A Consumer's Guide to CBD: LXR in the Mail on Sunday
Recently LXR managing director, Bill Griffin, penned a guide to CBD in the Healthy Life Guide, a supplement distributed with the Mail on Sunday.
Here's the full article.
A Consumer's Guide to CBD
By Bill Griffin, Managing Director of LXR
CBD is all the rage. Either everyone is talking about it or you’re seeing it on the shelves of your local pharmacy, health shop or supermarket. Many people claim CBD aids with their general wellbeing. They say they gain great therapeutic relief from CBD for a multitude of conditions including anxiety, sleep disorders, pain relief and more.
You may be interested in trying CBD for yourself. However, as there are so many products available, the world of CBD could be overwhelming. Below are answers to common questions new and experienced users may be asking. The guide will help you become a CBD expert and ensure you make a sound choice for your first purchase or should you decide to switch brands.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is what is known as a cannabinoid. A cannabinoid is a substance that is found within hemp and medicinal cannabis. Hemp is a fully legal form of cannabis that has no mind-bending properties. It has been cultivated for thousands of years and produces strong rope, cloth and paper.
Until the craze for CBD products came about the flowers of industrial hemp were destroyed by farmers. Now it’s the most valuable part of the crop.
People who try CBD are adamant that it has many therapeutic properties which is why it is proving to be so popular. CBD products come in many forms including oils, tablets, drops or balms.
If CBD comes from cannabis, is it legal?
Growing hemp is completely legal in the UK, providing you have a license. Unfortunately, for UK farmers, they are not allowed to process the flowers from their hemp crop to produce CBD so any CBD you buy will have been produced and imported legally from abroad.
It is a different cannabinoid, called THC, which is found within street or medicinal cannabis that is illegal to be sold in your local supermarket.
With zero percent THC your CBD products are completely legal.
Will I get high or feel strange when I take CBD?
No, you cannot get high from consuming CBD as it is not ‘psychotropic’.
Psychotropic is a scientific way of saying it makes you feel euphoric or even hallucinate.
You may however experience a sense of wellbeing from taking CBD, which is why many people consume it.
As CBD will not get you high it means it is perfectly safe (and legal) to drive or go about your daily business after consuming a CBD product.
What CBD product is best for me?
I recommend first purchasing CBD oil to discover if CBD is right for you. CBD oil is usually sold in a small glass bottle with a dropper. The most cost effective way to see if CBD oil is right for you is to purchase a 10ml bottle to experiment with.
The percentage of the CBD found within the bottle is marked on the label. Most often CBD oil is 5% or 10% CBD. A 5% oil has half the amount of CBD per drop as a 10% CBD oil so it is cheaper. However, it would be wiser to buy a 10% CBD oil as it means you will take less drops to get the desired effect.
To summarise, buy a 10ml bottle of 10% CBD oil. Also, see the following question “How do I find my correct dosage?”
How should I take CBD oil?
You consume CBD oil orally. The best way to do this is to put a few drops under your tongue. Don’t swallow right away or drop it on your tongue. You should keep it under your tongue for as long as you can so as much CBD as possible can enter your bloodstream via the thin skin in your mouth.
If you swallow it you will be relying upon your liver to process it. This will take much longer to have an effect and will also waste most of your CBD as you’ll end up flushing it down the toilet.
To start, put two drops under your tongue and try and keep it there for 5 minutes. You’ll find that it has been absorbed before that time arrives.
How do I find my correct dosage?
If you are taking any medication the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) recommend not consuming CBD. If in doubt it is important you talk to your doctor.
As CBD oil is expensive the best way to find the dosage that works for you is to start low, monitor the effects and gradually increase until you find a therapeutic benefit. At this point you will have found the right dosage for you. Keep consuming that dosage until it is time to buy a new bottle.
For example. On day 1 take 2 drops. Continue with this dosage for 2 days and see how you feel. On day 3 increase by a further 2 drops, if you feel you need it. Continue like this until you feel a therapeutic benefit. Congratulations you have found the best dose for you.
The FSA recommend a maximum daily dose of 70mg of CBD per day. LXR 10% CBD oils contain around 4mg of CBD per drop. So this represents a maximum daily dose of 17 drops per day.
Your dose could vary depending on your weight, sex, genetics or even if you exercised or ate before consuming. Some people are sensitive to CBD whilst others need to consume a lot to feel a benefit.
If you experience any adverse effects such as feeling dizzy or light headed stop immediately and talk to your doctor about CBD. It’s not possible to ‘overdose’ on CBD but there is a point where consuming any more will add no further benefit. As CBD is expensive, it is best to start with a low dose and work your way up to avoid consuming more than you need.
Will it interact with other medications I am taking?
Possibly. If you are taking medication do not consume CBD without talking to your doctor first. Many medications rely on your liver to be processed. As any CBD oil you swallow will also pass through the liver it could potentially alter the effectiveness of your medication. If you are taking medication to reduce your blood pressure or other vital drugs it is essential that you let your doctor know your plans to try CBD.
How do I find a brand that I can trust?
This is one of the major issues with so many CBD products on the market. Back in May 2019, The Times newspaper tested 29 CBD oils available in the high street and online. They found that only 38% of them contained the level of CBD that was stated on the label. Some were under, some were over and one product contained no CBD whatsoever. It’s no wonder that consumers are dubious.
There is research you can do to check if what you are buying is worthy of your trust and hard earned cash. Every time a batch of CBD oil is made it should have a batch number. Each of these batches should be tested by a third party laboratory. Good manufacturers will display these test results for each batch on their website. If they do not, it is a warning sign. Some manufacturers display a test certificate but not for each batch, look out for that as it is also a warning sign.
It is illegal for a CBD manufacturer to state any medicinal claims for their product. If they do, this is a clear sign that they are not fully aware of the law, which is worrying.
Some CBD companies seem to think that as long as the THC content is under 0.2% it is ok. It is not! THC is a controlled substance and it is not legal in any amount without a special license from the Home Office. If a product says it contains “less than 0.2% THC” this is a red flag as it shows not only does the company not understand the law they are actually admitting to breaking it! You can then question what other laws are they not complying too, for example health and safety regulations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Griffin has been writing about CBD and medicinal cannabis for a decade after he had a medical need for CBD. He is on the Advisory Board of CPASS, who provide support, advocacy and education to patients and healthcare professionals considering medicinal cannabis treatments. Much of Bill’s writing relates to how consumers are being exploited by bad actors in this emerging industry.
He is Managing Director of the CBD company LXR. LXR was created because Bill and co-founders Dr Parveen Bhatarah and Marc Burbidge were fed up of seeing consumers being ripped off. LXR makes 100% natural, high quality CBD products which it sells at an affordable price.