Always looking for ways to relax and destress, our editor Suzie looks into the benefits of CBD oil – which is derived from the cannabis plant.
She spoke to the store manager of Holland and Barrett, Babs Humphries, at the WillowBrook Centre, about its medicinal properties…
Suzie: Is it like marijuana and will I get high?
Babs: “In short – no. This is because it contains minimal amounts of THC – which is the compound within cannabis that gets you high. As such it’s not habit forming, so you can’t get addicted to CBD.”
Suzie: So, what is it?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many components within the cannabis plant that goes by the name cannabinoids.
Babs: “It is usually sold in an oil form, but you can also buy sprays. CBD oil has quite an earthy flavour, which some people struggle to get used to. There are alternatives such as a peppermint flavoured spray.”
Suzie: Why do people take it?
Babs: “We’ve been selling CBD oil at Holland and Barratt for about two-and-a-half years now, but it’s beginning to grow in popularity as more people find out about it. I personally take it to relieve anxiety, but others find it’s helpful for a range of conditions including depression, insomnia and chronic pain.
“The CBD line of products that we sell has really expanded. CBD is suspended in hemp oil – hemp is great for skin, especially those suffering from dry or sensitive skin. You can also buy muscle rubs that help with pain, cramping and twitchy legs.”
Suzie: Is it safe to use?
Babs: “It’s perfectly safe to use. There’s guidance on how many drops to take each day, depending on the strength of the oil you’ve purchased. A great deal of research has been done into CBD and it’s benefits and there is ongoing research now.”
Suzie: Is it legal, do I need a prescription?
Babs: “It is legal and is currently sold as a food supplement. It’s currently being trialled to see if it should be considered a medical substance and would then need to be sold be a pharmacist or under a license. Doctors could then prescribe it for particular conditions, but you don’t currently need a prescription. However, the testing process is long and it can still be bought in store.”
Suzie: Why is CBD being investigated in this way?
Babs: “To see if it has any counter indications – looking at whether it could impact other drugs. St John’s Wort does have counter implications and is not advised for people who take the contraceptive pill or certain type of antidepressants.”
Suzie: How do you take it?
Babs: “You pop a couple of drops under the tongue. The tongue has four different types of blood vessels and is a very absorbent place in the body, so it gets straight into the blood stream and working quickly.
“The amount of drops you take will depend on the strength, which varies from 2.5% to 6%.”
Suzie: Is it expensive?
Babs: “The smaller bottles are £20, going up to a large bottle for the strongest strength at £80. Most people come back for it once they’ve tried it.”
We’ve also found more information on the NHS website about its uses and benefits.