An Overview of Cannabidiol (CBD) in 2023

An Overview of Cannabidiol (CBD) in 2023

The world of cannabidiol (CBD) has taken the UK by storm, with countless products lining the shelves of health stores and online shops. But amidst this frenzy, there is often confusion and misconceptions about what CBD is, its benefits, and its legality.

In this blog post, we'll guide you through the ins and outs of CBD, debunk common myths, and empower you to make informed decisions about this fascinating compound. So buckle up and get ready for an enlightening journey into the world of CBD!

Short Summary

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the cannabis sativa plant with well-being-supporting effects and potential therapeutic benefits. CBD products can be medicinal or supplemental, and need to adhere to UK regulations regarding THC content and novel foods.

It's important to research third-party testing results and consult a healthcare professional when using CBD products for safety reasons.

What is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the cannabis sativa plant, known for its potential therapeutic benefits without the mind-altering effects commonly associated with its cousin, THC.

CBD oil, a popular form of CBD for oral ingestion, is often advertised as medical cannabis, but it is legally available as a food supplement from health shops.

CBD has been studied for its potential in treating a range of health issues such as anxiety disorders, chronic pain, and even rare forms of epilepsy like Dravet syndrome.

While research on CBD's efficacy is still ongoing, it has already been incorporated into various dietary supplements, food items, and even bath soaks, available both online and in stores.

It is important to note that unlike THC, which is normally derived from high-THC cannabis, CBD is derived from hemp, a form of cannabis sativa with only trace amounts of THC.

This means that CBD products typically do not have the psychoactive effects associated with high-THC cannabis, making them more suitable for a wider range of uses.

The Difference Between Medicinal and Supplemental CBD Products


When it comes to CBD products, there is a distinction between medicinal and supplemental varieties. Medicinal CBD products require a prescription from a specialist doctor, and are only prescribed in certain cases when other treatments have proven unsuitable or ineffective.

On the other hand, supplemental CBD products can be purchased over the counter without a prescription, making them more accessible to the general public. However, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks and benefits associated with buying cannabis-based products online.

The Legality of Cannabidiol Oil in the UK

In the UK, cannabidiol oil is legal as long as it contains no more than 1mg of THC per container and is derived from an approved industrial hemp strain. Food products with CBD as an active ingredient also need to abide by the FSA's novel food regulations.

This means that you can use and possess CBD oil without fear of legal repercussions, as long as you (and your supplier) adhere to these guidelines.

However, it is important to remember that possessing medical cannabis products without a prescription is not allowed in the UK. So, while CBD oil may be legally available for purchase, it is essential to ensure that your chosen product meets the necessary legal requirements to avoid any potential problems.

Safety and Side Effects of CBD

CBD and related hemp products are generally considered safe when taken orally at appropriate doses, but they are not without potential side effects.

Some users may experience dry mouth, low blood pressure, light-headedness, or drowsiness, and extremely high doses of prescription CBD may lead to liver issues.

Before trying CBD oil, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that it is safe for you and will not interact with any other medications you may be taking. CBD can affect how quickly your liver processes certain medications, which could, in turn, influence their effects and side effects.

It is also necessary to consider the safety of CBD products for specific populations, such as pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, as well as its potential interactions with sedative medications and its effects on certain health issues like glaucoma.

Risks associated with THC content

While products like Epidyolex, a prescription CBD product, and CBD isolate, do not carry unknown THC-related risks, many other CBD products still contain trace amounts of THC.

The risks associated with THC in cannabis products are not entirely clear, and clinical trials are necessary to better understand these potential hazards.

Heavy THC use has been associated with a wide range of potential adverse effects. However, the evidence for many of these associations is weak, and not fully confirmed.

Nonetheless, it is important to be aware of potential risks, especially when using cannabis products with higher THC content, and to consider the importance of clinical trials in ensuring the safety of these products.

Common side effects

Medicinal cannabis can cause a variety of side effects, such as changes in liver function and potential drug interactions, depending on the specific type of medical cannabis used. These side effects should be reported to your medical team or the Yellow Card Scheme to help monitor and improve the safety of medical cannabis products.

CBD has also been studied for its potential health benefits, such as reducing PTSD-related symptoms and helping with substance abuse issues, mental health disorders, and certain types of cancer. However, there is a lack of thorough clinical trials to definitively prove efficacy.

Choosing High-Quality CBD Products


When selecting hemp-derived CBD products, look for third-party testing results, check labels for ingredients and dosage, and avoid products that make unsubstantiated health claims. By taking these precautions, you are more likely to be choosing high-quality, safe, and effective CBD products.

Again, it is a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before using a CBD product. They can provide information about the most appropriate dosage for your individual needs and answer any questions or concerns you may have. 

Importance of third-party testing

Third-party testing is crucial for ensuring the quality and accuracy of CBD products, as it can help to verify that the product meets the necessary standards and that the label is accurate. One reputable organization for third-party testing is Eurofins, which is known for its rigorous testing and certification process for supplements.

A 2017 study published in JAMA found that around a quarter of the 84 CBD products tested had lower doses of CBD than stated on the label, highlighting the importance of third-party testing for ensuring the accuracy and safety of these products.

Decoding labels and dosing

Dosing CBD can be confusing, as some brands do not provide clear instructions for consumers. When choosing a CBD product, it is important to consider whether it is a full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD product, as each type has its own unique properties and potential benefits.

The 'entourage effect' suggests that the different cannabinoids in a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum product may work together more effectively than any one of them on its own.

CBD Isolate, on the other hand, is 100% pure CBD and does not contain any other cannabinoids. Overall, studies suggest that full-spectrum products tend to be more effective than isolate products.

By understanding the differences between these types of CBD products and the potential benefits of each, you can make a more informed decision about which product is right for you.

Red flags to avoid

When purchasing CBD products, be aware of potential red flags that may indicate a lower-quality or unsafe product. For example, avoid products that claim to cure, treat, or prevent any disease, as these health benefits are likely to be unsubstantiated and potentially misleading.

Furthermore, ensure that the product you choose has a batch number, which can be used to track and recall the product if necessary, and consider any additional supplement ingredients besides CBD, for potential health and safety concerns.

By being vigilant and looking out for these red flags, you can protect yourself from potentially harmful or ineffective CBD products.

Other Popular CBD Products in the UK


In addition to CBD oil, there are a variety of other popular CBD products available in the UK. These include edibles like gummies, chocolates, and baked goods, as well as topicals such as creams, lotions, and balms.

Other forms of CBD products, such as CBD patches, capsules, tinctures, and vape oils, are also popular choices for those looking to incorporate CBD into their daily routine. With a wide range of options available, there is sure to be a CBD product that suits your needs and preferences.



Throughout this blog post, we have explored the world of CBD, from its origins and potential uses to its safety, legality, and the various types of products available in the UK. We have also discussed the importance of third-party testing, label accuracy, and red flags to avoid when choosing a CBD product.

As interest in CBD continues to grow, it is vital for consumers to be informed about this fascinating compound and its potential benefits and risks. By staying educated and vigilant, you can confidently navigate the world of CBD and make the best decisions for your health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the drug cannabidiol used for?

Cannabidiol is used medicinally to help treat seizure disorders such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. It is also prescribed for certain types of pain, inflammation, anxiety, and other medical conditions.

For supplemental use, CBD is often used to support overall well-being and mood.

What is the difference between CBD and cannabidiol?

CBD and cannabidiol are both derivatives of the cannabis sativa plant. While CBD is a key component of medical marijuana, cannabidiol is found directly in hemp plants and can also be created in labs.

Unlike THC, which is psychoactive and results in a 'high,' CBD does not have this effect. Therefore, CBD is preferred for those seeking pain relief without a high.

Is cannabidiol a drug?

Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) can be viewed as a drug as it is available as a medicine to treat certain medical conditions. It is also available as an over-the-counter supplement, however, its safety and effectiveness have not been fully evaluated by the FSA.

Is cannabidiol the same as CBD oil?

No, cannabidiol is not the same as CBD oil. Cannabidiol is a natural compound found in hemp or marijuana plants.

CBD oil is an extract made from these plants that contains a concentrated amount of cannabidiol.