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CBD Oil: The ultimate UK cannabidiol guide for 2021

Armed with this knowledge, you will avoid sub-par products and have a much better CBD experience.

Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

There has been a lot of confusion over CBD oil. From its legality to its efficacy, there is a growing trend of misinformation and hyperbole being thrown around. This leads to conflicting views from the general public.

With the help of CBD knowledge base Hypothesis Journal, our goal today is to set the record straight on all things CBD oil. There are many advantages to using it that perhaps you are missing out on due to all of the misleading information you have absorbed.

Since laws vary wildly among different countries, we’ll be sticking specifically with the UK. The great thing about CBD oil in regards to the UK is that it is marketed as a food supplement. This makes it completely legal, as we’ll discuss in great detail momentarily.

Let’s first begin with a few tips that will help you identify quality CBD oil. Armed with this knowledge, you will avoid sub-par products and have a much better experience.

Investing in the Best CBD Oil

Image: Unsplash

We want to ensure that you buy only the best products. The following will provide you with invaluable information that relates to safe and effective CBD oil.

  • Clear Content & Volume

If you come across CBD oil products that don’t clearly state the actual CBD content, this should be an immediate red flag. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid anything suspect.

You should be able to readily see the milligrams of CBD, labeled as something like “250mg”, or “1000mg”. Not only that, but it’s important to know the size of the container.

This is typically near the bottom of the label, shown in milliliters. It will appear as “30ml”, for example. Knowing the exact content will allow you to take the proper dose of CBD.

  • CO2 Supercritical Extraction

Often considered the absolute best for extracting Cannabidiol, CO2 supercritical extraction serves to maintain cannabinoid’s full spectrum. Why is this important?

There are literally hundreds of compounds and cannabinoids in cannabis. These are things you want if you are to experience the best benefits from CBD. Substandard brands don’t always use the best methods of extraction, leaving you with an equally substandard product.

  • THC content

This one is most vital. As we’ll discuss in a moment, only so much THC content is allowable by law. Anything surpassing that limit is therefore illegal and has the potential to put you in harm’s way.

Always make doubly sure that the CBD oil you are thinking about buying contains the legal amount of THC in it.

  • Is it Organic?

To ensure that you’re investing in pure CBD, you should stick with certified organic products. Sadly, there are brands selling CBD that claim to be organic, but in reality, are not. These “organic” products usually consist of chemicals that aren’t good for your body.

So, how can you be sure that what you’re buying is truly organic? This can take some sleuthing on your end, but keep an eye out for lab-tested products. It’s also a good sign if they obtain their seeds from organic growers. As long as it says “Certified Organic”, you should be in good shape.

Anytime a product is certified, you can be sure that you aren’t ingesting harmful pesticides and fertilizers. This is often directly proven by the company in their ingredients.

And this brings us to another important point: any company worth their salt won’t be afraid to list what’s in their CBD oil. Respectable brands provide a complete breakdown of everything contained in their product.

  • Full-Spectrum Is Key

It’s important that your CBD oil is full-spectrum. This means that the product contains cannabinoids and terpene, making it pure and safe. Netherlands-based CBD oil company Nutra CBD has one of the best full-spectrum formulas we’ve seen in their “CBD olie”.

Whole-plant Sativa L CBD oil will yield the most benefits and contain the safest ingredients. Let’s take a look at a few that you want present in your oil.

  • Cannabigerol Acid (CBGa)
  • Cannabidiol Acid (CBDa)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Phytonutrients
  • Chlorophyll
  • Flavonoids
  • Terpenes
  • Lipids
  • Is it Tested?

One of the most popular types of CBD oil that is unfortunately inferior to pure CBD is that of the crystal isolate kind. This is a concentrated, man-made CBD oil that is missing many of the beneficial cannabinoids.

This is why it’s so crucial to verify where the manufacturer got their CBD and whether it’s been lab-tested. Whenever a product has been lab-tested, the company typically checks things like the potency and profile of terpene, existence of any heavy metals, contaminants, bacteria, pesticides, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

If a manufacturer cannot provide you with their testing protocol, you are better off avoiding that brand altogether. Let’s look at a quick run-down of what you should look for when shopping for CBD oil.

  • CO2 supercritical extraction
  • Labeled ingredients
  • Legal THC amount
  • Certified-organic
  • Full-spectrum
  • Lab-tested

Now let’s move on to the legalities of CBD in the UK. It’s important to know your legal rights and the laws that are in place regarding CBD.

What Is the Cannabis & Hemp Law in the UK?

We have been using hemp for thousands of years. At one time, cannabis was highly regarded for its medicinal effects. It was even a major dietary addition in the past. Hemp contains nutrients that are greatly beneficial to the body.

This versatile and effective plant is praised for its many uses and healing properties. Every part of it can be used for something, ranging from textiles to medicines.

Let’s first look at CBD in its entirety so you have a better understanding of it and know what to expect.

What is CBD (Cannabidiol)?

Cannabidiol, often shortened to the acronym CBD, is a cannabinoid found in cannabis. Whereas THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is inebriating, cannabidiol is not. Confused yet?

Basically, both THC (the ‘bad’ stuff) and CBD (the ‘good’ stuff) are found in cannabis. CBD itself contains such an incredibly small amount of THC. This is made to be even less when it’s put on the market in order to keep within the limits of the law (0.02%).

That is why its effects on the human body and mind aren’t readily noticeable, making it very effective in its use. You’re getting just the right balance of chemicals and compounds.

What’s the Difference Between Hemp & Cannabis?

Many people confuse cannabis with hemp, and vice-versa. Let’s define each so that we are clear on their properties.


This is what you typically hear when people are referring to products with high levels of THC, like marijuana. It mostly has to do with the recreational side of it.


Hemp is cannabis that contains THC that is less than or equal to 0.02%. Used not only for its medicinal properties, hemp is widely-credited for fibrous and supplemental nature.

Hemp Oil, CBD Oil, and Which One Is Right for You

Hemp oil, CBD oil; where does it end? Let’s break it down so you know which product is best suited to your needs.

Hemp Oil

This highly-versatile substance can be used for many purposes. From skincare to cooking to fuel, hemp oil is considered a jack-of-all-trades.


This is an extract that comes directly from the cannabis plant. Whereas hemp oil is used for cooking, CBD oil is full of cannabinoids and meant to be used as a food supplement.

Now comes the million-dollar question. The answer is a resounding “absolutely”. With that being said, there are some caveats in place.

As long as the CBD oil contains ~0.02% THC in its hemp, it meets the first qualification to be legal. The second one is that CBD oil cannot be marketed as a medicine. While it is common knowledge at this point that CBD is medicinally beneficial, it’s a big no-no for manufacturers to promote it as such.

Companies are quick to say that their CBD oil is intended as a food supplement. In the UK, medicinal products must carry a license for marketing authorization, unless it is exempt.

And this is where the rub comes in. Exempt products are able to be sold as food supplements, even though they may have medical properties. And for any product to be considered as exempt, it cannot contain more than 1mg of the controlled substance (in this case, THC).

If the product exceeds this amount, it can’t be sold in the UK and is therefore illegal. Furthermore, with CBD, it cannot be manufactured in a way that the average Joe could extract the THC.

Why does this matter? Imagine someone buying up a bunch of CBD just so they could extract the THC in large quantities. There is no doubt that at least someone would attempt it in order to get the intoxicating effects from the THC.

As long as the CBD oil follows these guidelines, it can legally be sold in the UK. Be sure to read CBD reviews before diving in.

What About Cannabis Oil in the UK?

For better or worse, at this juncture, cannabis oil remains illegal in the UK. As of November 2018, the UK government only allows cannabis oil to be used as a prescription medication.

This is an important development, as cannabis oil is shown to be effective in its ability to assist with lessening the effects of epilepsy. The downside to all of this is that it is rarely used due to its high cost.

The Benefits of CBD Oil

Cbd vape oil
Image: Healthline

As one of the most widely-used cannabinoids, CBD is well-known for its beneficial qualities. There are hundreds of natural chemicals that come with various effects on the human body and mind. People can react differently to these effects, so it’s best to test out CBD Oil in small doses initially to see if it delivers the benefits you’re hoping for.

So, how does CBD work in the body? CBD, and cannabinoids in general, work through our endocannabinoid system. Also known as ECS, this molecular network makes up our chemical receptors.

The Endocannabinoid System

These receptors are a part of our peripheral and central nervous system. In relation to our brain and spine, these receptors are known as CB1. Receptors in relation to the rest of our bodies are known as CB2.

Why are these of importance? Well, from what we have discovered, the receptors that are affected by CBD are the ones responsible for our feelings of well-being.

As such, many people take CBD oil in order to lift their moods and generally feel better overall. CBD oil has been shown to help with depression to some extent in certain people. By taking the substance, your receptors become “lit up”, helping to balance your mood and thinking.

The Role of the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system affects a variety of moods and processes. Let’s look at this versatile molecule and the role it plays in the human body.

  • Reproductive function
  • Immune function
  • Metabolism
  • Memory
  • Appetite
  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Pain

That’s a pretty impressive and widespread list of activities in the body. In relation to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD can affect your body in a variety of ways for the better. This in turn allows your endocannabinoid system to respond better so that you feel better.

While research on CBD is still somewhat limited, it’s encouraging to see that this research is ongoing and growing. And while these limitations are the reason behind CBD not being pushed as a medical cure-all, perhaps one day enough evidence will be validated so that CBD can widely be used as such.

Regardless of its selling position in society, we do know that CBD is not addictive, nor does it cause inebriation. These two qualities are huge, and play major roles in the use of CBD oil.

Since it is non-addictive, some drug addicts have used it to come off of hard drugs. There have been several success stories that tell of the effectiveness of CBD oil and its nearly-miraculous effects.

Oftentimes, other ‘drugs’ are used to get addicts off of drugs. This is where CBD oil’s benefits truly come to light. Since you can’t get addicted to it, CBD has been a blessing to many people who are struggling with the tight grip of addiction.

It’s important to note that these effects have not been validated or confirmed. But if you believe the stories of former addicts, CBD oil definitely has potential to change lives in more ways than one.

Hopefully one day these effects can be readily proven. Imagine the impact CBD oil could have on society as a whole. Lives could be changed forever – and for the better!

Does CBD Get You High?

This is another common misconception caused by a wealth of misinformation being spread around online and in some publications. No, CBD does not get you high. While it’s true that there are trace amounts of THC, there is simply not enough to cause intoxicating effects on the human body and mind.

At least not in the sense most people think about. Yes, your general sense of well-being can be improved. But you will never feel high or ‘stoned’. That being said, couldn’t someone just take a whole bunch of CBD oil to get high?

Thankfully, this is not possible, either. The only thing that would likely happen is that you would become sick as a dog. Those who have taken large amounts of CBD oil – especially on their first run – have gotten sick and vomited.

As nasty as that sounds, it is important for a few reasons. One, it ensures that CBD oil can’t be abused by those looking to get high. Two, it also ensures you can’t overdose on CBD, as you’re likely to simply expel what you have ingested.

Thirdly, this function of CBD oil ensures that it can be sold legally. Remember, for CBD to be legal, its THC can’t be extractable. And lastly, this is why everyone trying CBD should start out slowly and work their way up.

Your body has to get accustomed to its effects. Some CBD oil has differing effects depending on how much or how little you take.

Take Blessed CBD, for example. This CBD oil product is known for its pain-killing properties, and yet it also helps with sleeping and restless legs. Not only that, it’s also been shown to help considerably with joint pain. If you suffer from back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or other ailments, Blessed CBD might just change your life.

Best CBD Oil UK awards won by Blessed CBD:

Is CBD Oil Effective?

CBD oil is just like any food or vitamin. Everyone responds differently to it. This is because not everyone is going to have the chemical makeup. Things like age, weight, and diet play a big role in the outcome of CBD oil.

You always want to consider a few key factors before taking CBD oil. Let’s look at a few of them so you know how to gauge yourself.

  • Current medications
  • Environment
  • Metabolism
  • Lifestyle

If you currently exercise and have a well-balanced diet, CBD oil might affect you differently than someone who doesn’t. But that’s not all. You should also consider the type of CBD oil that you are ingesting.

Different CBD oil products can have varying effects, as well. Let’s take a look at just some of the different types that are currently available.

  • Candies
  • Vapes
  • Drops
  • Teas

And then there’s the quality of the CBD oil:

  • Certified-organic
  • Full-spectrum
  • All-natural
  • Synthetic

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into CBD oil and its end result on your body. As always, you want to start out slowly if taking CBD oil for the very first time. This will allow your body to get used to its effects.

After gradually increasing your dose, you will soon be able to play around with how much you take and when you take it. This will help to give you an idea of the benefits it may or may not have on your body.

By and large, however, CBD oil is praised for its mood-lifting qualities. Furthermore, it can help to greatly reduce pain and discomfort. Others use it to relax before bedtime in order to get a good night’s rest.

Using CBD Oil Safely

Now that we have discussed CBD oil’s properties and qualities in detail, let’s move on to the best way to take it. As we have already mentioned, CBD oil is safe to take, as it can’t get you high, and it can’t get you hooked.

This is great news, as it leaves plenty of room for testing and measuring. This will allow you to see what works for you and what doesn’t. With that said, there are some guidelines to which you should adhere if you want to get the best results and have the best experience with CBD oil.

So, let’s talk about these guidelines and how they can be a great way to gauge your use and the beneficial qualities of CBD oil.

Since CBD oil is considered a food supplement, you should not exceed 200mg per day. If you feel that you need more, it is recommended that you seek the counsel of a doctor. This will give you the best direction and ensure that you are properly supervised in your use of CBD oil.

It’s a good idea to begin with a base amount of 10mg. Take this twice a day for a week straight. Afterward, you may increase your daily dose to 20mg.

See how you feel after the second week. If the CBD oil has provided the effects that you wanted, simply maintain the current dose that you are on. If not, increase by 10 to 20mg each succeeding week.

When you have reached your goal and the CBD oil is working as you hoped, simply continue with the working dose. Just remember not to exceed 200mg per day.

Some people take CBD oil as much as four times a day. Others take it only once. Gain, everyone is different and responds to CBD differently. What works for one person may not work for you.

Different Types of CBD Oil

Pearlcbd product line
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Now let’s move on to the main types of CBD oil you will come across when shopping. There are even in total that can readily be bought in the UK. Again, it’s important to remember that each product can affect you differently.

Whereas one person might get the best results from CBD capsules or CBD gummies, you might benefit the most from drops. You might have to try a few different kinds before you land on the one that works the best for you and your body.

  • Oil Drops

Oil drops are the purest CBD you can get. It checks all the boxes by delivering a powerful and potent product. This whole-plant, organic, and full-spectrum extract delivers hundreds of beneficial compounds to your system, ensuring that you’re getting the best features that CBD oil has to offer.

How Long Does It Last?

When you choose to take CBD oil orally, the effect can take between 30 minutes to 2 hours to take place but can last up to 8 hours. This is why CBD drops are the most popular way to take cannabidiol: it is convenient and the effect is longer than other methods of intake.

Research points to long-chain triglyceride fats such as MCT and other active ingredients like turmeric increasing the absorption of CBD when taken orally. Taking CBD under the tongue also increases its bioavailability (by up to 36%).

Taking CBD Oil Sublingually

Many people take CBD oil sublingually (under your tongue). When administering it this way, you need to make sure that you buy the correct type.

The CBD oil will typically come in a small glass bottle. Under the lid is a dropper that makes it easy to draw up the desired dose. Some people take several drops at a time depending on their daily amount.

It’s important to note that CBD oil in this form doesn’t taste the greatest. It’s quite stout, in fact. So you may want to take it with meals to help mask the flavor and aftertaste.

Anytime you administer CBD oil sublingually, you should keep it under your tongue for one minute before drinking or swallowing. This will allow the CBD oil to properly absorb into your bloodstream, thereby yielding the best results.

  • Spray

This mist comes in a variety of flavors and is easy to maintain. Many beginners opt for this method of ingestion due to its ease-of-use and attractive taste. Not only that, but it smells great, too (CBD tends to smell rather “planty”).

  • Hemp Tea

The growing popularity of hemp tea had made it a big hit among the CBD community. It’s a relaxing and delightful way to ingest CBD, as its taste is easy to cover by the use of sweeteners and honey, among other things.

  • Topicals

As we have already mentioned, CBD oil can have an off-putting taste and aroma when taken in its raw form. As such, many people opt to apply it as a topical cream for easy administration into the body.

Your capillaries will absorb the CBD oil directly into your bloodstream, making it a quick and easy way to enjoy the benefits of CBD, without the funky taste.

Many people swear by this method, as it is thought to be more effective in boosting the properties of CBD. If you’re looking to get the most out of your CBD oil investment, you might want to consider buying it as a topical for best results.

  • Capsules

Perhaps the easiest method of ingestion that there is, capsules are highly sought after thanks to their quick and painless administration. Many beginners prefer this method, as well. You take the CBD oil just as you would a pill or daily vitamin.

Those who take lots of medications every day are likely to prefer the capsule, too. It’s easy to simply put it in our pillbox with the rest of your medications for easy dosing.

While this method is certainly easy, it does take a bit longer to feel the effects. Expect to wait an hour or two before you notice any difference. With that said, you don’t want to become impatient and dose too soon before you feel effects, as this can result in you becoming sick.

  • Vapes

By making use of vegetable glycerin, CBD oil can be used as a vape. You will obviously need an e-pen to make use of this method, but if you love to smoke, a CBD vape might be a great way to curb your addiction to nicotine.

Those looking for the fastest administration of CBD oil will likely choose vaping. Users can look forward to effects in as little as five minutes. The downside, however, is that the CBD’s effects don’t last as long as if you were to take it orally.

Capsules, for example, can last as long as eight hours. With vaping, you’re looking at around three hours of effectiveness.

  • Candies

One of the most enjoyable methods of administration is that of CBD candy. Many people dislike the natural taste of CBD oil. This is where CBD candies come into play.

As another one of the quickest and easiest ways to take CBD, candies are without a doubt the tastiest. With that said, it is vitally important that you keep them out of the reach of children if you have little ones in the house.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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