As popular as it is today, CBD is still a relatively new concept to the UK, and one that comes with plenty of confusion and speculation. It’s easy to get the wrong idea about the compound, which is favoured for its numerous health and wellbeing benefits. If you’re confused about what CBD is, how it differs from THC, and most importantly, whether it’s legal or not, read on below.
What is CBD?
Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is a phytocannabinoid that is used as a natural remedy for many common ailments, including stress and anxiety, depression, arthritis, epilepsy, insomnia, and even cancer. It works by reacting to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body, working to cause beneficial effects in the organs, nervous system, bones and skin.
THC and CBD- what’s the difference?
Interestingly, CBD was considered a controversial substance when it first came out, namely because very few people were aware of what it actually was. Since then, awareness of the benefits of CBD has spread across the country, and the CBD market is now booming, showing no signs of slowing down in the near future.
Many people are confused about the legality of CBD because it comes from cannabis, the same plant that also produces THC- the high-inducing compound that is illegal in the UK. It is important to understand that CBD and THC are two entirely separate things. CBD will not produce a high, but can still offer the calming, stress-relieving effects of THC.
Is CBD legal in the UK?
The good news is that CBD is considered a legal cannabinoid in the UK, which allows it to be purchased and used freely, as long as it is classed as a “food supplement”, and not a “medication”. There has been dispute over whether CBD sellers need to licence their products, but as of yet, products can still be sold providing they are not purposefully advertised as medically beneficial.
A ruling by the Home Secretary in July 2018 announced that specialist doctors can now prescribe medical cannabis. However, as of yet, cannabis-derived medicinal products are very limited, and difficult to come by. Unless you are suffering from a rare form of epilepsy, or sickness from chemotherapy treatment for cancer, it is unlikely that you will be offered the compound by a medical professional.
What about in other countries?
Looking more widely around the world, it is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to which countries do and which don’t consider CBD to be legal, and under what grounds. In some states in America, for example, both CBD and THC are legal, whereas in others, the laws are significantly stricter. In Europe, again, laws for marijuana use differ from country to country, but in general, CBD products are legal, providing they don’t contain more than 0.2% of THC mentioned CBD Resource.
If you are traveling to another country, it may be worth considering contacting your travel representative to check for any restrictions you may face in your destination country, if you plan to take CBD with you.