What is CBD Oil?

Information on cannabidiol (CBD) seems to be clouded by mistruths and jargon, making it a confusing area to try and understand.


Cannabis isn’t new. People throughout the ages have utilized cannabis in many forms, from tribal shamans to Victorian women. One of the earliest records of cannabis use was nearly 2,000 years ago in China.

We are beginning to know a little more about this incredible plant. And a lot more about the mechanics of the pharmaceutical industry.

There is a fascinating research programme underway between Oxford University and Kingsley Capital Partners which is looking into cannabinoids and their use in medicine. Those involved in the research make some interesting statements, such as Zameel Cader, Associate Professor in Clinical Neurosciences who stated: “Endocannabinoid signalling is increasingly recognised as fundamentally important in the development and function of the nervous system. This exciting programme of work has the potential to lead to the development of novel therapies for neurological disorders.”

Richard Holt wrote an interesting article in the Telegraph and claimed CBD oil helped many people come off painkillers. In fact, the same Telegraph article suggests it “could be a more useful anti-inflammatory than ibuprofen.” Along the same research,  Brightfield group and HelloMD claim that a phenomenal 42% of CBD-users have stopped taking traditional medications and use cannabis instead. If you want to know more about their findings, download the research here.

You only need to take a short wander on the Facebook group CBD Users UK to hear individuals reporting on the wellbeing effects they have personally experienced.


The production and sale of CBD oil products is completely legal in the UK and across the European Union, as long as the THC (the psychoactive part of the Cannabis plant) is less than 0.2mg.

Check on the label for the THC quantity and check to make sure a CBD seller has the lab. reports available on their website.

It is little wonder we are confused about the legalities of CBD oil, simply because we have always known ‘cannabis’ to be illegal.

To feel reassured, you need to know what CBD oil is and to do this, you need to cut through some of the jargon.


Cannabidiol, otherwise known as ‘CBD’, is just one of the dozens of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

These are natural compounds within the marijuana plant. We have cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, which are part of our endocannabinoid system. These are involved in a range of processes including “appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory”.


The answer is yes to both!

In December 2016 the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) defined CBD as a medicine. This means that companies who declare their CBD products as having any medical benefit, require a licence to sell it.

Therefore rather than to make any medical claims with no license and risk breaking the law, companies will instead refer to CBD as a food supplement.


CBD is fat soluble which makes the oil formulation of CBD ideal. It can be easily absorbed by the body especially well if sprayed, or taken sublingually (under the tongue).

Buying from a reputable source such will ensure that the packaging comes with clear instructions.


There is a lot of confusion about this.

People use the words hemp, cannabis and marijuana without realising they mean different things.


This is the mother of the Cannabis plant family that includes many species, including both hemp and marijuana.

Many breed Cannabis Sativa, specifically for its high CBD and low THC content.

Cannabis contains over 80 useful cannabinoids, the main active ingredient of which is CBD.


Hemp oil is low in both CBD and THC and is a variety of the Cannabis plant. It is tall and woody with sturdy stalks.


You have probably heard the phrase ‘medical marijuana’ or ‘medicinal cannabis’ which refers to the variety of cannabis grown for its high levels of THC. Very often, people with disorders such as seizures, campaign fervently to get prescribed medicinal cannabis.

Medical marijuana is illegal.


The first decision you need to make is whether to buy whole-plant CBD or Isolate?

Whole plant CBD contains many different cannabinoids such as CDBa, CBG, CBN, CBGA, CBC and of course, CBD. This is more commonly known as ‘full spectrum’ CBD. Whereas CBD isolate contains only one cannabinoid; CBD.

To discover whether you are buying a full spectrum oil, the answer should always be found on the bottle label. If you can’t work out from the label which extraction-type you are buying (whole plant or isolate), chances are you should not be buying the oil in the first place!

Look for CBD products with clear labels showing:

  • Whole-plant or isolate CBD
  • The quantity and ratio of CBD and THC per dose
  • A use-by date
  • List of (quality) ingredients: No corn syrup, transfats, GMOs, artificial additives, thinning agents or preservatives. Aim to buy organic CBD oil.

Reputable CBD products will be lab tested for consistency and verified as being free of mold, bacteria, pesticides, solvent residues, and other contaminants.

It’s best to avoid products extracted with toxic solvents like BHO, propane, hexane or other hydrocarbons. Opt for products that utilize safer extraction methods such as supercritical CO2 or food-grade ethanol.

Read about which is best: Whole Plant CBD vs isolate