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ABC’s of CBD: A Beginners Guide to Cannabidiol

Beginners Guide to Cannabidiol image

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in recent years, you’ve probably heard of CBD. The herbal compound has been rising through the ranks of the wellness scene over the last decade. Now, with CBD products being sold everywhere, from boutique coffee shops to beauty retailers, it’s safe to say that the ingredient has entered the mainstream. 

However, while its use is on the uptick, it’s still less known than many of its herbal competitors. Also, with so many claims being made about its benefits, it can be hard for curious consumers to decipher facts from fiction. To help clear up any confusion, this article will tell you everything you need to know about CBD. But before we dig into the details, here’s a basic outline of the extract on the rise.

What is CBD? 

The first question you are likely to have is “what is CBD?”. Shortened from cannabidiol, CBD is one of over 100 active cannabinoids that is found within cannabis Sativa and industrial hemp. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is completely non-psychoactive and doesn’t leave the user feeling high. However, a number of studies have pointed to the compound’s anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain-relieving), antioxidant and remedial properties, and it is currently being used to help users address a range of mental and physical conditions.

While the compound was first extracted in 1942, its use has only increased in recent years due to longstanding legal restrictions. In the present day, the herbal ingredient is more popular than ever, and its currently being infused into a plethora of weird and wonderful products in the wellness, cosmetic and culinary markets.

What are the Main Benefits of CBD?

A recent 2019 report by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis revealed that over 6 million people in the UK have used CBD in some form. So, what’s leading so many of us to turn to the compound?

Pain Relief

According to a 2018 cross-sectional study published by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal, the most common condition for which CBD was used was pain. While research is still in its infancy, many studies reveal that cannabidiol can lower levels of pain and discomfort without triggering undesirable side effects like other popular painkillers. The main reason that CBD is recognised to lower levels of pain and accompanying inflammation is because of the unique way it interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system.

Anxiety and Stress Relief

Aside from relieving physical discomfort, CBD is also commonly used to reduce levels of stress and anxiety. While the extract’s relationship with the brain is still under investigation, current evidence suggests that cannabidiol activates serotonin receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). Since these receptors are associated with our stress and anxiety response, this is one likely way the agent can help us to feel more at ease.

Sleep Aid

CBD is also frequently used to help people achieve a more restful night’s sleep. Due to its relaxing properties, preliminary research indicates that the compound could be useful in treating a range of sleep disorders like insomnia and REM sleep behaviour disorder. The main reason CBD is understood to be an effective sleep aid is because of its ability to control cortisol levels, although more research into its sleep-inducing potential is needed to know for sure.

While these are the three most common benefits of CBD, the hemp extract is also frequently accoladed for its anti-tumour properties, its gut-friendly effects and its neuroprotective qualities.

Is CBD Safe?

While research into the compound is still relatively scad, there is currently no evidence that suggests that CBD represents any harm to the user. However, while cannabidiol is typically well-tolerated by users, side effects can include dry mouth, diarrhoea and drowsiness. Also, just to stay on the safe side, it’s always wise to discuss CBD with a medical professional prior to using it to treat any condition.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD’s legal history in the UK has been anything but straightforward. However, as it currently stands, CBD is completely legal to be sold and consumed in the UK as long as no direct claims to its medicinal benefits are made. The extract also needs to contain under 0.2% of THC to ensure it doesn’t cause any intoxicating effects to the user.

What are the Best CBD Products for Beginners?

CBD Drops or Sprays 

CBD drops and sprays typically contain CBD oil or tinctures, and they represent the most popular way to consume the compound. These products are normally consumed sublingually, which involves placing the extract under your tongue to absorb into your salivary glands. This method is perfect for newbies because its straightforward, fast-acting and effective. They also come in a variety of flavours to suit every consumer’s unique preferences.

CBD Capsules

CBD capsules are pills that contain consistent amounts of CBD. They come in many different forms, including soft gel capsules, hard capsules and plastic capsules but they all affect the body in similar ways. If you don’t manually measure your daily dosage of CBD, capsules might be a suitable method for you. They also have minimal flavour, so they’re perfect for consumers who aren’t accustomed to the unique aroma of hemp.

CBD Topicals

Topicals refer to any product you’re able to rub into your skin. In case you’re looking to target a specific area of your body, CBD topicals are a great way to sample the benefits of cannabidiol. This is because once you rub the agent into your skin, it interacts with a localised area of your endocannabinoid system, delivering more direct results. This method can be particularly favourable for those seeking to address regional pain or specific skin conditions.

CBD Edibles 

Last but not least, edibles are, without a doubt, the most enjoyable way to consume CBD. Referring to any type of food that is infused with cannabidiol, CBD edibles can take just about any form imaginable. However, the most popular edibles around include gummies, brownies and chocolate. This method is ideal for cannabinoid novices because it delivers relatively subtle effects and stays in the system for super long. Also, if you don’t find any product that takes your fancy, you’re able to infuse any product you like with the herbal benefits of CBD.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide has made it easier for you to embark on your CBD journey. Before you take your first steps, however, it’s important that you only consider buying high-quality products from reputable retailers. This will ensure the product is as effective and safe as possible.  


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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