Novel Food Deadline Looms
The CBD industry is about to experience the biggest legal shakeup since the first products entered the UK back in 2017. Monumental changes in the UK & European law will support regulation demand from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) to finalise applications for Novel Foods, which is a vigorous process ensuring any manufacturing, distribution, or retailing of CBD complies with all FSA, MHRA and Trading Standard requirements by March 31st, 2021.
The Purity Wellness Group have been advocating regulatory change since 2016 and applied significant time, effort, and investment to reach this point. We are now incredibly proud to announce that we have submitted our Novel Food Licence application, allowing us to continue to deliver pharmaceutical-grade CBD Oil, Beverages, Edible and Topical product collections across the UK and European markets.
“I am very pleased to inform you that our Novel Food Application has been submitted and accepted.”
Application Validation Reference Number #48**
Dr. Vanesa Fernandez Chief Scientific Officer – Director FBS Biosciences Europe BV
“CBD products to enter the UK market will soon require a Novel Foods application submitted and validated by the FSA (Food Safety Authority) including a cover letter, a dossier, and a summary of the dossier.”
WHAT ARE NOVEL FOODS?
“Novel foods” are defined as foods that have limited consumption history in the UK and EU prior to May 1997.
These foods do not have an established safety profile.
- The UK and EU regulatory bodies, FSA and EFSA, respectively, recognize that any food considered to be a novel food should be evaluated on toxicological, chemical, microbiological and stability parameters, prior to market approval and sale to the general public.
- For a company to sell a novel food, a dossier and application (collectively “Application”) must be submitted to FSA and EFSA for validation and under certain instances, authorized by the regulatory body before the novel food can be offered for sale to the general public.
UK NOVEL FOODS REQUIREMENTS
CBD products to enter the UK market will soon require a Novel Foods application submitted and validated by the FSA (Food Safety Authority) including a cover letter, a dossier, and a summary of the dossier.
Beginning April 1, 2021, regulatory authorities will initiate enforcement action: CBD products without a validated application will be removed from retail shelves and non-compliant distributors can be issued fines.
New products cannot enter the market until the application is authorized by the FSA.
” By submitting our application Purity Hemp Company remains the Gold Standard, as recognised by the Banned Substance Control Group (BSCG). “
UK & EU NOVEL FOODS APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
The application must include administrative, scientific and safety data that demonstrably outlines the toxicological, microbiological and chemical parameters of the food and packaging materials.
Like the FDA’s GRAS requirements, the toxicological requirements include the core areas of:
- Kinetics – to understand the metabolism and bioavailability of CBD and CBD products.
- Genotoxicity – to validate that CBD does not cause harmful DNA damage.
- Repeated dose toxicity testing (sub-chronic, chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity) – to confirm safe consumption levels and understand any physiological changes from prolonged use.
- Reproductive and developmental toxicity – to ensure consuming CBD does not cause unwanted developmental changes.
Purity Hemp Company joined FBS Bio-Science Novel Foods Consortium – total cost £1.3M
This membership allows continuity in the supply chain for CBD ingredients through a sharing of costs and data that meet the requirements of the FSA (or EFSA, respectively, on each slide) which ensures that Purity Hemp Company and its partner brands will continue commercially after the established deadlines.
” There were many cowboys in the industry selling CBD products which were false advertising the amount of CBD in the products, which of course, is not good for business. “
A statement from CBD Industry Experts ACI, Alpha Green & the MHRA
Enforcement for Novel Food compliance – what can we expect?
There were many cowboys in the industry selling CBD products which were false advertising the amount of CBD in the products, which of course, is not good for business. The idea of the Novel Food regime was to push these cowboys out of the sector, and this can only be done with enforcement.
New product restrictions Novel Food compliance will be devolved to local authority Trading Standards and environmental health but there is also a national organisation called the National Trading Association. These organisations revolve around consumer protection and safety, which as explained, has been a problem for the CBD industry in recent times.
From the 1st of April 2021, here is how they are planning to enforce brands and manufacturers who are not Novel Food compliant:
- Retailers can be forced to remove non-compliant products from the shelves.
- E-Commerce platforms can be forced to remove products from sale.
- Stocks can be seized from warehouses if non-compliant.
The future for Novel Food
Many of us did not want to see Novel Food regulations come in as it essentially brings another barrier to trade. At first glance, this regulation seems unnecessary considering long-term use of cannabinoids has been safe so far and that we have seen how CBD products positively affect a user’s health and well-being. But while this is a major inconvenience to the industry, we do believe that things will become much easier eventually.
Once the Novel Food application deadline has passed and consumers see products being removed from retailers there will be a broader understanding of the safety to use CBD products and the role the Government plays in ensuring only quality products are sold to the public.
Kirsty Gallacher Reveals Her Magic Training Potion
CEO: Michael Walker catches up with good friend & TV broadcaster Kirsty Gallacher who is well known for her intense fitness regime, busy professional life and raising two growing boys as a single mum.
Michael starts – So, Kirsty, you are renowned for your commitment to health and fitness. How have you managed to stay healthy, stay fit, and find a balance between professional life and managing home life? It is not easy for many of us in the best of times, never mind adding a global pandemic and a UK lockdown into our daily routines.
Kirsty – I ordinarily train with Mel Deane, I enjoy focusing on weights but we also do circuit training which is a great cardio blast. I really love working with him as it keeps me motivated and he’s now become a close friend. I usually have a couple of sessions a week with Mel and I also have my home gym which was kindly delivered recently by ESP – this is great when I do Zoom training sessions as I now have all the relevant equipment and weights so I can train in my free time. My Son Oscar, who is now 14, is allowed to do some lightweight training so it’s great he can use that whilst at home under my supervision! We also have a WATT bike which we both use – another great cardio burn. Throughout lockdown, we’ve also enjoyed going on walks and spending time enjoying the outdoors with our two dogs, Bertie & Betsy.
Kirsty – Well, you know that I have been using your CBD products as part of my training regime for well over a year now and absolutely feel the benefits.
Michael – With a lifetime of physical activities and achieving some incredible fitness goals, you must have picked up a few serious (or nagging) injuries?
Kirsty – One of my long-standing injuries has been my rotator cuff injury which I injured when I was competing in Channel 4’s The Games many years ago – I actually ended up winning but the high level of training that was involved gave me a niggle in my shoulder which was exacerbated by all the different activities we were doing e.g. gymnastics & rowing. I was told once I might need an operation, but I haven’t so far as I’ve looked after it – I am very careful when training and I’ve worked on strengthening it during my PT sessions with Mel, I also have sports massages which I find can be really helpful when it’s starting to play up. When I was training for the marathon, I also had a slight issue behind my right knee, it became quite weak with the stress of running and training over such long distance.
Kirsty – ” The muscle roll-ons are really helping my neck & shoulders before & after my workouts. I told you it’s like a magic potion! “
Michael – So, I hear you have found a magic potion that is really helping you target and treat key areas of your body pre and post-workout?
Kirsty – Well, you know that I have been using your CBD products as part of my training regime for well over a year now and the muscle roll-ons are really helping my neck and shoulders before and after my workouts.
I find that it has really made a difference in allowing me to push harder and recover faster. What I find amazing is Heat Roll-On; after the workout, it seems to penetrate the shoulder muscle, and there is no swelling or nagging pain and the recovery time is incredible and followed up with a cup of the Tranquility Tea, it’s the perfect combination to help me recharge and I absolutely notice a difference; it really works…I told you it’s like a magic training potion!
Michael – Well, CBD products, especially topicals, are relatively new to the marketplace, especially for elite athletes, sportsmen and sportswomen. The feedback from athletes and trainers consistently is that the products really help improve muscle recovery times and is amazingly effective in managing pain and inflammation after intense physical activities. I like to refer to our topicals as “Powerful Targeted Relief from Mother Nature”. Of course, they are infused premium organic CBD, which allows the gel to penetrate the skin barrier and target troublesome muscles, but we can call it a magic potion if you like.
Kirsty – So why do you think that more athletes do not use these? Actually, there are so many people with joint pain, arthritis, muscle tension that could really benefit from using these as well.
Michael – CBD has grown massively in popularity due to the natural healing benefits people are experiencing from using good quality CBD products. There is also a massive shift in consumer behaviour away from synthetic medicines to treat ailments.
Michael – CBD has grown massively in popularity due to the natural healing benefits people are experiencing from using good quality CBD products. There is also a massive shift in consumer behaviour away from synthetic medicines to treat ailments. Athletes do not want to take opioids to manage pain or treat a nagging injury and are now actively looking for natural alternatives.
But, the real underlying issue is where CBD (Cannabinoid) originates. The Hemp Plant, otherwise known as Cannabis Sativa-L, is part of the Cannabis family which immediately sends alarm bells ringing due to the stigma around Cannabis. But, in fact, the Hemp Plant has over 120 different Cannabinoids. While CBD shows remarkable healing properties, the Hemp Plant can also contain THC is the primary psychoactive compound in Cannabis that produces a high sensation. So Hemp is often “guilty by association”, so we need to continue educating and informing.
Over the last decade, we have seen significant discoveries within this sector. In 2020 alone, more than 3000 pieces of conclusive research from leading medical and scientific institutions have advanced our knowledge and understanding of this plant. The evidence has been overwhelming, and it is fascinating to see so many positive results.
“The evidence has been so conclusive that the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has removed CBD from the prohibited substance list.”
The evidence has been so conclusive that the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has removed CBD from the prohibited substance list. However, it clearly states, “athletes must be extremely vigilant if they are going to use CBD products”, as there are still Cannabinoids that can be harmful and cause them to fail a drug test, like TCH. So that is why it is so important to know and trust the products you are using.
What is very alarming is that with the rise in popularity of CBD products comes an increase in criminal activity. Unethical companies have been selling low quality, unregulated, untested, and often harmful products online and shockingly, some have made their way on to the High Street.
Kirsty – Incredible to hear about the positive medical and scientific advancements, but very concerning that there are products online and on the High Street that can be harmful. This must be very frustrating for you to see this happening.
Michael – This is why our oils are tested by the Banned Substance Control Group (BSCG), quality-assured & certified THC free.
Michael – It has been but, we are here for the long haul, and we welcome the new regulatory changes coming at the end of March. Which will see 30% – 40% of the CBD brands disappear off the retail shelves. As you know, created the Purity Hemp Company to be a force for good a lighthouse for those that need help. Our focus has always been to develop premium products to support medical and professional sporting associations. We have invested millions in growing our organic Hemp Plants that consistently produce rich cannabinoid and terpenes profiles. Our onsite lab testing allows us to continually check on the plants to ensure Mother Nature is doing her job and will enable us to harvest at the optimum time. Our science partners use the most advanced extraction technology and process methods to protect and keep the molecules intact. The outcome is pharmaceutical grade oils that we use as a base across our product collection.
Kirsty – Wow, I knew they were good, but that is a lot of work? Is it now approved for sport?
Michael – It is a lot of hard work, but we have created an ethical brand with premium products that everyone can afford.
In order to, I knew that we needed to provide enough confidence in leading medical and sporting governing bodies, and we had to set the standards in the industry and get the highest levels of accreditation and certification possible. We worked with the Banned Substance Control Group based in the USA, which is recognized as a leading authority in testing products for WADA, the Olympic Governing Authority, and the professional sporting organisations across America. I am proud to say that we have received our certifications. We meet the criteria set by WADA and are approved for sport.
Golfers have, by and large, had it good during COVID as many courses have remained open and, with a less packed schedule, many have even had more time on their hands to work on improving their handicap. At the same time, CBD has continued to gain traction among golfers and pro golfers everywhere, from Bubba Watson to Scott McCarron, are quick to share about how this natural supplement has benefited their golf game and helped them manage both their personal and professional challenges on and off the course with the help of quality CBD products.
Research into CBD and its implications for sports like golf continue to produce promising results. It has been linked to improving a number of functions in the body, as it interacts with your endocannabinoid system which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis (balance). These functions include metabolism, appetite and digestion, mood, learning and memory, chronic pain, inflammation and immune system responses, sleep, motor control, reproductive system function, stress, skin and nerve function, bone remodelling and growth, liver function, muscle formation and skin and nerve function.
Even a quick glance through this list of CBD benefits will give you a good idea of how CBD could impact your golf game.
Golfer of all levels have reported that their anxiety has reduced, the focus though out the round has improved , they remained positive and relaxed for the whole round, improving shot execution (even taking the pressure), they felt that it boosted concentration and reduce performance anxiety, keep reading!
How CBD works for golfers
To understand how CBD works for your golf game, it’s important to take a step back and take a quick look at one of the most important, yet largely unknown, systems in your body: the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex cell-signalling system was only discovered in the early 1990s building on cannabis research from the 1960s and 1970s, and experts are still trying to understand the complexities of the system today.
Currently, it has been established that the ECS plays an essential role in regulating sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction and fertility. Studies show how easy it is for your ECS to be thrown out of balance by factors such as stress, diet and exercise, and the effects are compounded by our modern lifestyles. And that’s where CBD comes in. CBD interacts with receptors found throughout the body, primarily CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors regulate your mood, motor function, pain perception, stress response and memory. This has implications for your golf game, particularly your mood and mindset, your motor function, and your stress response.
CB2 receptors are also important, and they moderate your immune system, central and peripheral nervous system and more. CBD is, therefore, able to help with inflammation and immune response, which will mean you can play a stronger game, and play more frequently, even as you get older.
The benefits of CBD for golfers
Of all the benefits that CBD offers, it is perhaps most well-known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. It does this by interacting with the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, to inhibit the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Many golfers feel nervous as they tee up or prepare for that par saving putt and CBD can help promote a sense of calm and improve focus.
While golf is not an aggressive contact sport, golfers are still prone to a number of common injuries. These injuries may not be serious, but they have the potential to impact your golf game and your quality of life. Golfers, like many other athletes, use CBD to relieve aching shoulders, back strains, painful knees and sore hips.
In particular, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to manage pain perception, as well as to reduce inflammation. CBD also supports the work of the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate and restore balance in the body.
Most golfers carry around residual pain and niggling injuries from playing. It may be elbow tendonitis, knee pain, microscopic muscle tears, a back strain or wrist injury and while it won’t prevent you from playing a round of golf, it impacts the quality of your game and your enjoyment.
These injuries activate your body’s anti-inflammatory response which can lead to stiffness, soreness and swelling. Because CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system, the introduction of additional phytocannabinoids can help. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and suppresses the body’s inflammatory response to speed up your recovery.
Sleep is essential for helping you stay in peak physical and mental condition. Insomnia is linked to a host of adverse side effects which can impact your golf game, as well as your quality of life.
CBD has been shown to help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep, which will improve your focus on the course and your performance.
The best CBD products for golfers
CBD oil taken sublingually (a few drops under the tongue) is an excellent addition to your daily routine. Trial and error will help you develop a routine and dosage level that works for you.
CBD gummies are an easy, discrete way to enjoy your CBD dose. You can monitor your dose as each gummy contains that exact same amount of CBD, and you can enjoy them at home before your round, or even on the course. They do take a bit longer to take effect, so consider having your gummy an hour or so before you tee off.
CBD relief patches and pain sticks are ideas for tired muscles and sore joints as soon as possible after a golf game. Apply the topical product to the painful area and experience the soothing relief.
It can be a great idea to pack a few CBD-infused soft drinks for your round. That way, you can stay hydrated and enjoy the calming, rebalancing benefits of CBD.
CBD has a positive effect on your mood, stress response, and motor function, all essential elements of a great golf game and that’s why pro golfers and amateurs alike are incorporating CBD into their daily routines and their golfing experience to stay on top of their game.
While the experience may look different for everyone, there is no disputing that the popularity of the supplement is growing among golfers. And why wouldn’t it? CBD can help you perform better and enjoy your golf game more both on and off the course. If you know that you will recover quicker and be able to manage inflammation, you’re much more likely to say yes when a friend invites you to play. And, because you’re sleeping well and better able to manage your stress and anxiety, you’re going to play better and enjoy the experience more.
Are you looking for the short answer?
That’s an easy one….
No. They are absolutely not the same thing.
Their manufacturing processes are completely different, their chemical composition are different, and they don’t offer the same health benefits.
At this point, you might be shaking your head. After all, they both come from hemp, don’t they?
And they’re both used in a wide range of products from oils to foods to skincare.
So, what’s the difference?
The answer to this question is a bit longer, but knowing the difference is vital if you want to enjoy the health benefits of either.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into hemp oil and CBD oil, explain the differences (there are quite a few!) and shed some light onto why there’s so much confusion between the two.
What is hemp oil?
Hemp seed oil is similar to other carrier oils (like sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil) and is extracted via hemp seed cold pressing. Keep in mind that hemp oil (more accurately called hemp seed oil), contains only hemp seed, no other parts of the plant are used.
The oil is full of health-giving compounds including antioxidants and fatty acids but contains no cannabinoids at all. It’s considered to be a superfood and a health supplement, so it’s often used in healthy meal preparation, and it’s well-researched moisturising and skin softening-properties make it a popular beauty and skincare ingredient.
The benefits of hemp seed oil include its nutritional properties: it’s an excellent source of protein as well as other compounds such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants. It’s commonly used to help treat dry skin conditions such as eczema and may reduce symptoms of inflammation associated with menopause and PMS in women.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers, stalks and leaves of industrial hemp and from there it is added to a carrier oil and can be made into a variety of different products from tinctures and edibles to beauty products and more.
CBD contains cannabidiol along with over 100 other cannabinoids that are found exclusively in the cannabis plant, as well as a host of flavonoids, terpenes and other health-promoting compounds that work together in synergy (called the ‘entourage effect’).
CBD offers many health benefits that are currently the subject of ongoing scientific studies. The cannabinoid has been shown to reduce lipid production by sebaceous glands and may, therefore be effective in treating acne. It can help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. CBD has also been used effectively to reduce symptoms associated with stress, anxiety and depression, including insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome.
Why is there confusion?
Well, for starters, both hemp seed oil and CBD come from the hemp plant. True they come from different parts of the plant, but if you see a cannabis leaf on a hemp oil bottle when you’re browsing at your local health store, it won’t come as a big surprise that many people mistake one for the other.
There are also brands that intentionally take advantage of this overlap. Hemp seed oil is a much more affordable product, so many brands have chosen to add hemp seed oil to an existing food supplement or beauty product to take advantage of the current CBD trend.
Additionally, because CBD is still a banned substance on many online retail and advertising platforms (such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Amazon), brands may choose to advertise their products as hemp oil when, in fact, it’s actually CBD oil.
Both products offer essential health and wellness-supporting benefits, but if you’ve bought hemp seed oil thinking that it’s CBD, you’re not going to get the benefits, and you might conclude that that CBD isn’t effective.
I want to buy CBD, what should I look for?
Unfortunately, with so much misinformation on the web, and unscrupulous companies looking to make a quick profit, it can be tricky to make an informed decision. The CBD industry has little in the way of regulatory oversight which leaves CBD newbies open to making poor choices.
Here are two checks you can do:
There are definitely companies selling hemp oil but labelling it in such a way as to confuse the end consumer. Some make patently false claims, while others use vague wording to mislead the customer.
To avoid falling into these traps, you need to check the product label carefully. If you are looking to purchase CBD oil, the label should clearly reflect the concentration of CBD. It may be referred to as cannabidiol, hemp CBD, phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil or PCR hemp extract.
If the label refers to Cannabis Sativa (hemp) seed oil, hemp oil or virgin hemp oil, then you are most likely looking at a hemp seed oil product.
A Reputable Brand
There are thousands of CBD products on the market, and a quick trip to your local health store will give you more options than you could ever need. So, how do you choose? The best place to start is with a reputable brand that has a strong track record and an unwavering commitment to quality.
At Purity Hemp Co, for example, we have built our company on the pillars of trust, transparency, integrity and confidence and these pillars inform everything that we do. We take the trust that our clients place in us seriously and are committed to ensuring that every product contains the highest quality ingredients and offer full transparency from seed to shelf.
The benefits of using a product from a reputable brand are countless. It means that you don’t have to do as much homework, you can ask for information and get advice you can trust. You have access to the data you need from where the hemp is sourced through to how the products are tested in third-party labs.
CBD and hemp oil are entirely different, and if you mistakenly purchase hemp oil thinking that it is CBD, you won’t get the results you’re looking for, and it may lead you to conclude that CBD doesn’t work for you. The cannabinoid CBD is found in the stalk, leaves and flowers of the hemp plant and is extracted to make CBD oil, while hemp oil is a cold-pressed oil made from hemp seeds.
Then, even if you do purchase CBD, there is a good chance that the labelling may be misleading or even false, and the CBD oil itself might not be good quality or sufficiently concentrated enough to give you the results you’re looking for.
To ensure that you get the right oil, and are able to experience the full effects, it’s vital that you do your homework and find a reputable brand, then make sure you read the label and check the third-party lab reports before you buy.
6 Steps to Find the Right CBD Dosage for Your Needs
Deciding that CBD is the way forward for your health concerns is one thing, but that’s just the first step.
Once you’ve decided on CBD, you need to work out how much you need to take to experience the benefits of the compound.
And how much CBD should you be taking?
Unfortunately, the answer is: it depends.
The correct dosage will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- Whether you’re a CBD newbie or have been taking it for a while
- What form of CBD you are using
- What brand you have chosen
- Why you’re taking CBD
- How potent the CBD is
With so many options and all the different brands and confusing labelling (sometimes it feels like they’re deliberately trying to mislead you), getting your dosing right can be a nightmare.
This how-to guide will help you decide what dose you should get started with – there are thousands of people across the UK who use CBD for a range of health concerns, and to give yourself the best chance of experiencing the same benefits, you need to get your dose right.
Step 1: Consider why you’re taking CBD
CBD is being used to treat a wide range of conditions from nausea and pain to insomnia and anxiety. The right dosage, therefore, depends on what you’re taking CBD.
If it’s for arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation recommends a few mg of CBD oil per day, taken sublingually twice a day. The dose can then be increased after a week if you are not feeling sufficient pain relief. If you’re taking CBD for insomnia, you might want to take a few drops before bed, and not split the dosage in two.
It’s also important to consider that CBD may interact with other medications such as blood thinners, antidepressants and immune suppressant drugs. If you are taking other medication, speak to your doctor before using CBD.
Step 2: Find the Right Type
There are many, many different forms of CBD, the most popular of which are CBD edibles (such as CBD gummies), CBD oils, CBD topicals and CBD drinks.
A standard dose in CBD gummies is usually around 5mg per gummy, while a CBD oil tincture will be around 1mg per drop and it will take longer to feel the effects with gummies than with an oil.
CBD oil is usually a carrier liquid infused with CBD extract and taken sublingually (under the tongue) where it is quickly absorbed by the tiny capillaries under your tongue.
CBD-infused creams and lotions are used to treat some skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, even acne, as well as muscle and joint pain.
CBD gummies and CBD drinks are two of the most popular ways to take CBD because they fit into your lifestyle. They’re discrete and allow you to monitor your dosage carefully so you know exactly how much you are taking.
Step 3: Look at the CBD Concentration
Once you’ve decided what type of CBD you want to use, you then need to look at the potencies (or concentrations) and the right choice will depend on what you want from the product.
CBD is available in concentrations from 100mg to 5,000mg and more per single 30ml bottle. If you’re just starting out, a low-potency option, such as 300mg is a good place to start. A lower potency option is often better at the beginning as you monitor how your body responds to the effects of CBD.
Often people will be tempted to try a stronger potency right from the start thinking that it will deliver more of an effect. And it probably will. But if you start with a high-strength bottle, you have no way of knowing how much you needed in order to experience the benefits. In contrast, starting with a lower-strength option allows you to monitor incrementally the effects of the CBD and from there you might easily find that a lower dose works just as well as a higher dose without the higher price tag.
Step 4: Get started
Getting the dosage right when you’re starting with CBD is important. CBD affects everyone differently, so the best approach is to start slow and low, and gradually work your way up.
For CBD oil: place two to three drops under your tongue and wait for thirty seconds before swallowing. Then, assess how you feel after thirty minutes, before taking more. Try to keep consistent and take the same dose at the same time every day, and stay within the UK government-suggested limit of 70 milligrams/day of CBD oil.
For CBD edibles: a similar small dosage is recommended if you are trying CBD for the first time. Eat one or two gummies, and wait thirty minutes or so to assess the effects before taking more. Dosage timing and consistency is important and the suggested limits are the same as for CBD oil.
If you haven’t tried CBD before, there are a few things to keep in mind such as:
- Individual factors, your body weight and chemistry have an impact on what CBD dosage will be optimal for you.
- The type of CBD you take will also influence the amount you need, how it is absorbed by the body and how long it takes to feel the effects.
Keep in mind that if you are using multiple forms of CBD (such as edibles and oil), you will need to monitor the combined daily dosage.
Step 5: Time for some trial and error
If you’ve been using CBD for a while you may want to change the type of CBD you use or even the brand. Here you will need to exercise caution as there may be variations in CBD content between products and brands, or it may affect you differently. Stick to the recommended dose for a product, unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
If you have a health condition, such as liver disease, you may need to take a lower dose as there can be side effects from too much CBD.
When deciding on the dosage you should:
- Talk to your doctor, especially if you have any health concerns or take medication for a chronic condition.
- Read the instructions, it is usually straightforward to increase your dosage by increasing the number of drops or the concentration of the product, but read each product label carefully to prevent dosage errors.
- Consider dosing with gummies or capsules as is the easiest way to know exactly how many milligrams you are consuming with each gummy or capsule.
Step 6: Monitor the effects
CBD onset time depends on the type of CBD you use. For edibles and capsules that pass through the digestive tract, it can take up to two hours before your feel the effects. In comparison, CBD tinctures taken sublingually take anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes, and they offer a nigher bioavailability because they bypass your digestive system. Topicals are somewhere in between and take 45 minutes and 60 minutes to have an effect.
That’s a lot of information and a lot of choices.
So, what does it come down to?
If you’re serious about incorporating regular CBD dosing into your daily life, then:
- Shop smart: CBD products are not strictly regulated in the UK, so make sure you do your homework before making a decision.
- Choose a trustworthy brand: quality CBD products sold by a reputable brand are going to give you the best opportunity offer experiencing the health and wellness benefits of CBD.
- Find the right form of CBD: whether you choose gummies, CBD oil, a CBD beverage or topicals, make sure it matches with the results you’re looking for.
- Start low and slow: start with a lower concentration and a smaller dosage, then increase slowly until you get the desired effects. This process can easily take upwards of a few months. Stick with a lower dose for at least a week before increasing it.
If you’ve ever walked into a shop to buy a specific product, stood looking at the many different options on the shelves for what feels like hours then, feeling completely overwhelmed, walked out again empty-handed, you’re not alone. Or, maybe instead of walking out empty-handed, you made a snap decision and chose an option based on pretty packaging, or it’s price point. Again, you’re definitely not alone.
This approach isn’t a problem if you’re choosing a new shampoo but, when it comes to making choices that will affect your health, the stakes go up significantly.
CBD is a bit like that. There are thousands of products, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores, all promising to offer amazing benefits. And CBD really does have the potential to deliver. But if you don’t make the right purchase decision up-front, or get your dosage right, you could easily be left with very little to show for your purchase.
The most important things to look for if you’re buying CBD for the first time is:
There are many fly-by-night operators in the CBD space who will take your money and deliver a product that, at best, may not be up-to-spec, and at worst, could even be harmful. To find a reliable site that offers consistently good quality products, you should:
Look at where they are based
A locally based UK website or store will offer quicker turnaround times on orders and are more likely to adhere to stricter quality regulations.
Trustpilot is an excellent place to start as the reviews published here will give you an indication on the level of service you can expect and the brand’s ability to deliver on their promises. The websites themselves are not necessarily the best place to look as sites are not allowed to publish reviews that feature medical claims according to the MHRA guidelines.
Consider your options
Look at more than one option; don’t make a rash purchase. After looking at a few sites, you’ll get a feel for what’s out there and find one that you are comfortable with before you click ‘add to cart’.
There’s no way to get around the fact that everyone is jumping onto the CBD bandwagon hoping to profit from its growth in popularity. This makes it essential that you verify the claims that the brand makes, rather than just choosing the first one you come across.
When you’re making your choice, look at:
Because industrial hemp is a bio-accumulator (it absorbs chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides at a faster rate than it excretes them), it is essential to be able to trace the product from seed to shelf. This includes an organic, non-GMO farming and harvesting process, an effective extraction and purification process, as well as ethical testing, packaging and shipping so that you have complete confidence in the end-product.
Third-party lab tests
Many websites choose not to publish their lab results on their websites, although most will provide the information if you ask for it. But it shouldn’t have to be so complicated. If you’re comparing a few different options, you need immediate access to those results at the click of a button. It’s, therefore, a good sign when the certificates are available on the product page itself. As the results are on a per-product, per-batch basis, so you know that the results you’re reading are for the exact product batch that you’re purchasing from.
To get the full benefits from CBD, you need to know how it works and what dose to take. This makes working with a reputable CBD seller is worth its weight in gold as they will have:
A resources section on their website
This should have up-to-date information on the latest developments in the CBD industry, which continues to change and improve as more research into the benefits of CBD becomes available.
A FAQ section on their website
When it comes to CBD, you may have questions, and the site you’re using should have the answers. Whether it’s related to traceability of ingredients, the shipping and returns policy or the ingredient list, you need to be able to get quick answers to your most pressing questions.
If you’re purchasing CBD for the first time, you may want to speak to a real person at the company before you checkout. A reputable website will have a responsive customer service team that you can email or phone to get support.
Essential questions for first-time buyers
Is CBD the same as hemp seed oil?
No, hemp seed oil is made from hemp seeds that contain no cannabinoids at all. CBD oil is made from the leaves, stems and flowers of CBD plants and contains a range of cannabinoids, chief among them CBD.
Can CBD get you high?
No. Depending on the type of CBD, the product will either contain trace amounts of THC or, often, none at all. THC is the active compound found in marijuana that gives users a ‘high’. Because the THC levels in CBD are so low, it is non-psychoactive.
Is it legal in the UK?
CBD oil derived from industrial hemp is legal in the UK, which is why it’s so widely available. In order to be sold in the UK, the THC level needs to be below 0.2%.
Is it organic? (and is that even important?)
It should be easy to check whether the CBD product you are interested in is organic or not. Brands with a transparent sourcing and manufacturing process will be clear about where they source their CBD extract from, so you have full peace of mind that the product you are purchasing is pure and high quality.
How do you use CBD?
For first-time CBD users, many opt to start with CBD gummies or CBD oil. Both are easy to ingest and monitor your dosage. It’s best to follow the instructions on the label to ensure that you are using the product correctly, and to start with a low dose, gradually increasing until you experience the desired effects.
If you’re new to CBD, hopefully this has helped with how to go about purchasing CBD (as well as clearing up a few questions at the same time).
While CBD is legal in the UK, it is not strictly regulated, so it’s essential to do your homework before making a decision. Always consider the brand’s reputation, the quality of the product and the resources that they provide for their customers.
Yoga popularity continues to spread throughout the world as more and more people from athletes to celebrities have discovered the transformative power of having a regular practice. CBD has also enjoyed a similar trajectory as growth continues to reach double digits year-on-year.
But what is at the root of this shift?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness. And in the UK alone, anxiety affects more than 8.2 million people. The numbers are growing, and there’s stress everywhere you turn from managing tight finances, having a packed schedule, working long hours and absorbing the pressure to maintain a work-life balance.
The problem with this is that stress degrades your productivity, your sleep patterns, your mood, and eventually, your health. And that is why so many are turning to wellness practices that promote calm and foster connectedness. In this sense, yoga and CBD are an ideal pairing, as both are an antidote to anxiety and stress.
Similarities Between Yoga and CBD
CBD and yoga are a harmonious combination with both supporting the wellness benefits of the other. The use of cannabis and yoga go back thousands of years, and this ancient connection is being revived as CBD is now legal in most countries.
There is a growing body of research into the physical and mental benefits of yoga. A recent study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine looked at people practicing relaxation and hatha yoga on a weekly basis. The findings showed an improvement in scores across the board when measuring stress, anxiety and quality of life. A different study also noted yoga’s ability to influence pain levels positively, whether it was the pain itself or the perception thereof.
These findings mirror those of CBD which, while still in their infancy, also show promise for those with painful conditions and mental stress. One such study looked at CBD’s ability to influence subjects with a social anxiety disorder. The results included: lowered anxiety levels, and heightened activity in areas of the brain related to goal-setting, self-control, motivation and emotions. And another showed CBD’s efficacy in reducing neuropathic pain.
CBD supports your yoga practice because it is:
- A broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory agent. This means that it interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system as it works to restore homeostasis in the body, thereby reducing inflammation in the brain, as well as painful areas of the body, joints and tendons, and muscles.
- An antioxidant. It’s benefit as an anti-oxidant is that, through the endocannabinoid system, it helps repair cell damage caused by oxidative stress.
- Effectively treats anxiety and insomnia. CBD calms the body, restores balance and improves sleep quality.
Benefits of Combining CBD and Yoga
If you ask most people why they practice yoga, they’ll tell you that it’s to combat the pressures of living in a modern, fast-paced world as it forces you to slow down. It helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression. And the reasons that CBD users swear by the cannabinoid are similar: it relieves physical pain and promotes a sense of calm, bringing balance to the body. These are the top 6 benefits:
It can help you achieve a meditative state
While meditation may come easily to some, for most, it is a struggle to slow down and ignore constant internal and external distractions. This presents a problem as meditation is a core part of any yoga practice. CBD taken before the start of a yoga session can help slow your racing thoughts and promote a sense of peace. For those with conditions such as anxiety or depression, it can make it easier to stay on your mat and pursue Shavasana.
It improves the mind-body connection
CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system to influence cognitive processes such as mood, dream states and post-traumatic stress. In your yoga practice, this translates to an improved mind-body connection supporting the work of certain types of yoga such as Hatha yoga.
It can help ease you into your practice
It is difficult to flow right from the start of a yoga class, and thirty minutes can easily be up before you’re in the right headspace and feel focused enough to enjoy the time. But if you only have an hour class, CBD can help you get yoga-ready faster by helping you let go of stress, allowing you to practice with a clear mind.
It can help with tightness, tension and pain
CBD benefits both the mind and body. CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that works in synergy with your practice to reduce pain and makes it easier and more comfortable to move into challenging yoga poses. If you are coming to the pat with residual tension, CBD will help you to loosen up faster.
It promotes faster recovery
Athletes use CBD to speed up recovery, and yoga is no different. While yoga is designed to promote relaxation, it is still very hard work. CBD after a class can ease tightness and promote sleep which is essential for optimal muscle recovery. For people who have a sleep disorder, CBD combined with a yoga class is often an ideal recipe for a good night’s sleep.
It helps enhance body perception
Yoga enhances self-awareness and CBD can take that to the next level by increasing anandamide levels which are thought to contribute to an exercise-induced mood boost (often called a runner’s high).
CBD-Inspiration for Your Yoga Poses
CBD is a good fit for different types of yoga and will support your practice. In particular, is it beneficial for more gentle, restorative styles of yoga as it boosts mood, reduces pain and inflammation and improves vitality.
To get the best results, take CBD before your session. Depending on the type of CBD method you use, you will need to consume your CBD between 15 and 40 minutes before. Then start with meditation, set your intention for the time, focus on your breathing and enjoy the luxury of lying in this resting pose as the CBD takes effect.
Some poses that will promote relaxation include:
- Savasana (Corpse Pose), excellent for relaxation and slowing down.
- Apasana (Knees-to-Chest), ideal for relieving anxiety, reducing anger and alleviating back pain.
- Jathara Parivartanasana (Supine Twist), for complete relaxation, upper back and neck pain and releasing tight shoulders.
- Marjaryasana/Bitilasana (Cat-Cow), perfect for energy, focus and emotional balance.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog), energising and calming, this position is ideal for relieving stress and a depressed mood.
- Balasana (Child’s Pose), for calming the brain, soothing stress and relieving fatigue.
Combining CBD with yoga, whether you join a class or practice at home, will enhance both its physical and mental benefits. And the best part is, it’s easy to do. All you need is a bottle of high-quality CBD oil, and you’ll be ready to hit your mat and flow.
Exercise can put a lot of physical and mental strain on your body and, for professional athletes, the stakes are much higher. It’s for this reason that athletes from a cross-section of sporting disciplines are advocating the use of CBD for its myriad of health benefits. From MMA to American football, and golf to rugby, CBD covers all areas of the sporting realm.
But what is the reason for this incredible sports-related growth in CBD’s popularity?
The answer, it seems, is quite straightforward. While current pain management strategies work, they can also cause long-term damage which is why there continues to be a search for, and exploration of, alternatives to aid in sports recovery and safer pain relief. CBD is a naturally-derived substitute which sports professionals are using, and many have been very vocal in their support of the cannabinoid.
Is CBD allowed in sport?
First things first. Is CBD even allowed to be used by athletes?
Yes, it is! In 2018 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) made a historic move as they removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances (both in and out of competition). This stance was then followed by the US Anti-Doping Agency, who have provided a Marijuana FAQ for added clarity as THC and synthetic cannabinoids are still prohibited.
The urinary threshold is now 150 nanograms of THC per millilitre, up from the previous limit of 15 nanograms. So, even if you are using full-spectrum CBD (which can contain up to 0.2% THC), you are unlikely to have a positive result. The change was enacted by WADA because they found that “many cases do not involve game or event-day consumption. The new threshold level is an attempt to ensure that in-competition use is detected and not use during the days and weeks before competition.”
Professional athletes who are tested regularly may consider using broad-spectrum CBD instead of full-spectrum CBD, which offers the same benefits including the entourage effect, but contains 0% THC, so there is no chance of a positive result on your drug test.
Which sporting disciplines are using CBD?
From horse-riding to swimming, there are reports from all corners of the sporting world that continue to raise awareness for the health-promoting benefits of CBD. Four of the most vocal disciplines are:
MMA fighters are among the leading proponents of CBD for sport, with the Diaz brothers, amongst others, praising CBD for its pain-relieving properties (and they have even gone on to launch their own CBD brand.)
In the UK, many rugby players are using CBD to “help put their bodies back together”. The cannabinoid has received a lot of positive publicity recently as Saracens teammates Dominic Day and George Kruis have launched their own CBD brand after experiencing the positive impact of it for themselves for both injury rehabilitation and post-game recovery.
Retired NFL stars were amongst the first to start talking about CBD, many of whom struggled with injuries sustained over the course of a long, gruelling career. Proponents of CBD include Lofa Tatupu, Kyle Turley, Terrell Davies, David Ahrens and Rob Gronkowski.
CBD is being used by a number of golfing greats including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Charley Hoffman and Bubba Watson. While golf may not be as physically challenging, the mental acuity and concentration required, along with high levels of stress, have led many to turn to CBD for its anti-anxiety and calming effects.
Why do athletes take CBD (and how can it benefit your training)?
To relieve pain
The body’s endocannabinoid system works to bring the body back into homeostasis and, amongst other actions, helps your cells to respond to stimuli. This creates pain-relieving effects and can benefit those with chronic pain (including back pain, nerve damage, joint pain and muscle pain.)
To reduce inflammation and speed up recovery
CBD is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties which make it ideal for athletes. While some inflammation can be helpful in stimulating positive training adaptations, an excess of inflammation slows down recovery and has a negative impact on performance. In essence, every time you work out, your body breaks itself down in order to rebuild itself, and this process can often leave you feeling sore and lethargic. Post-workout inflammation is a common issue, but CBD can help. CBD interacts with CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, thereby reducing cytokine and chemokine production, and increasing the body’s T-regulatory cell production, for a powerful anti-inflammatory response.
To improve sleep quality
Sleep is one of the keys to achieving greater progress in training. Adequate sleep has been proven to aid in motivation to stick to training routines while a lack of sleep makes exercise feel harder and reduces endurance performance.
CBD is linked to improving sleep quality by making it easier to go to sleep and stay asleep. This is thought to be because CBD inhibits the reuptake of adenosine. Adenosine slowly accumulates in the brain as your brains burns carbohydrates for energy. As the level of adenosine rises, it binds to neurons and inhibits the release of neurotransmitters which slows down brain activity (making you feel calmer and drowsier. CBD binds to the same receptors as adenosine, ensuring the accelerated accumulation of adenosine, so you feel more tired, more quickly. CBD is also thought to have an anti-anxiety effect, which makes it easier for people using CBD to fall asleep.
To reduce stress and anxiety
Pre-event stress and performance anxiety can be managed with CBD. In both human and animal studies, physiological (such as an increased heart rate) and behavioural symptoms of anxiety were reduced with CBD use, and it may also help treat anxiety-induced insomnia.
To control weight gain
For some people, CBD acts as an appetite suppressant, making it easier for athletes to stick to their strict eating plans. It is particularly important for athletes who compete in specific weight classes, such as MMA fighters.
As an alternative to pain medication
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are not as safe as was originally thought, and, for long-term users, can have a number of side effects including an increased risk of renal damage, heart attacks and strokes.
CBD offers a safe, effective alternative to help athletes reduce their reliance on other medication for exercise-related pain. As was reported by The Essentials of Pain Medicine, 4th Edition, “There are no documented deaths from cannabis or cannabinoid-based products. In a systemic review of studies of oral and oral-mucosal cannabis for various medical conditions, the majority of adverse events reports were considered non-serious (96.6%).”
It is also an alternative to opioid medication such as morphine and oxycontin, which are highly effective but come with significant risks in terms of addiction and overdose. In the UK, opioid deaths continue to climb so, while CBD may not offer the same relief for acute, high-intensity pain, it can be effective for long-term pain management and comes with a much lower risk profile.
How can CBD help with your exercise and training?
Whether you like to hit the gym hard or are a dedicated endurance athlete, the research is clear: CBD can help your performance while you’re working out and as you recover after. Whether you experience pain, inflammation, poor sleep quality, or even anxiety, CBD can help to modulate your body’s response allowing you to get the best results from your training.
The month of September has been declared Pain Awareness Month by the World Health Assembly (WHA) – the policy setting forum of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is dedicated to raising public awareness of “issues in the area of pain and pain management.” Pain awareness is an important topic, especially in the UK, where more than 40% of the population are living with pain that has lasted for three months or more (defined as chronic pain), and the percentage goes up to 62% for those over the age of 65.
Mainstream Support for CBD
With people becoming more aware of the harmful side effects of prescription pain medication, what are the options for those living with chronic pain? Recent studies and developments in the field of natural medicine, and in particular CBD, show a number of different applications for the cannabinoid to assist with managing pain perception, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory. It is an alternative to other pain medications that can be used for the management of everyday painful conditions.
The research is finding mainstream support in organisations such as the WHO World Health Organisation, WADA and several disease associations (such as Arthritis.org). In 2017, the World Health Association recommended that CBD not be internationally scheduled as a controlled substance. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has removed CBD from its banned substances list, and the Arthritis Foundation has acknowledged that CBD may help in managing arthritis-related pain.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
Your body’s cell signalling system, called the endocannabinoid system, is responsible for receiving signals in your brain and immune system and helping your cells respond. CBD is thought to interact with these endocannabinoid receptors, stimulating a response that creates pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory effects, allowing your body to more effectively manage pain.
Looking at the body of research around CBD (from 1975 to 2018), a 2018 review of the studies looked at neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia, amongst others, and concluded that CBD:
- Is effective in overall pain management
- Doesn’t have negative side effects (a finding that is supported by the WHO)
CBD for Pain Perception
CBD is thought to reduce the perception of pain by reducing the body’s sensitivity to pain. CBD may interact with CB2 receptors, generally found throughout the body in organs, bones, the lymphatic system, glands, and blood vessels. There is still more research needed into the biological processes, but CBD is able to stimulate the CB2 receptors in such a way as to affect the way that the body experiences pain.
CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is at the root of a number of diseases and conditions. While inflammation does play an important role in activating your body’s immune response to protect against foreign bodies such as bacteria and viruses, extended or extreme inflammation can cause long-term health issues. These concerns include increased production of free radicals in the body, which causes oxidative stress and cause damage to proteins, cells and even your DNA.
CBD works as an anti-inflammatory, pain-controlling agent as it is may inhibit some of the receptors responsible for pain perception as well as lowering the production pro-inflammatory cytokines by the immune system. It, therefore, works in a similar way to medication such as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) and steroidal drugs. But, unlike mainstream medical alternatives, it doesn’t have the same long list of negative side effects, making it an ideal natural treatment option for those struggling with chronic pain.
CBD for Chronic Pain Conditions
There are several trials that cover the potential of CBD to treat rheumatoid arthritis. A 2016 study conducted on rats with arthritis determined that CBD reduced inflammation and overall joint pain with no noticeable side effects.
This is an ongoing area of research, and most of the studies look at CBD paired with THC, not CBD alone, but the results are promising. A 2017 study found that CBD (with THC), leads to lower acute pain, and the pain intensity also decreased. Taking a combination of CBD and THC compounds, the frequency of migraine attacks fell by over 40%. For participants with cluster headaches, there was also a noticeable decrease in pain. Another study concluded that there is a growing body of evidence for the benefits of cannabinoids in the treatment of pain, which may extend to headaches and migraines.
Fibromyalgia affects the muscles and bones, causing a range of symptoms including stiffness, pain, exhaustion and extreme sensitivity to touch. There are a number of theories about what causes the condition, but it is likely due to the way that the brain interprets pain signals. CBD is, therefore, an effective method for managing symptoms of the condition as it may reduce the body’s sensitivity to pain. CBD trials are still ongoing, but cannabis has been linked to reduced pain and stiffness, and significant drops in acute pain, and fatigue.
CBD as an Alternative to Other Pain Medications
Ibuprofen is one of the most common anti-inflammatories on the market, used for treating pain and fever. It’s effective at providing treatment, but may have a negative impact on your gut health and can damage the lining of your stomach. This is different to CBD, which also acts as an anti-inflammatory, but supports gut health and won’t impact your stomach lining.
Opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin are becoming a bigger problem as the use and abuse of these medications is linked to increasing rates of addiction and overdose. Opioids are usually prescribed to manage pain, but they essentially mask the symptoms rather than dealing with the root cause and often lead to addiction in the long-term. The short-term effects are also problematic, causing dizziness, anxiety, irritability, nausea and vomiting.
CBD is being presented as an alternative for managing chronic and acute pain, because unlike opioids (and even THC for that matter), CBD is non-intoxicating and non-addictive. This ties in with recent studies that have shown a decreased reliance on opioids in areas where there is legal access to cannabis.
While more research is needed into CBD and its ability to support those living with chronic pain, there is consensus amongst doctors and researchers that the cannabinoid shows potential for treating inflammation and pain. As the world collectively dedicates a month towards raising pain awareness, there is a lot to get excited about with research showing that CBD may offer a safer, more natural path towards pain relief. In particular, it may help with arthritis, migraine and fibromyalgia-pain, without the negative short-term and long-term side effects.
As it stands today, the common reasons that people choose to consume hemp-derived CBD are health and wellness-related. Most are looking for alternatives to medication to improve their quality of life, manage health conditions, relieve pain and inflammation or to sleep better.
But is it a fad, or is it just the start of a long-term trend?
While the growth of the CBD industry is close to unprecedented, it’s important to discern whether there is a CBD bubble or if it’s a long-term player in the wellness industry.
The evidence, both scientific and market-related, show that CBD is here to stay. CBD offers real benefits for users, is completely safe and ongoing R&D and customer education is only likely to accelerate uptake among people in the UK.
In a world of consumers who are wanting to look and feel healthy and well, CBD alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter medication present a significant disruption to the wellness industry.
And how is CBD doing it?
1. CBD is Backed by Science
Unlike many wellness products, CBD is able to fall back on a body of research. Although many studies are still in their infancy, there are a number of trials that point towards the efficacy of CBD.
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system is made up of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body and is responsible for controlling a number of different functions such as mood, sleep, temperature, pain, memory, appetite and more.
Discovered in the early 1990s, the endocannabinoid system releases endocannabinoids (cannabinoids that occur naturally within the body) in response to health problems in order to restore homeostasis (or balance) even if external circumstances change. It’s also able to offer specific, localised support to address an imbalance without impacting other systems because the receptors are found throughout the body.
2. CBD is Becoming More Regulated
Worldwide, CBD has been subject to much regulatory scrutiny due largely to its association with marijuana and THC. However, legislation changes in countries such as the United States and Canada have helped to reduce the stigma of hemp-derived CBD.
In the UK, many CBD manufacturers are opting for self-regulation, choosing to focus on increasing education around CBD and promoting product lifecycle accountability and transparency. This shows that reputable suppliers are invested their clients as well as the long-term outlook of the industry.
And regulation is set to be written into law in the UK. All forms of CBD that are consumed will be classified as a novel food, which will require CBD manufacturers to apply for authorisation by January 2021, adding a new layer of protection for consumers buying CBD in the UK.
3. CBD has a Multi-Faceted Offering
Wellness isn’t just about taking vitamins and drinking eight glasses of water. The shift in general consciousness means that the concept of wellness is spilling over into all areas of life, presenting a range of new opportunities for CBD.
CBD is not restricted to tinctures, balms or capsules, as it transcends many of the usual limitations of ‘wellness’ products. CBD is being infused into a wide range of products from beverages and drinks, to beauty products.
You can order your morning coffee with a shot of CBD, buy CBD-infused water, even soft drinks and alcoholic drinks come with the option of CBD. This allows CBD to move beyond wellness stereotypes into social settings, adding a health and wellness element to almost any occasion.
CBD is being used in beauty and skincare products for it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidising and oil-balancing properties. In fact, CBD is being touted as the most disruptive force to rock the industry in the last 20 years, and the global market is expected to be worth over £700 million by 2024.
While hemp has been a staple in a cross-section of packaged foods such as plant-based milk, protein bars and hemp seed oil, it’s only recently that CBD-infused foods are becoming the norm. Euromonitor International expects CBD packaged food sales to double in the next two years as more people are exposed to and learn about CBD. CBD will soon start popping up in many different food categories such as sweet and savoury snacks, pasta, soups, and baked goods.
Consumer Health Products
CBD product ranges are rapidly expanding and are popping up in various health categories, including sleeping aids, topical analgesics and dietary supplements. Its popularity is driven to a large extent by a desire to find natural alternatives to medication for treating pain, stress and sleep disorders.
4. CBD Products are Flexible Enough to Meet Customers’ Needs
Products orientated towards health and wellness are growing, and consumers are comfortable with the cross-over from more traditional wellness over-the-counter products to CBD-infused products in almost every category.
New innovations in the delivery mechanisms for CBD products and a wider range of products mean that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of CBD, and are more likely to be exposed to it. For example, if you tend to stay away from health stores, but can’t resist bath products like soaps, soaks and bombs, you’re still likely to come across CBD in the form of a CBD-infused bath product.
CBD, through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system, also offers a range of benefits that are not limited to one single area. Because endocannabinoid receptors are supported by CBD and occur throughout the central and peripheral nervous system as well as the immune system, the cannabinoid is able to offer an extensive range of benefits. The endocannabinoid system is unique as it doesn’t focus on specific functions (such as digestion) but rather works to maintain balance between the systems in the body so that they can function optimally.
5. CBD Supports Self-Care
Another of the biggest trends in health and wellness is self-care. Consumers are taking a more holistic, long-term approach to their wellbeing. For women, in particular, there is more openness around mental health, and self-care has become the norm. There is the recognition that health and happiness are interrelated, and many will actively seek out products that promote both. It is therefore not surprising that there are many CBD products targeted towards women from skincare and bath products to tampons and breath mints. From home use to medi-spas and celebrity endorsements, CBD isn’t being used just for health but also for beauty and wellness.
If self-care is focused on mental and physical health, then CBD is the perfect support. It helps to reduce anxiety, manage depression and improve sleep quality for mental wellbeing, as well as being helpful for a range of physical health conditions such as inflammation and joint pain. In addition, it also builds towards long-term health, offering neuroprotective and heart health properties and protection against diabetes.
6. CBD Taps Natural Wellness Trends
Consumers are increasingly savvy and well-informed and, with technology, today have unprecedented access to knowledge. More people are seeking out natural alternatives to support their wellness, as well as offer relief for health conditions and many are doing their research online.
Education (and re-education) around CBD and its benefits is therefore important as consumers, armed with knowledge, are able to make informed decisions and take charge of their own health and wellness. Iterative studies show that already, within a few short years, CBD is no longer automatically associated with marijuana and ‘getting high’. And if this trend of education and natural wellness continues, then it’s likely that we’ll see a greater uptake of CBD by consumers, and more CBD products across a greater number of categories.
CBD is taking the wellness industry by storm, and there are no signs of it letting up anytime soon. CBD-infused products are set to infiltrate all aspects of life from consuming a CBD beverage in place of a coffee, using CBD toiletries in your morning shower, consuming a CBD-infused sports supplement before a workout, and rounding off the day with CBD drops as a sleeping aid before bed. As the body of research for the cannabinoid continues to reveal new benefits, and education reshapes thinking around CBD, the cannabinoid looks set to continue its steep upward trajectory.