Is CBD Legal in the UK?

With CBD appearing in everything from coffee to moisturisers, the popularity of this natural compound is skyrocketing. But many people are still unsure about what it is, how it works and whether or not it’s safe.

Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring chemical that has an impact on receptors throughout the body, including the brain. It interacts with neurotransmitters that influence the release of other chemicals, helping to regulate things like appetite, sleep and pain. It’s also said to have anti-depressant properties, and is being used by some to help treat anxiety disorders. In addition, it has antioxidant properties and may be able to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

However, there are many different CBD products available on the market and they can differ greatly in their quality. A recent report by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis found that over half of the CBD products available on the high street contained less than a quarter of the CBD they claimed to have. It’s important to choose a reputable brand of product and follow the dosage guidelines, as taking too much can lead to toxicity.

There are two main ways to get medical cannabis in the UK. One is through a prescription from a doctor, and this can be for a wide variety of conditions. The other is to take a pharmaceutical version of cannabis, which has been approved by the NHS in England. These medicines include Epidyolex, which is prescribed to children with severe seizures caused by epilepsy, and Sativex, which is licensed for adults to ease the muscle stiffness (known as spasticity) associated with multiple sclerosis.

In November 2018, the government changed the law and made it easier for doctors to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products. This change was in response to concerns that the NHS was failing to meet its responsibility to patients with serious and debilitating diseases. However, it has not yet become widely available through the NHS.

CBD is one of more than 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids have a wide range of health benefits and are found in both hemp and marijuana. The difference between the two is that hemp has a very low level of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana its ‘high’. CBD does not contain THC and therefore is legal to buy and sell in the UK.

The majority of CBD users consume it for wellness purposes and as a natural remedy, rather than to relieve specific symptoms. However, a survey by Hill Dickinson revealed that almost half of those surveyed were unaware that cannabis is legal to possess and use in the UK if prescribed by a doctor.

The legality of CBD is evolving and changing as more research is conducted. The NHS is currently evaluating the effectiveness of cannabis-based medicines for some conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and MS. These medicines are being developed as a new treatment option, and can be prescribed by a specialist for those who have tried other treatments without benefit. UK CBD