The Ultimate CBD Beginners guide

What is CBD?

CBD, which is short for Cannabidiol, is one of over 113 chemical compounds found in the hemp plant; however, unlike THC, it will not get you 'high.' It is what's known as a phytocannabinoid, meaning a plant-based cannabinoid.

Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, which interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating sleep, mood, and pain perception, among other things.

CBD helps our bodies produce more of our naturally occurring endocannabinoids, helping our ECS function at its optimum level.

What is CBD?

 

Is CBD safe?

According to a report from the World Health Organization, "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD." The FDA (Food and drug administration) also found CBD to be a safe supplement, allowing its sale in the UK and in other countries across the globe.

Is CBD Legal in the UK?

CBD or Cannabidiol is not a controlled substance because it does not contain more than the required 0.2% THC. This is also why CBD oil does not make you' high.' In July 2018, the BBC covered this exact article. 

What kind of CBD Should I Get?

The most commonly used form of CBD is CBD oil; however, it can also be taken in capsule form, topical creams, and there are a few more 'out there' methods of consuming CBD like CBD toothpicks, CBD infused pillowcases and more.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD Oils are generally considered as being the most effective way to consume CBD because they have a higher bioavailability (the amount absorbed into the bloodstream) than other types of CBD products. By taking CBD, sublingually (dropping it under the tongue), we consume more of it, meaning we should see more of a noticeable impact.

CBD capsules are also a great way to take CBD if you want a taste-free solution. They release CBD into the bloodstream more gradually throughout the day, which should provide long-lasting effects.

Which CBD Oil is Best?

There are currently three different types of CBD Oil available to buy in the UK. The three kinds of CBD Oil are:

Full Spectrum CBD Oil - This type of CBD Oil contains all of the other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant while staying below the legal THC limit (0.2%) by having the other cannabinoids it creates a synergistic effect known as the entourage effect that helps make the oil more effective.

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil - Contains all the other cannabinoids but even less or No THC.

Isolate CBD Oil - This will only contain the CBD cannabinoid and may not be as effective.

The most commonly purchased Oils are Full-spectrum Oils and Broad Spectrum Oils, which is likely due to the fact they have more of an effect on the ECS than an Isolate Oil.

How to Take CBD?

An excellent place to start is either with a 5% CBD oil, and you can experiment with your dosage to find out what works for you, or you can buy a CBD starter pack that allows you to try three different strengths and see what works for you. 

CBD Oil is ingested sublingual, i.e., dropped under the tongue and left for between 30-60 seconds to enable its absorption to be much more efficient. This method allows you to notice faster results and to absorb more of the CBD cannabinoid into your system in comparison with edibles and other methods.

Tips for Choosing the Right CBD Oil

So, you've decided to try CBD oil but aren't sure how to start choosing the right oil for you. There are a few considerations to take into account, such as what strength you want, where to buy it from, and what flavor you might like best. 

We have a free CBD oil starter pack available for you to try three different strength oils to find what works best for you, which you can order online for free now. 

We've also put together our top 5 tips to choosing the right CBD oil for you!

Choose a company that provides lab reports from third-parties.

The more reputable CBD oil providers will always provide lab reports that show the CBD content but importantly also the THC content of their oils too. These reports should always be third-party tested so that you know you can trust the quality of the oil and the company.

This step is vital, as the CBD industry is still poorly regulated; however, the FSA is now clamping down on companies selling untested oils.

Choose an accredited company.

A governing body, for example, the Cannabis Trades Association, will accredit the reputable CBD companies. To tell if a company is certified, you can either go directly to the website of the governing body, or the company will likely display the logo on their website.

Choose a CBD oil that was extracted using supercritical C02 extraction.

The best CBD oils will have been extracted using supercritical Co2 extraction as no harmful chemicals are used. This leads to cleaner oil, but also means you receive more of the healthy components of the oil.  There are no unwanted toxic chemicals that can negatively impact your health.

Choose a full-spectrum oil over an isolated oil.

Full-spectrum CBD oil simply means that the oil still contains flavonoids, essential oils, and the other cannabinoids from the plant. It is said that they all work together in the body to maximise the beneficial effects of CBD, whereas an isolate will only contain the CBD cannabinoid and may not be as effective.

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

The Endocannabinoid System is a cell signaling system that has been around for roughly 500 million years and is present in every vertebrate (animals with spines) today. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating a large number of functions and processes in the body that include:

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Memory
  • Reproduction and fertility

It was named the Endocannabinoid System due to the fact it was discovered while investigating the effects of cannabis.

 

What Does the Endocannabinoid System Do?

The primary role of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis; this simply means to maintain a balanced internal environment of the body. The main functions influenced by the ECS are mood, sleep, and pain perception, although it also plays a role in immunity, reproductive health, and appetite, amongst other things.

The ECS is also involved in brain development when we are young, playing a pivotal role in synaptogenesis (creation of new synapses) and synaptic pruning (removal of redundant synapses).

The ECS also plays a  significant role in memory formation. In the Hippocampus, there is a large volume of Endocannabinoids as well as receptors. The Endocannabinoids can also help to prevent the formation of traumatic memories, which may explain why it has shown some positive outcomes in helping to treat PTSD.

 

What is the Endocannabinoid System Made Off?

The ECS is made up of three parts:

  • Receptors
  • Enzymes
  • Endocannabinoids

The Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring molecules produced in our bodies, which are similar to cannabinoids (found in the plant). There are two key endocannabinoids;

  • Anandamide
  • 2 arachidonolygerol (2AG)

 These help to keep functions running smoothly and your body produces them when needed.

The Receptors are spread throughout the body, and there are two kinds; 

  • CB1 – This receptor is predominantly found in the Central Nervous System
  • CB2 – This receptor is predominantly found in the Peripheral Nervous System (especially the immune system)

The location of the receptors in the body will dictate the outcome that occurs when endocannabinoids bind with them. For example, CB1 receptors in your spinal nerve may relieve pain, whereas CB2 receptors in the immune system may work to tell the body it is producing inflammation.

There are two main enzymes;

  • Fatty acid amide hydrolase (responsible for the breakdown of Anandamide)
  • Monoacylglycerol acid lipase (breaks down 2AG)

How does the Endocannabinoid System Work?

We produce endocannabinoids in response to different environmental stimuli. For example, if we are hungry, our body increases the production of endocannabinoids in the hypothalamus.

If we are experiencing pain, the ECS increases endocannabinoid production in the area of the body that pain is coming from.

The ECS is always looking to maintain balance. It is also very smart, meaning it can change the way it works in certain situations.

For example, if we are stressed, we produce more endocannabinoids. When we feel better, we provide less; however, if we are going through continuous periods of stress, the amount of endocannabinoid production remains high even during the periods of no stress.

 

What does THC do to the Endocannabinoid System?

When it comes to THC, the best way to describe it is that THC works as an alternate' key' in the 'lock and key' model. i.e., THC can bind to the same receptors as the ones our naturally produced endocannabinoids do.

The THC will then either mimic or disrupt the ECS and activate multiple things at once. It can relieve stress, make you sleepy, affect your motivation, and influence your appetite and happiness - aka make you feel 'high.'

However, the ECS is designed not to be over-activated. It will downregulate if it is being used too much, which may lead to people taking more and more THC and developing a dependence.

What does CBD do to the Endocannabinoid System?

It is not yet 100% clear how CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System. Still, many scientists believe it either binds to receptors that have not yet been discovered, or it prevents the breakdown of endocannabinoids by inhibiting enzymes involved in the process. 

CBD is believed to impact specific serotonin receptors in the brain, as-well-as impacting our inflammatory response in the body. More research in this field is required to understand how CBD affects the endocannabinoid system, though fully.  

How to take CBD oil 

You may have heard from friends about CBD oil, how it may have benefited them in some way or another for different reasons, and thought how does one product help with so many various issues?

How to Take CBD Oil

CBD oil is taken sublingually, meaning it's dropped under the tongue. CBD oil users should put a few drops under their tongues and wait for 30-60 seconds before swallowing.

By dropping it under the tongue, it allows you to absorb more of the CBD into your bloodstream because there is a high concentration of capillaries under the tongue.

How Long Does it Take CBD to Work?

On top of that, you'll also see the results fastest. Sublingual application of CBD will usually produce results within 1 hour.

This is why you may hear people saying CBD oil has a higher bioavailability than other forms of CBD. They are saying that CBD oil will be more effective than things like CBD edibles or drinks.

Which Type Of CBD Oil Should I Use?

We always recommend going for a full spectrum or Broad spectrum CBD oil, as you are more likely to notice the benefits of CBD. Full-spectrum and Broad-spectrum CBD oils are entirely safe and Legal. To check the THC content of your CBD oils, you can always look at the Lab reports from third-party companies.

What strength CBD Oil Should I Use?

Everyone is different when it comes to CBD. The best advice is to always start with low strength oil, such as a 5% CBD Oil, and gradually increase the amount you take if you need to. Then you can try increasing the strength by going up to 10% or 20% CBD oil if you need to.

Certain factors affect how we interact with CBD, also like body weight and individual brain chemistry. Eating a balanced diet may help make your CBD experience more productive.

It's down to you to find the perfect dosage for you, so some trial and error may be involved, but once you know, then that's it; you're ready to go.

How Long Does it Take for CBD to Work?

Cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD, is one of the components found in the cannabis plant *cannabis Sativa. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the component of cannabis that is psychoactive, but CBD is non-psychoactive, making it an appealing option for individuals looking to treat specific ailments.

How Long Will it Take to Notice the Effect of CBD Oil?

This depends on several important factors, which you can break down into two categories: The individual taking it and the product you are taking.

Individual Factors

1. Body Weight

Individuals with a higher body fat content will be slower to notice results. CBD gets stored in the fat cells and is released very slowly into the bloodstream

2. Brain chemistry

Every individual will react slightly differently to CBD due to their brain chemistry.

3. Metabolism

The metabolic rate of every individual determines how long CBD stays in the system and how long it takes to break down and synthesise compounds and, therefore, the length of time to metabolise the cannabinoid. 

4. Frequency of use

It's recommended to take CBD oil twice per day; the benefit being that it means there will always be CBD in your system. CBD oil users regularly report that they get the best results when they take CBD oil regularly. So it's best to look at it as part of a supplement routine. In the same way, you may use a multivitamin every morning; you should take CBD as part of a routine.

5. The dosage

Finding an ideal dosage will impact how long CBD stays in your system. Hemp-derived CBD products will not give the user the feeling of being stoned because it is non-psychoactive.

It's recommended to start on a lower dosage and work your way up; however, you can also buy a CBD starter pack to help you work out your required dosage. A higher dosage may not necessarily affect you quicker but maybe more noticeable.

Product Factors

1. What form it comes in

CBD can be consumed through edibles, vapes, gummies, and Oils with more CBD products being developed every day.  A different form of CBD has different absorption rates and will, therefore, have more effect than others.  Unlike THC edibles, CBD in edible form does not appear to be as effective.

Vapes are an extremely effective way of getting CBD into your system, with the Bioavailability of this method being estimated at 40%, which is very high. There have been a few issues with CBD vapes in the past, however, especially in the USA, where there were some cases of people becoming ill.

This was, however, the by-product of selling untested and cheaply made oil that had been mixed with the wrong carrier oils. 

CBD oil is one of the most effective ways to take CBD with a maximum estimated bioavailability of roughly 35%.

2. Quality of the Oil

Buying high-quality oil does make a huge difference. The high-quality oils will have been extracted in a way that does not harm the cannabinoids in the oil, for example, supercritical C02 extraction. Low-quality oils may have been derived from plants that are harvested in contaminated soils and also by using chemicals.

Full-spectrum CBD oils (containing cannabinoids, flavonoids and essential oils) are better for the effects of the oils too. Working together, they can help to create the entourage effect, as opposed to an isolate, which is just CBD.

3. The method of ingestion

The keyword when it comes to CBD is Bioavailability, which simply refers to how much of the actual CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Typically, if it is ingested orally, the Bioavailability will be between 4 – 20%. However, if the oil is dropped under the tongue (sublingual), Bioavailability is between 12-35%.

How Long Before the CBD Works?

The sublingual application will be one of the quickest ways to notice the benefits. There are many capillaries under the tongue where the CBD can be absorbed into the bloodstream. The faster the CBD gets into the bloodstream, the quicker you notice the effects. Many reports state that benefits are seen within 1 hour, but others say this will only occur after a couple of days of taking it.

What Does CBD Oil Taste Like?

When it comes to CBD oil, the taste can occasionally be an issue for some. The natural flavour of CBD oil has been described by some users as boggy or bitter and can make taking it a bit of an unpleasant experience for a few people.

The Best solution, if you do not like the taste, is to purchase a flavoured CBD OIl, and another factor affecting the taste is the carrier oil, many consumers like to choose either olive oil, hemp oil or MCT Oil as their carrier oil of choice. Others simply buy CBD capsules as an alternative in some cases. However, oils are one of the most effective ways to take CBD, so it will be a comfort for many to know that there are ways of finding excellent tasting CBD oil. 

So What Does CBD Oil Taste Like?

The flavour of the CBD oil will depend on what kind of extract you buy and how it has been processed. One oil can taste very different from another, with some being smoother and more palatable than others. It depends on the process. 

There are a few things that affect the taste of CBD oil. For example, the concentration of CBD; the more potent the CBD concentration, the stronger the flavour. More people tend to dislike the taste when they take more robust oil. 

Another factor in taste is the carrier oil, i.e., the oil that the CBD is mixed with. The most natural carrier oils are Olive oil, Hemp oil, and MCT oil (an extract of coconut oil).  In terms of taste, it's up to the consumers as to which is preferable, and there may be a need for some trial and error.

If the CBD oil is Full Spectrum or an Isolate, this can also affect the taste. If you are buying Full Spectrum Oil, which is believed to be the best CBD oil for delivering the benefits of CBD, it is crucial to make sure you buy a high-quality oil. Quality is essential because these oils don't contain significant plant matter, such as waxes or chlorophyll, which lower quality oils will - it makes for a much worse tasting oil.

Which CBD Oil is Best for Me?

CBD can be a bit like Marmite; you either love it or hate it. If you're not a fan of the natural taste of CBD, there are some things that you can do.

Some people choose to put strong mints on their tongues to mask the taste of the CBD. 

A more straightforward option would be to find rich-tasting CBD oil or flavoured CBD oil, which are available and allow you to get all the benefits of CBD with a more enjoyable taste. 

Even the natural flavoured oil can be made to taste nicer by using a better carrier oil; for example, choosing an oil that's mixed with MCT oil rather than hemp oil is, on average, perceived as better tasting.

So maybe flavoured CBD oil is the best way to go if you are looking to improve the experience of including CBD oil into your routine.

It's down to personal preference in terms of which oils everyone prefers, some like the taste of oils that use MCT oil as a carrier oil, while others prefer the very natural taste of Hemp oil. 

The Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp Seed Oil is derived from the seeds of Hemp and can benefit our well-being in many ways. It is sometimes referred to as cannabis Sativa seed oil (more on that later) and is high in antioxidants, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. The hemp seed oil has been available to buy in stores for decades, meaning it contains no cannabinoids like CBD, THC, or CBN.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD Oil is one of over 113 different cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. It is the component of the plant that may potentially bring the much talked about anti-inflammatory benefits. It's extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the cannabis plant. It has been claimed that it has an analgesic effect, as well as anti-inflammatory properties, to help to manage pain and inflammation.

Hemp Seed Oil Vs. CBD Oil

What are the Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil?

A 2014 review showed that Topical Hemp seed oil application is good for the skin, strengthening it and making it better able to resist infection. Hemp seed oil may also be an effective treatment for a range of skin issues, including:

Eczema

Dermatitis

Psoriasis

Varicose eczema

Lichen planus (an inflammatory skin condition)

Acne rosacea

Brain Health

The hemp seed oil has an excellent fatty acid content, which is excellent for the brain as it requires lots of healthy fats to function correctly.

A study on mice found that hemp seed extract containing these active compounds helped to protect the brain against inflammation. Inflammation can lead to mental health issues, such as depression, as it lowers the connectivity between neurons in the brain.

What are the Benefits of CBD Oil?

CBD and Hemp oil may share some benefits in that they may both prove useful for lowering levels of inflammation in the body if they are too high. It has been used for centuries for many different ailments from arthritis, joint pain eczema, headaches, neuropathic pain - a recent study even showed that it could help regulate the amount of sebum production, which could help to prevent acne.

CBD for Women's Health

Many women struggle with the symptoms that come with PMS, Menopause, or just plain old hormonal imbalances. CBD oil may help to manage some of these symptoms as it's suggested that CBD can help improve the quality of sleep and reduce anxiety, which are two areas of health that take a beating in many women going through these issues.

The primary function of CBD is to maintain a balanced internal environment (homeostasis) so, it makes a lot of sense that it could help address any imbalances in hormone levels, which are the cause of mood swings, irritability, and sleep disturbances.

Some women use CBD to treat symptoms of PCOS and Endometriosis, such as mood swings, pain, chronic inflammation.

With the buzz that CBD has been generating, lots of brands have decided to take advantage of this and make the labeling on their hemp seed oil confusing so that consumers might buy their hemp seed oil, hoping it will give them the benefits.

Next time you go out to buy CBD Oil, check the label to eliminate the risk that you could buy hemp oil by mistake.

Where Can I Buy CBD in the UK?

With CBD being all over the press, a new breed of 'the cheap retailer' is trying to make an easy buck. This is resulting in a lot of inferior products coming to market that purport to be 100% pure CBD oil when, in fact, they aren't. You should make sure you double-check any claims made by retailers by asking to see their lab test certificates.

At Enhance, our legal CBD Oils are all independently tested and produced in the UK. You can find links to our test certificates on all of our product pages.


We also have a free CBD oil starter pack available for you to try three different strength oils to find what works best for you. Order for free online now!

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