CBD has been a very popular alternative medicine for many years. Some claim that it’s the miracle substance that saved them from anxiety, pain, or acne.
Others claim that it does nothing and it’s a good way to throw away your money. Either way, it’s making its way around the world as one of the most popular medical solutions of this age.
In the United States, CBD is the nation’s biggest buzz word. Every industry in medicine and alternative medicine is talking about the potentials that CBD offers for the everyday individual and their individualized health concerns.
But other countries are starting to embrace CBD oil as well, including the United Kingdom. CBD is available throughout the UK in physical dispensaries requiring a prescription. It’s also available from online CBD companies, like this brand that sells tinctures, creams, oils, and gummies, shipped to a consumer’s door.
The history of CBD oil in this region has been somewhat messy, but things are looking up as legislation becomes clearer and individuals are working to build up their CBD knowledge. If you’re interested in CBD and live in the United Kingdom, here are a few things you should know.
CBD Is Set to Be a £1 Billion Industry
Currently, CBD in the UK is worth about £300 million. Year over year, we’ve seen double digit growth in the market. A recent study on CBD oil in the UK showed that in just five years, we’ll see an industry worth £1 billion.
Currently about 6 million UK adults have admitted to consuming CBD in the past year alone, which is a little over 11 percent of the population. The most frequent users are seniors age 55 and older, and CBD tinctures or oils and capsules are the most popular products.
The growth potential of CBD is unparalleled, and much of it is thanks to new legislation in favor of using CBD for medicinal purposes.
CBD Is Legal for Medicinal Use in the UK
In 2016, the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) determined that CBD oil in the UK could be considered a medicinal ingredient as long as it was used for medicinal purposes. This changed a lot in the UK because it meant that CBD could be used in foods and products that were marketed as a medicine.
The decision to legalize CBD was largely pointed at the way that people were using CBD for years before it became legal. Individuals used it to treat a long list of ailments with rare side effects, so CBD was deemed a safe and helpful alternative form of medicine. Companies were using CBD for years as a “nutritional supplement,” but the change in laws made it so they didn’t have to hide any longer.
There was also overwhelming evidence that CBD could be used to treat epilepsy, particularly severe cases that involved hundreds of seizures per week. This led to a decision in 2018 to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis products, including marijuana and THC, to patients who desperately needed it.
This landmark decision has led many patients to enter the UK for treatment with cannabis products.
“There is now no denying the medicinal value of CBD…not even by the British government, which for years maintained that lie even as it rubber-stamped the cultivation and export of the world’s largest medicinal cannabis crop,” writes Mike Power in an article for The Guardian.
“But the landmark decision in November 2018 to allow UK doctors to prescribe cannabis under extremely limited circumstances, inspired by the cases of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley, whose epilepsy is improved immeasurably by medicinal cannabis products containing both THC and CBD, has left many in a limbo: knowing or believing that cannabis offers a cure, yet remaining unable to access it.”
Any CBD sold in the UK, however, must contain less than 0.2 percent THC. Otherwise, it’s deemed illegal as a class B drug. Possession of that drug can be punishable by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
CBD Products Are Still Being Sold All Over the UK
Even though CBD is only considered legal when used for medicinal purposes, it hasn’t stopped companies from making and selling the products. Health and wellness companies, skincare companies, restaurants, and others have been using CBD in their products for years without government regulators recognizing the product as CBD. They labeled it as a nutritional supplement to disguise its use.
The British government attempted to circumvent this problem by legalizing certain aspects of CBD and requiring prescriptions for certain products, but there are still many, many unregulated retail CBD products out there.
This means that consumers should use extra caution when purchasing health and wellness products. CBD is not harmful according to the studies we have, but you should be aware of what’s in the products you buy. Additionally, you should carefully watch out for THC content to avoid purchasing a product that’s high in THC and contains too little CBD to be helpful.
Where to Buy Safe and Legal CBD in the UK
Because CBD products are not created equally, it’s important to do ample research on products being sold in your area before making a purchase. The lack of regulation in the industry means that sometimes, CBD companies will add too little CBD or too much THC to a product.
Go with a reputable company that has great reviews and consistent customer satisfaction. You could also speak with your healthcare provider about the best brands to consider. Don’t be afraid to check out online dispensaries that offer quality products and good prices—just be sure to check the third-party lab reports that prove the CBD you’re ordering is accurately advertised.
Overall, the most important thing to understand is that CBD and THC are two entirely different components that shouldn’t be put into the same classification. CBD has different benefits and uses for consumers, and it may have incredible medicinal benefits. Separating CBD from THC is the best chance we have of overcoming damaging stigmas around CBD.