In 2018 the United Kingdom officially legalised cannabis for medical use. Although hemp production has been legal in the UK for quite some time now, the law removed any of the former grey areas that stigmatised the use of CBD for UK residents.
Since then, the budding CBD industry has turned into a large-scale industry for individuals looking to reap some of the benefits of medical cannabis without the “high” that’s commonly associated with cannabis use.
The U.K. isn’t the only country to fully legalise CBD either! In the same year, the United States Food and Drug Administration officially legalised hemp farming and the production of hemp-derived CBD products across the entire country with the 2018 Farm Bill. Up until then, there were only a few states that allowed the plant to be farmed.
If you’re still in the dark about what CBD is, let’s break it down real quick.
CBD stands for Cannabidiol– a “cannabinoid” (cannabis compound) found within all cannabis plants. CBD products use CBD that is extracted from the Cannabis Sativa-L plant, which is commonly known as “hemp.” The reason why hemp is used is that its THC levels are less than 0.3%, while its CBD levels may be up to 20%, resulting in a low-THC, high-CBD oil yield.
While there are well over 100 different cannabinoids in both hemp and marijuana (the two most common varieties of the cannabis plant), CBD and THC (Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol THC) are the two most recognised and studied compounds.
The main difference between CBD and THC is that THC is a psychoactive compound that can induce a “high” or euphoric feeling, while CBD is non-psychoactive and primarily has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Many people jokingly refer to CBD as “diet weed,” but they are really two completely different compounds and have very different effects on both the body and mind.
While THC certainly has its own perspective benefits, it’s also still very illegal in many states and is still classified as a “drug.”
CBD oil and other CBD products (such as gummies, topical creams, beverages, vape, etc.), however, are legal in every state. CBD can help with a wide variety of ailments, inflammation, and other problems. It won’t get you high, and you can still be a fully-functioning member of society!
Below are some of the top reasons why you should consider adding CBD products to your daily routine.
1- Your Body Has Built-In Cannabis Receptors
Many people are completely unaware of the fact that their body was, in fact, designed to consume cannabis. Almost every human being (and many other mammals) has a complex endocannabinoid system in their bodies, which is a network of cannabinoid receptors that compounds such as CBD or THC bind to. Only a small percentage of the population lacks these receptors, and they are often prone to autoimmune disorders and other diseases.
This system is evidence that humans are meant to consume cannabis allows CBD to be absorbed and processed naturally and efficiently by your body. It’s completely different from the way that most prescription drugs operate.
Drugs typically have to be processed by your liver and broken down into smaller compounds that must pass through your brain-blood barrier. CBD, on the other hand, binds directly to your built-in receptors and the active ingredient starts doing its job!
2- CBD Oil Is A Natural Anti-Inflammatory
As we mentioned above, the primary benefit and purpose of CBD is that it’s an anti-inflammatory agent. Once it binds to your cannabinoid receptors, one of the first things that CBD does is inhibits your body’s inflammatory and neuropathic pain response. In non-medical terms, this means that your body is able to regulate its response to inflammation, thereby reducing swelling, pain, tension, and tightness.
Your body becomes inflamed as a means of defending itself when you’re feeling pain or become stressed. Although the method of inflammation may differ, depending on what area of the body you’re experiencing it in, the main reason why your body becomes inflamed is to limit your movement. Typical symptoms of inflammation include swelling, muscle or joint tightness, or fluid accumulation.
The more swollen and inflamed a part of your body is, the less you’ll move it and the lower your chance of re-injuring it is. When the body becomes swollen, it often puts excessive pressure on the surrounding nerves. This, in turn, causes pain whenever you try to move the area.
Although inflammation is a defense mechanism, though, sometimes it can also be a hindrance. Continued inflammation may even prevent the area from healing properly and can cause an injury to last far longer than it should.
When using CBD, though, it helps to regulate the body’s inflammatory response. As soon as your body starts to absorb the hemp-plant-derived CBD, many patients find that swelling goes down in their joints or other injured areas. This, in turn, releases pressure from the surrounding nerves, reduces pain, and can restore a wider range of motion to the patient.
As you can imagine, this means that using CBD can be particularly beneficial for patients suffering from arthritis, sports injuries, or muscle stiffness.
3- CBD Can Help You Sleep
As the world becomes increasingly more dependent on caffeine, stimulants, and workers are required to put in far more hours to keep up with their bills than they did in previous decades, sleep is more important than ever. When you’re asleep, your body is able to heal, regulate hormone production, and normalise other bodily functions.
Prolonged sleep deprivation causes your body to release more stress hormones, causes anxiety, irritability, and can result in loss of focus. It also prevents your body from healing as fast as it otherwise would.
One of the most detrimental effects of sleep deprivation is on your immune system, though. With COVID going around, you need all of the high-quality sleep that you can get to keep your immune system functioning properly!
One of the best reasons to incorporate CBD into your daily routine is that it’s been proven to help you sleep! One of the top reasons why many cannabis users consume marijuana or hemp is that they claim that it helps them fall asleep at night. Here’s the kicker, though, it’s the CBD that helps you sleep, not the THC!
In fact, the reason why indica strains make you more tired and help with sleep is that they contain higher levels of CBD than their sativa counterparts. By taking CBD before bed, you’re getting all of the benefits of using marijuana before bed without the high feeling.
CBD can relieve stress (reducing those intrusive thoughts that often keep us up at night), reduce the pain/inflammation that causes discomfort, and can allow you to fall asleep easier. Once you’re asleep, though, CBD does its real magic. It lets you fall into a state of deep sleep faster and lets you stay there for longer. This means that CBD allows you to benefit more from each hour of sleep!
4- Hemp-Derived CBD Products Are All-Natural
If you’re looking for a good excuse to try CBD, then here’s a good one- it’s all-natural! Although certain products such as CBD gummies or CBD vape may contain some synthetic additives, most CBD oil products are 100% all-natural plant products.
The raw hemp oil does go through several processes before it makes its way into your bottle of CBD oil, but these processes are only designed to purify the oil and extract the valuable CBD compounds. Here’s how it works.
Typically, most CBD is extracted through a CO2 process. The freshly-harvested hemp plants are placed in a large vat which is then infused with super-critical CO2 gas that’s incredibly cold. The cold creates an environment of extreme pressure which allows the oils to separate from the hemp. These oils are then collected, purified of any remnants of CO2 gas, and are then used to make full-spectrum hemp products.
Products that require a pure CBD-isolate product go through a bit more processing. The oil is further processed to isolate the specific CBD content. The moisture is then completely removed from the oil, leaving behind pure CBD-isolate crystals. These CBD crystals are then blended down into oils or used to create other CBD products.
Whether you’re using full-spectrum (raw) hemp oil or a processed CBD-isolate product, though, both are 100% all-natural and produced in a cruelty-free, vegan environment, right here in the United States where hemp production is regulated and a high standard of quality exists.
5- CBD Can Well With Chronic Pain
As we mentioned above, the primary function of CBD is to act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Once it binds to the cannabinoid receptors throughout your endocannabinoid system it produces an immediate anti-inflammatory effect. This, in turn, reduces inflammation throughout your body and can leave you feeling relieved and pain-free (or at least with less pain).
Chronic pain is a huge problem in the United Kingdom. Just over 43% of all UK residents suffer from chronic pain. This means that nearly half of the people you meet are suffering from some type of long-term pain that they haven’t been able to get rid of.
Chronic pain is defined as:
- “Persistent or recurring pain that lasts longer than three months“
One of the biggest causes of chronic pain is constant inflammation. For some, this is caused by an old injury that hasn’t had a chance to heal. For others, stress, late-nights at work, and poor posture cause constant muscle tension and tightness that can lead to strained muscles, sciatic nerve pain, and recurring headaches and migraines.
Although you may not be able to completely eliminate the things that cause your stress, you can certainly help your body control its response to stress and inflammation by using CBD oil. Taking a morning dose of CBD before you start you day can go a long way to preventing soreness, reducing headaches, and helping you get through your day pain-free.
6- There’s An NHS-Approved CBD-Based Drug
Although CBD still lacks broad-scale approval by the NHS (apart from medical marijuana prescriptions), they have officially approved one prescription drug that utilises CBD as its primary active ingredient. Epidiolex uses a CBD-isolate-based pill to treat severe seizures related to Epilepsy, Lennox Gastout Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, and other seizure-causing illnesses.
Although this doesn’t exactly mean that the NHS will approve CBD oil as a compound that doctors can legally recommend, it’s a great first step and shows that they’re working to test and evaluate some of the claims that CBD users have made over the years.
Although the NHS is notorious for being behind the cutting edge, it’s still a sign of hope for the future. This, in combination with recent farm bills and widespread acceptance of CBD is excellent news for the cannabis community and all those who desperately need the natural herb to treat their pain and other disorders.
7- CBD May Help You Focus
A recent controlled study performed in 2020 found that CBD use in adults was linked to decreased usage of ADHD medications. Although further research still needs to be performed in order to draw more conclusive results, it’s promising news.
The most recent statistics state that just over 3.5% of all UK residents have been diagnosed with ADHD. Of this number, around a third of them are children. It’s likely that there are many more children who have the disorder but remain undiagnosed. The exact cause for the increased percentage of kids with ADHD is widely debated, but some point the finger at increased visual stimuli from phones/TV while others point the finger at our failing public education system, bad parenting, and other causes.
Most of these children are given drugs like Ritalin or Adderall to treat their ADHD. Adderall is literally amphetamine salts, and many studies have shown that children who consume high amounts of amphetamine may be at a higher risk for mental instability in their older age.
CBD is an all-natural product that’s been linked with decreased need for Adderall and other ADHD medicines. This means that CBD products could prove very helpful for both children and adults when it comes to finding an all-natural solution to ADHD and other focus-related disorders.
8- CBD Can Help With Seizures/Tremors
One of the first stories that really helped to popularise using CBD was the story of Charlotte Figi. The young American girl had been diagnosed with severe epilepsy as a child. At the tender age of 5-years-old, she was already suffering from over 300 seizures every week! Nothing that her parents tried seemed to be working and every day that went by, Charlotte’s mental state deteriorated and she experienced more pain and brain damage from the seizures.
As a last-ditch effort, her parents administered an early form of CBD oil while she was having one of her seizures. Almost instantly, her seizure stopped! The parents continued administering the CBD and saw a marked decrease in her seizures. This story caught the attention of millions of Americans and inspired the U.S. FDA to look into the efficacy of CBD for the treatment of seizure-causing illnesses.
The story quickly spread around the world and forced many countries to reevaluate the way that they regulated and cannabidiol.
In addition to epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease can be equally debilitating and can cause unstoppable tremors, shakes, and seizures in its victims. Long-term studies of both natural CBD oil and the NHS-approved Epidiolex (mentioned above) have both shown that CBD can make a huge difference in individuals who are suffering from Parkinson’s or any other form of seizures.
The prescription medications that are traditionally used to treat seizures are known for being ridiculously expensive and healthcare companies do little to reduce the costs. As a result, many patients find themselves in extreme financial hardship due to their disease or taking care of a loved one who suffers from Parkinson’s.
9- CBD Reduces Symptoms Of Anxiety
One of the most common uses for CBD is to help treat anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, and even OCD! A recent estimate stated that over 8.2 million UK residents suffer from anxiety that ranges from minor to severe. For some, anxiety can manifest itself as annoying, intrusive thoughts or worries. For others, anxiety can be so severe that individuals may not be able to leave their own homes!
Since it’s such a prevalent issue, it’s no wonder that anxiety has continued to be one of the most-studied ailments by scientists and medical professionals alike. The fact that anxiety is relatively easy to treat with the right methods and medications is another reason why it’s commonly studied.
Although many anxiety victims consume prescription drugs to treat their anxiety, some studies have shown that CBD can be just as helpful (if not more helpful) at treating anxiety and stress!
In studies, random groups of patients who suffered from various levels of anxiety were given a daily dose of CBD (calculated by their bodyweight) as a treatment. Their brain activity was then recorded as they went through their days.
A large percentage of the people studied showed significant improvement with their anxiety symptoms! This is attributed to the fact that CBD slightly boosts the natural production of Seratonin (your happy hormones) and inhibits the production of hormones that cause compulsive reactions.
Since stress is a compulsive reaction to anxiety and intrusive, unhappy thoughts, this meant that not only were the patients experiencing less anxiety, but they also experienced less overall stress as well!
10- CBD Can Help Your Animal
If you were paying attention at the beginning of the article, then you’ll remember that CBD works because it’s absorbed through the human body’s natural endocannabinoid system. This network of cannabinoid receptors allows compounds within cannabis (such as CBD) to easily be absorbed and take action within our bodies.
However, you may be surprised to find out that humans aren’t the only creatures with an endocannabinoid system. In fact, almost all animals have a similar network of cannabinoid receptors. From vertebrates such as mammals, reptiles, fish, and birds to invertebrates such as leeches, muscles, and snails, every single living animal on this earth has the ability to absorb compounds contained within cannabis. Pretty cool, right?
This discovery has led to the development of CBD products that are specially formulated for our dogs, cats, horses, and other pets to consume. One of the most heartbreaking things to experience is watching your favorite dog or cat suffer through chronic pain such as hip dysplasia or animal arthritis. Many dogs and cats have also been shown to exhibit stress, anxiety, and PTSD as well.
As we’ve discussed in-depth so far, we’ve already established that CBD is a useful anti-inflammatory and anti-stress agent. This has led many pet owners to use cannabidiol to help treat their pets’ pain and stress. From dogs who suffer from extreme separation anxiety to cats who recently underwent a surgery or medical procedure, CBD has a number of health benefits that animals can experience as well as their human counterparts!
11- CBD Has Few Side Effects
Compared to most prescription medications, CBD has relatively few side effects. If you ask most patients what type of side effects they experience from daily CBD oil usage, most will tell you that they only experience slight drowsiness when they take higher doses of CBD. As we mentioned above, this can actually be very helpful when it comes to using CBD as a sleep aid or for end-of-the-day relaxation. When taken in smaller doses, though, drowsiness isn’t as prevalent.
That being said, the U.S. FDA does provide a list of recorded side effects that CBD usage can cause, including:
- Sleep disruption
- Irritable stomach/indigestion
- Mood swings
- Negative interactions with blood thinners
- Liver damage
While some of these may sound a bit frightening, you also have to understand that these are symptoms experienced by a small percentage of users. For example, in the case of the “liver damage” report, that was recorded when the U.S. FDA was testing the CBD-based drug Epideliox (mentioned earlier).
In the test, some patients were given massive amounts of CBD, and some received up to 40,000mg in a single day! That’s the equivalent of drinking over 40 bottles of CBD oil in a day and is not something that the average person taking 25-30mg a day needs to worry about. In fact, a secondary study about the hepatotoxicity of the CBD-based drug showed almost no effect on the liver function when taken as instructed.
Most reports of indigestion are the result of people not responding well to the other natural oils or compounds that are mixed into a CBD tincture.
The one thing that you should be aware of is that you shouldn’t use CBD with blood thinners or if you’re taking nitrates for heart disease. CBD has been shown to interact with these medicines and may cause them to become ineffective.
12- CBD Is Great For Post-Workout Recovery
If you’re the type of person who’s always in the gym, then you’re probably very familiar with how painful D.O.M.S (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) can be. When you’re doing an intense workout, your muscle fibers are contracting, expanding, and also tearing.
As you begin to recover, the torn muscle fibers built themselves back up bigger and stronger in order to prevent future injuries. This growth process can cause acute muscle pain and inflammation known as DOMS, which typically lasts for a few days after a hard workout.
One of the best ways to speed up your recovery and reduce some of the acute post-workout pain is to supplement with a CBD product! In fact, many athletes and bodybuilders regularly incorporate CBD protein powders as part of their post-workout regimen. If you don’t want to pay extra for an expensive power, you can just put a few drops of CBD oil in your protein shake!
Not only will CBD help with stiffness and soreness, but it can also be a valuable pre-workout tool as well! When you take CBD, it reduces tension and stiffness in your muscles. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of you tearing a muscle, straining and tendon, or otherwise injuring yourself while working out.
13- CBD May Help With Your Weight-Loss Efforts
Although CBD isn’t exactly a weight-loss supplement, it can help with your weight-loss efforts. One of the more obvious examples is that CBD can reduce stress-related eating. In a recent study, over 34% of stressed adults admitted that they overeat and stuff themselves when they’re feeling stressed-out or anxious.
Although eating a box of donuts and wolfing down potato chips can certainly serve as a temporary distraction from your anxiety, it doesn’t do much to help with your figure. In fact, stress eating can put you into a constant cycle of stress eating and then feeling guilty afterward, which can lead to even more anxiety!
As we discussed earlier, CBD is an excellent tool for managing your stress and anxiety. CBD has also been proven to significantly reduce symptoms of OCD and compulsive behaviors. Since stress eating is typically described as compulsive behavior, then managing your compulsive responses is, therefore, a key method to controlling your stress eating.
In addition to helping you manage your eating habits, CBD can help you recover from your workouts quicker (by reducing inflammation) and allow you to get back into the gym quicker than you otherwise would. When you do the math, less compulsive eating and more workouts equal a better body!
14- CBD Helps Small Farmers Around The Country
For much of the mid-20th Century, hemp was illegal and was officially classified as cannabis. Similar to our neighbors across the pond (in the U.S.), hemp has has a bit of a complex history in the UK.
However, in 1993, Parliament officially re-legalised the growth and production of hemp in the United Kingdoms. Despite the re-legalisation, though, CBD didn’t become popular until more recently. For most of the late-90s and early-2000s, hemp was merely an industrial product that was used to create fibers.
When the UK legalised medical cannabis in 2018, though, the entire country saw a renewed interest in cannabis products- especially CBD! This caused a similar “boom” in the CBD/hemp market that the United States was coincidentally experiencing at the same time!
When the USDA passed the 2018 Farm Bill and legalised hemp farming across the United States, it helped a lot of farmers. The U.S. farming industry has suffered a lot over the past few decades. Although modern technology has made farming easier and more efficient, most of these high-tech farms are owned by multi-billion-dollar conglomerates.
Hemp farming licenses are typically given out by the UK government to authorized farmers who can bas a criminal background check. This makes farming more accessible and reduces the barrier of entry for small farmers. Instead of large corporations pulling strings for billion-dollar conglomerates to farm the hemp, the hemp farming licenses are being given out to small family farmers.
By purchasing UK-produced CBD, you’re not only doing yourself good, but you’re also helping to support vital agricultural infrastructure that’s given midwestern farmers new hope.
15- CBD Can Help You Stop Smoking Cigarettes
As we mentioned in reason 13, CBD has been shown to be very effective at stopping compulsive behaviors. Apart from your OCD flatmate who can’t stop cleaning the house, one of the most common compulsive behaviors shared by people is cigarette smoking.
Although nicotine is certainly an addictive chemical by itself, many smokers also claim that they’re addicted so some of the other aspects of smoking such as having something in their hand, stepping outside for a break, taking a deep breath, or even the smell of smoke.
Taking CBD can help you reduce the cravings for these extra-sensory compulsive behaviors. It can also reduce stress levels and blood pressure, which is one of the main reasons people smoke cigarettes in the first place! So, if you’re trying to kick your smoking habit, then it certainly won’t hurt to add a bit of CBD to your daily regimen.
Now that we’ve gone over the top 15 reasons why you should consider using CBD in your day-to-day life, let’s answer a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding CBD!
What’s The Difference Between Cannabidiol/CBD and THC?
The main difference between CBD and THC is that CBD is non-psychoactive. Although it does have a small affect on your brain’s stress levels and serotonin, it does not cause you to feel high, euphoric, or otherwise inebriated.
What Is CBD Used For?
CBD is first and foremost an anti-inflammatory agent. It’s often used to treat arthritis and chronic pain. Apart from this, CBD has also shown to be a powerful anti-seizure agent, and shows a lot of promise for helping patients who suffer from anxiety, stress, PTSD, and even sleep disorders!
Is CBD A Drug (since it’s cannabis-derived)?
Officially, CBD is not a drug since it’s not psychoactive. However, some employers may have certain rules about taking CBD. Often CBD can show up as “cannabis” on a standard drug screen, which may prevent you from being employed. In order to eliminate the confusion, some organisations (such as the U.S. Military) have completely banned the use of CBD and even hemp products like lotions or protein supplements.