Have you tried CBD? You’ve probably heard of it – the new, legal form of cannabis has become big business in the UK. Sold as an alternative, natural therapy for all kinds of pain, I wanted to find out if it works, and how to best use it as a woman.
My first proper introduction to CBD came at an event with OHNE (pronounced “on”), an organic tampon brand working to empower women. Their anti-teardrops oil contains 1% CBD oil, and was created to be applied to the skin – similar to a body oil, but with a pain-relief edge.
Having tried it out over the period of my last cycle, I can happily report that the oil does make my cramps chill out. Whether it’s the action of warming the oil between my hands, massaging my stomach, or the oil itself, all I can say is that it’s my new go-to when I’m on.
So, What Is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s the non-psychoactive part of cannabis, meaning it doesn’t affect the mind, but it does affect the body.
CBD oil is the most common form of product. It’s made from strains of the cannabis plant that are low in psychoactive properties. It is rigorously tested before being allowed onto the UK market, and it was made legal in the UK on November 1st 2018.
You may see CBD oil described as full-spectrum, too. Full-spectrum oil includes a range of cannabinoids, which supposedly provides a greater effect than isolated CBD. Full spectrum also contains a mix of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, but as it’s consumed in a minuscule amount, the benefit of these is low.
What Does CBD Do?
Cannabidiol was discovered by scientists in 1940, with its medical properties being formally recognised in the 1960’s. It has been tested in clinical trials for anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain.
Personally, I use CBD oil as a form of natural pain relief. It’s my first choice when I get a headache or menstrual cramps. I either us my 1% oil across my skin, or a stronger oil that I can orally ingest. CBD oil works by being absorbed into the bloodstream, so it can be inhaled, smoked, vaped, sprayed, ingested, or absorbed by the skin.
When I use an ingestible oil, I leave it under my tongue for 30-60 seconds before swallowing and feeling its effects.
What Are The Benefits Of CBD?
CBD oil is a natural oil, made purely from cannabis plants. It’s best to think of it like an essential oil. The pure oil has an overwhelmingly earthy scent, and needs diluting with carrier oils for the best scent, taste, and effect.
There are no reported side effects of CBD oil use. Because the oil is newly legal in the UK, you may be worried that there could be new side effects we don’t know about. Rest assured, it has been approved by both the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for medical use, and the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) for use in food products too.
What’s The Difference Between CBD Oil And Hemp Oil?
Both CBD and hemp are legal bi-products of the cannabis plant. However, unlike CBD, hemp it has no medical or psychoactive properties at all.
Hemp oil can be used as a cooking oil, or as a carrier oil. It too, has a strong earthy scent.
When I visited Hempstory during my trip to Amsterdam in 2016, I covered the benefits of hemp – it’s one of the world’s fastest growing plants, and can be used as a fabric, in food, as a bioplastic, and even as a source of complete protein. It’s worth noting that hemp oil retails around £3 for a litre, so it’s a lot like cooking oil, but prices are sneaking up as its sister product’s popularity grows.
Which CBD Product Is Best?
Asking which CBD product is best is a bit like asking, which over-the-counter pain relief pill works best. Some people swear by paracetamol, others choose ibuprofen, some like herbal remedies.
If you’re looking to try CBD oil, it may be worth speaking with a medical practitioner first, especially if you are using it for a certain ailment, or take other medications. This is especially true if you are looking to use it as pain-relief for diagnosed illnesses or diseases. Do not swap out prescribed medication without consulting your doctor.
Right now, the market is flooded with a mix of CBD products – some are measured with a percentage, others with milligrams, making them hard to compare. To cut through it all, my best recommendation is to check how much hemp oil has also been mixed with the CBD oil, as the majority of oils on the market are diluted with hemp oil (and hemp has no healing properties at all).
Also, try to find a full-spectrum blend. This is the highest quality product, and it’s worth the extra investment.
5 Of The Best CBD Oil Brands In UK
In my simple guide to CBD oil, I shared my favourite brand of – Evopure – as they not only adhere to ethical production and organic growing, but their oils are relatively well priced, and feel good when used.
However, I’ve tried a good few CBD oils in the last few years (having first written this guide in 2019, and now editing in 2021!). Here are my best brand recommendations for CBD oil:
Evopure: Ethically produced, EU-grown oil. Get 15% off with the code: conscious15
Good Hemp*: Organically grown oils with varying strengths and flavours such as citrus and peppermint.
KIKI Health*: My favourite supplement brand KIKI launched a CBD line which tallies with all my recommendations, and is clear on mg and %.
Kloris CBD*: Winners of the Sustainable Lifestyle Awards 2019, Kloris CBD combines ethical production with wellness benefits.
OTO: The best tasting CBD oil goes to OTO, who flavour their oils with lavender and field mint. A perfect bedtime oil, made in the UK!
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