(Jacob Rumans) #1

is responsible for regulating sleep, anxiety levels,
appetite and pain. ‘CBD interacts with the
endocannabinoid system to enhance the effects
of other brain chemicals, such as serotonin and
anandamide,’ explains Healthspan medical
director Dr Sarah Brewer. ‘It aids relaxation, boosts
immunity, suppresses pain, allows deep sleep
and dampens anxiety and stress. It’s highly
antioxidant, so also helps to reduce inflammation.
Overall, it interacts with at least 65 receptors,
enzymes and cell parts with wide-ranging effects.’

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? But despite the
explosion in popularity and available products,
there’s still a notable lack of cast-iron evidence that
CBD is the miraculous cover-all solution we’re led
to believe. A recent University of Nottingham
review of 1,038 studies found that while CBD
is generally very well tolerated and its potential
cannot be denied, there are very few studies to
back up the medical claims being made for it.
Epilepsy is the most frequently studied medical
condition, with 11 studies demonstrating positive
effects of CBD on reducing seizure frequency or
severity. But in every other case, robust medical
research was found to be ‘severely lacking’.

Aside from the lack of research, there’s another
issue facing CBD consumers: not every product
out there is quite what it claims to be. When
researchers for the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis
recently blind-tested 30 products bought on the
high street and online, they found almost half had
measurable levels of THC, making them technically
illegal in the UK. What’s more, only 38 per cent of
the products tested had CBD levels within 10 per
cent of the amount advertised on the packaging.
In fact, one sample bought for more than £50 from
a high street chemist contained no CBD at all.

Before you part with your cash for CBD, it’s
important to read the label – very, very carefully.
‘Opt for a CBD oil that is 10 per cent natural and
extracted from industrial hemp plants,’ Dr Brewer
advises. ‘Choose a supplier who provides a CBD/
THC batch-testing certificate of analysis at the
point of sale, which confirms the level of CBD
present, and that the product has only trace levels
of THC. A good pointer is that the manufacturer
is a member of the Cannabis Trades Association
UK, an organisation created to ensure legal and
ethical CBD trading standards.’

And how can you be sure you’re getting value
for money? ‘Compare the levels of CBD in
milligrams in each product,’ says Dr Brewer.
‘Quality packaging will tell you the total amount of
CBD supplied in the pack, as well as the amount
per dose in milligrams. For general wellbeing,
a typical dose is 10mg to 30mg per day. Higher
doses are used for particular conditions, but as
a food supplement, doses should not exceed
200mg daily.’

‘The speed at which CBD works will depend on
the delivery method you choose,’ says Dr Brewer.
Capsules typically have a slower release, while
oral sprays and liquid drops are absorbed more
quickly. Additional ingredients such as olive oil will
speed up absorption.’ And how long should the
effects be felt for? ‘The effects last for three to five
hours. After this, the dose will have fallen below
levels that produce noticeable benefits, although
it will take one to two days for all the CBD to
disappear from the body.’
If you have a pre-existing health condition or
are currently taking any prescribed or over-the-
counter medicines, always check with your GP
or a pharmacist for possible interactions before
taking CBD.

‘CBD has become
part of my life. It’s
a super convenient
way of being mindful
and infusing “self
care” into my hectic
life. I also like the
convenience of
carrying around this
tiny bottle when
I’m on-the-go. It’s
reassuring to know
I have added support
should I need it.’
Olivia Wayne,
TV presenter
& The HuGG Co.
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