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CBD 101- Everything you need to know

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over a hundred naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

It is defined as a Phyto-cannabinoid and it’s the second most common cannabinoid after THC.

It is classed as psychoactive, however it produces no intoxicating effects like THC.

When cannabis plants begin to flower, they produce cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) in resinous glands called trichomes on the plants’ flowers and leaves.

If the raw plant material is exposed to enough heat and light, the CBDa is converted in to CBD. This activation process is known as decarboxylation.

CBD is often extracted from low THC cannabis plants (hemp) to be used in food supplements, e-liquids and cosmetics.

Common products containing CBD include:

  • oil/drops
  • capsules
  • water-soluble liquid
  • e-liquids
  • tea
  • gummies
  • chewing gum
  • balms, creams and lotions

You can now find CBD products throughout the UK in supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations and online stores. 

In 2018, the World Health Organization produced a report that stated, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential”.

They also concluded that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” CBD is showing promising health benefits with minimal side effects.

Is CBD Legal in the UK?

Yes, CBD is legal in the UK, but for a CBD product to be considered as a food supplement and comply with UK regulations, it must fulfil certain conditions:

  • Any container must have less than 1mg of any controlled substance, such as THC, THCV or CBN.
  • The product must not be designed to provide THC.
  • Any THC content must not be easy to extract.
  • It must not be labelled or advertised as having any specific medicinal benefits.

(Source: Drug licensing factsheet. Updated 17 June 2020)

At Bud & Tender, our oils meet all of these conditions.

To verify this for our customers and confirm the legal status, we engage a third-party ISO 17025 lab to analyse every batch of our oils.

You can find out more about our certified laboratory testing here.

The lab reports, known as COA’s (certificate of analysis) are easily accessible on the product page for each oil.

Warning: It’s never advisable to buy any CBD product that doesn’t come with a third-party lab certificate.

Further UK guidance

  • After the 31st March 2021, the UK Food Standards Agency requires all CBD food supplements sold in the UK to be licensed under EU Novel Food guidelines. This means that items that remain on sale must comply with all UK regulations and be approved for sale by the FSA.
  • The FSA recommends that healthy adults should not take more than 70mg CBD in one day. Also, it should not be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women or anyone taking medication unless under medical direction.

What are the benefits of CBD?

CBD is a beneficial food supplement because it interacts with your body via your endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is a collection of chemical messenger molecules (endocannabinoids), enzymes and receptors.

The receptors are found throughout your nervous system, cells and tissues.

When the endocannabinoids activate them, they can support many of your body’s biological systems to achieve their optimal balance and maintain your health.

There is much more to learn about how CBD works in our bodies, but some scientists believe that it blocks the enzymes found near endocannabinoid receptors.

These enzymes are generally responsible for breaking down your body’s endocannabinoids.

When CBD blocks these enzymes, endocannabinoids can build up in your body.

As a result, more signalling molecules are available to respond to your body systems’ needs and quickly restore a state of balance.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a food supplement made by suspending CBD-rich hemp extract in a carrier oil.

Common carrier oils include MCT oil, hemp seed oil or olive oil.

In this form, CBD is easy to consume and can be eaten or placed under your tongue.

A solvent is used to extract CBD from the flowers and leaves of low-THC cannabis plants (hemp).

The CBD is then mixed with the carrier oil to produce CBD oil.

When making premium oils, like ours, some manufacturers use precisely calibrated filtration techniques to remove any unnecessary plant particles such as chlorophyll and waxes.

This improves the flavour and means that the final product only contains desired and effective substances like cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.

Types of CBD Oil

Different manufacturers produce CBD oil in various ways. Methods and ingredients can vary from brand to brand. Some key changes include the hemp variety, the carrier oil and the method of hemp extraction.

However, the most common difference between oils is which cannabinoids are present in the extract:

CBD Isolate/No Spectrum – This only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids. It does not benefit from the entourage effect.

Narrow Spectrum – This has been overly refined and as such it only contains CBD and traces of one or two other cannabinoids.

Broad-Spectrum – Broad-spectrum products contain CBD alongside several other cannabinoids, terpenes and trace flavonoids but they’re free from THC.

Full-Spectrum – These products contain CBD and all the other cannabinoids found in the hemp plants. Full-spectrum products will contain THC. As long as it’s less than the UK limit of 1mg per container, these products will be legal and won’t get you high, but you need to be careful if you get drug tested. 

Whole Plant – This extract contains a complete range of substances found in the hemp plant. It includes cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, plant nutrients and even particles of plant debris. These oils are usually dark in colour, relatively thick and have an intensely bitter flavour. More often that not the THC content makes them illegal in the UK. 

How to use CBD?

You can add a few drops of CBD oil to most food or drink.

Our oils’ floral flavour makes it particularly suited to mixing into smoothies, drinks, or even blending into salad dressings.

If you prefer, you can use the dropper to drip it onto your tongue and swallow it directly. When consumed in this way, only 4%-20% of the CBD will likely reach your bloodstream for use in your cells.

How to take CBD oil?

CBD oil is designed to be taken sublingually, with the drops being held under your tongue to absorb across the thin membranes and into your sublingual blood vessels.

This is a more effective method of taking CBD compared to eating it because about 35% of each measure can reach your blood for use in your body.

To do this, we recommend that you follow these steps:

1.     Take 0.25ml into the dropper.

2.     Squeeze the oil under your tongue.

3.     Hold the oil under your tongue for a minimum of 3 minutes.

To get the most out of your CBD oil, try and hold it under your tongue for at least 9 minutes. If 9 minutes is too long for you; hold for as long as you can and then use your tongue to spread the oil around your gums and cheeks for continued absorption.   

Best time to take CBD oil?

Current science agrees that your body’s endocannabinoid system functions as an on-demand system.

This means that it responds and produces endocannabinoids when needed. As such, the best time to take CBD is when you feel your body needs it.

When you are deficient in endocannabinoids, retro grade messaging will not be taking place in your body and your biology will be out of balance.

When your body’s biology is out of balance you won’t be feeling great and this signifies the best time to take CBD oil.

Taking CBD oil will enable you to top up with plant cannabinoids which in turn helps get your endocannabinoid messaging system working again.

Some people have chronically deficient endocannabinoid systems and as such they may need to take CBD oil continuously throughout the day.

You must learn to listen to your body and how it responds to CBD oil; only then can you understand how much and how often you need to supplement.

How much CBD to take?

How much CBD someone needs to take will be determined by the tone of their endocannabinoid system.

Endocannabinoid Tone

A very low endocannabinoid tone would denote that a person’s endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes were functioning poorly and as such they would require a larger dose than someone that has only a slightly low endocannabinoid tone.

Genes, diet, body weight and exercise will all affect they state of your body’s endocannabinoid tone. Thus, in general the healthier you are, the less CBD you should need to take.

However external factors will also play an important role is determining how much CBD someone needs.

For example, if we take an athlete that is fit and healthy but has stressed their body almost to exhaustion. They could possibly benefit from a higher dose because they have maxed out their endocannabinoid and nervous systems through over exertion.

There is not a one size fits all, you must learn to listen to your body to see how it responds to a given dose of CBD. From there you can begin to adjust your dose to suit your personal endocannabinoid tone.        

What does CBD Oil taste like?

The flavour of CBD oil varies from brand to brand. This is because manufacturers use different types of hemp and produce their oils in various ways.

Oils made with whole-plant extract often contain excess plant material and have an intense bitterness. They can also feel sharp on your throat when you swallow them.

Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate oils are usually milder in flavour because they contain less plant debris. They’ll likely taste fresher with a hint of grass and nuts.

At Bud & Tender we filter our oil to remove the bitterness and give it a crystal clear appearance. This lets you appreciate the range of lighter floral flavours of the cannabis plant. These subtler notes come from natural substances called terpenes.

Different hemp plants have their own unique blend of terpenes, allowing for a broad range of potential natural flavours. Some terpenes give the oil a citrus-like aroma, and others give it a herbal hint.

Flavoured oils usually use a form of artificial flavouring that is non native to the cannabis plant to try and mask the taste.

What does CBD feel like?

How CBD affects you depends on several factors, including your health, your body mass and your internal body chemistry.

This means that although many people experience broadly similar results, it affects everyone slightly differently. The same is true of how it feels. Some people report not feeling anything; others say it’s similar to the relaxation you feel after a good massage, and some report that it makes them feel focused and energised.

CBD can be both stimulating and sedating depending on the person, the state of their endocannabinoid system and the size of dose they take.

We asked Bud & Tender ambassador Kristian Morgan, the legendary ultra runner, how CBD makes him feel?

"Along with the Indian flute music I listen too and breathing techniques, it helps calm me and make me feel at peace with the world."

How is CBD Oil made?

Cannabinoid-rich hemp flower and leaves are harvested and dried. The dry plant material is then finely milled and heated to convert the CBD-A into its active form CBD.

A solvent is used to extract the CBD from the raw hemp grounds:

Ethanol extraction – The plant material is soaked in ethanol until most of the cannabinoids have been dissolved into the liquid. The ethanol is drained off, collected and allowed to evaporate, leaving behind CBD and other cannabinoids.

Supercritical CO2  extraction – The ground hemp is placed in an extraction vessel. The CO2 is then heated and pressurised above its critical state. When it becomes supercritical, the CO2 behaves like a liquid and flows into the vessel to dissolve specific cannabinoids.

This is considered an exceptionally safe method because there’s no risk of any residual solvent remaining in the CBD. After this, the hemp extract can be mixed into a carrier oil and prepared for lab testing and quality checks.

Additional methods of extraction include cold pressing, mechanical separation or the use of hydrocarbons like butane. All extraction methods have pros and cons. Further processing can be utilised to improve the quality of the oil, including but no limited to carbon scrubbing, winterization, distillation and inline filtration.

What is the Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil?

CBD oil comes from the flowers of the hemp plant whereas hemp oil comes from pressed hemp seeds.

CBD is a cannabinoid found in the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. It’s extracted from hemp flower and then added to other ingredients to make products such as oil, capsules and balms.

Hemp oil refers to hemp seed oil made by pressing the hemp plant’s seeds and collecting the oil. Because it comes from the seeds and not the flowers, it doesn’t contain CBD or any other cannabinoids.

Hemp seed oil is much cheaper to make and more affordable to buy. But, it’s valuable in its own right because it’s packed with beneficial fatty acids. Sometimes CBD oils use hemp seed oil as a carrier oil.

What are the Benefits of CBD Oil?

CBD oil is the most popular form of CBD product because it offers so many benefits:

It’s versatile - CBD oil can be used in many different ways; it can be eaten, placed under your tongue, added to food and drink or even mixed into cosmetics and skincare products.

It’s convenient - Bottles of CBD oil are small and easy to carry. You can take one with you and take a few drops whenever you like. Other than the oil itself, you don’t need any special equipment to use it.

Different flavours - CBD oil comes in a variety of flavours; you can get strong natural ones that are very bitter and others that are mild and floral. Some have additives that make them taste fruity or like peppermint.

A range of strengths - CBD oil comes in many different strengths; whatever concentration you need, you’ll likely find one that suits you.

Easy to absorb under your tongue - Holding CBD oil under your tongue is one of the most efficient ways to take it, with about 36% likely to reach your bloodstream.

Where to Buy CBD Oil?

CBD oil is available online, in high street stores, in pharmacies and even via social media. Although the industry is slowly becoming more regulated, many companies are still trying to make a quick buck by taking shortcuts and selling inferior products. To choose the right place to buy CBD oil and ensure that you get authentic, effective products, follow these steps:

1. Look for brands that are well known or have good reputations. By visiting independent review sites, like Trustpilot, you can get an insight into what they’re like before making a purchase.

2. Look for companies that are members of industry organisations. Industry bodies like the British Hemp Alliance only accept members who are compliant with UK regulations.

3. Choose products with clear, informative labels. The label should tell you what the ingredients are and how much CBD it contains.

4. Find out how the CBD was extracted. Some extraction methods are safer than others. Supercritical CO2 extraction is considered the best in the industry because it doesn’t leave any residual solvents behind in the CBD.

5. Check the third-party lab results. These are the reports from tests conducted to check if the product lives up to the packaging’s claims. They will tell you what cannabinoids a product contains and how much.

Some labs even analyse terpenes and screen for contaminants. These documents should be easily accessible with the product or on a company’s website; if they’re not, you can contact the company and request them or move on to another retailer.

6. Check the THC content. In the UK, no product should contain more than 1mg of THC per container. The third-party lab results should show you how much THC has been detected.