survey by Forbes revealed that a 60% majority of U.S. adults have tried CBD, with 89% of participants over the age of 77 using it. According to Forbes, the most common reason for CBD use is to alleviate anxiety and relax, alongside seeking pain relief & sleep aid. Perhaps surprisingly, the most common way Americans consume CBD is through gummies and edibles with 58%, closely followed by oils and capsules both at 55%. You can find the full results of the study, including consumer views on safety and legality, by clicking the link above.