CBD Oil: The Complete UK Guide (2018)

CBD oil UK Guide

What is CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)?

CBD oil (also known as Cannabidiol) is one of the main naturally-occurring cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. When sold as a legal food supplement and taken sensibly, CBD oil is safe and can be very helpful. This is the complete CBD oil guide for the UK, useful also to anyone in the EU. Find out why the best CBD brands are THC free, Co2 extracted, organic, and full-spectrum. Learn how to select and dose all types of CBD products, from organic CBD drops to CBD e-liquids and balm. CBD oil can be sold legally in the UK and Europe as a food supplement to support and promote complete wellbeing.

In this CBD Guide:
1. How to Find & Buy the Best CBD Oil
2. Cannabis, Hemp and CBD Oil - the UK, the EU and Beyond
The distinction between Cannabis and Hemp
3. CBD Oil Benefits - The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
How does CBD make you feel? Does CBD get you “high”?
4. How to Use CBD Oil
How much CBD in each drop of CBD Oil?
5. Types of CBD Oil Products
6. Top 7 CBD Brands available in the UK

How to find the best CBD oil infographic

1. How to Find & Buy the Best CBD Oil

What is the best CBD oil you can buy in the UK? We asked ourselves the same question and did quite a bit of research until we figured out these characteristics that all high-quality CBD oils have in common:

1. Clear CBD content

Does the product specify the total amount of CBD content in mg? Because we are all different and there isn't a standard dose, this ensures you can measure and manage your dose and figure out what is the ideal dose for you.

2. Certified Organic from Seed to Shelf

How to Select & Dose CBDDoes the product claim to be organic or is it in fact certified organic? How pure is the CBD oil? Cannabis Sativa L. is considered a bio-accumulator (it absorbs a great deal from the soil and air) so, in order to avoid taking a harmful cocktail of chemicals from fertilisers, pesticides, etc. So, it is essential to find a trust-worthy manufacturer that planted, harvested and bottled the oil following a certified organic process. Claiming to be organic can be very different from being a documented, certified organic producer. Look out for brands that can prove their organic claims (e.g. via an organic certification).

3. CO2 extraction - Gold Standard for CBD extraction

Has the CBD oil been CO2 extracted and are certificates of analysis made available? CO2 supercritical extraction, which some refer to as the closest to cold-pressed, is considered 'the gold standard' for cannabidiol extraction. Ensure lab certificates are available to prove this.

4. Full Spectrum CBD goes beyond cannabidiol

Is the oil rich in terpenes and other cannabinoids? Bonus: Is it whole-plant (raw)? The better the source and the method of extraction, the purer and more nutrient-dense the oil. Ideally, you'd want to consume a CBD oil that also provides you with the many beneficial and synergetic active ingredients present in the whole Cannabis Sativa L. plant: cannabinoids like CBDa (Cannabidiol Acid), CBN (Cannabinol), CBG (Cannabigerol), CBGa (Cannabigerol Acid), the plant's lipids, waxes, chlorophyll, flavonoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients. Every strain, variety and crop contains a different profile of these (compare lab certificates from different products).

Ensure there is clear access to certificates of quality (source and extraction method). Do not let yourself be deceived by empty marketing claims or inferior products like CBD drops made from crystal isolates or from undisclosed sources.

5. Manufacturer Price Match

CBD brandsDoes the retailer work closely with the manufacturer and are their prices guaranteed to match? We, for instance, rely on word of mouth for our advertising, keep our overheads to a minimum, and guarantee to match the prices set by the manufacturers, always. We are in direct contact with manufacturers for any questions/issues you may have.

Following the above criteria, we've cherry-picked the best CBD products available in the UK and Europe from the top (fully-certified and legal) CBD oil brands you can buy in the UK and Europe.

2. Cannabis, Hemp and CBD Oil - the UK, the EU and Beyond

Cannabis, Hemp and CBD Oil UKFor over 10,000 years, humans used cannabis as part of their diet, for its fibre to produce textile and materials like rope, and for its medicinal properties. Its highly nutritious seeds can be ground into flour, eaten whole or turned into omega-rich hemp oil when cold-pressed. Its leaves and flowers have been esteemed for their medicinal and nutritional properties. Every bit of this magnificent plant possesses valuable properties and uses for humans and mammal pets (even though CBD for Pets is not legally sold as a food supplement in the UK).

In the early 20th Century, its prohibition started in Europe and then in America and spread around the world, when it was classified as a drug. Today, a good number of historians and medical professionals claim that the prohibition of cannabis was racially and economically motivated.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

Is CBD oil legalCBD oil is legal as a food supplement in the UK as long as it contains less than 0.2% of THC. CBD oil is also legal in the EU, most of the USA and many countries around the world as a food supplement to support and maintain wellbeing.

The last few decades have seen a reverse in public policy regarding cannabis due to ongoing medical research and advocacy in favour of the benefits of CBD and the many cannabinoids, terpenes and valuable nutrients (such as its flavonoids) present in the plant.

CBD oil (containing less than 0.2% of THC) is considered “THC free” and can be sold and consumed legally in the UK, Europe and many countries around the world as a food supplement. If you'd like to find out more about Co2 extraction, organic vs. conventional Cannabis Sativa, and other insights on CBD oil harvesting and manufacturing, check out this article on how CBD oil is made.

Is Cannabis Oil Legal in the UK?

Is Cannabis Oil Legal in the UKThe sale of cannabis oil (rich in THC) as a supplement continues to be illegal in most countries, including the UK. Cannabis Oil contains more than 0.2% THC and it is not legal as a food supplement in the UK. 

for the Ageless does not supply cannabis oil but only CBD Oil, which is legal, THC-free and sold as a food supplement.

The distinction between Cannabis and Hemp

Cannabis vs. HempCannabis contains THC. The legal term for cannabis that contains less than 0.2% of THC and mainly CBD and other cannabinoids is hemp. This is why CBD Oil Products and Hemp Oil normally feature the term “hemp” on their labels, even though they’re extracted from Cannabis Sativa L.

Both compounds - THC and CBD - are being researched widely all over the world. In the UK, a £10M research programme was announced recently by Oxford University.

What is the difference between CBD oil and Hemp oil?

CBD oil is an extract from the full Cannabis Sativa L. plant (including leaves, flowers, stalks and seeds), whereas hemp oil is extracted from industrial hemp seeds only and provides no cannabinoids.

Full spectrum CBD oil is rich in cannabinoids and sold as a food supplement in the form of concentrates (CBD drops), e-liquids, edibles and topicals. Hemp oil, on the other hand, is an Omega-rich cooking oil, normally eaten raw with a salad and carries no negligible amounts of cannabinoids, including CBD. Hemp oil is very versatile and is also used as a natural moisturiser in skincare products and for the creation of bio-plastics, paints and fuels.

3. CBD Oil Benefits - The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

CBD Endocannabinoid System (ECS)What does "CBD" stand for? CBD is the short form of Cannabidiol, one of the most prominent chemical compounds found in hemp and one of the 80+ cannabinoids found in full-spectrum hemp. Cannabinoids possess a myriad of benefits to maintain your health because they bind to the cannabinoid receptors in our cells, which are found mainly in the central nervous system, but also in the digestive tract, genitals and skin.

What is the endocannabinoid system? Cannabinoid receptors form part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a large matrix of receptor proteins with many functions. So many, that is has been described as “the greatest neurotransmitter system in the body”, because it relates to functions as immunity, appetite, mood, memory, inflammation and pain. There is a vast body of research on the endocannabinoid system and the effects and benefits of CBD Oil.

What about CBD for pets? Humans and all mammals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS); therefore, both humans and mammal pets like dogs, cats, rabbits and horses can enjoy the myriad of benefits of CBD Oil. (CBD for Pets is not legal as a food supplement in the UK, but it is in most of Europe and the USA.)

Why has CBD Oil become so popular?

Why has CBD Oil become so popular infographicEven though Cannabis possesses over 400 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, phytonutrients, terpenes and flavonoids, CBD (cannabidiol) and THC stand out as major constituents of the plant.

CBD oil benefits are particularly appealing because cannabidiol is:

• non-toxic
• non-psychoactive (unlike THC)
• non-addictive (unlike THC) and
• with no negative side effects (when taken responsibly)

When CBD oil is extracted using supercritical Co2 extraction, we can also call it cold-pressed or raw, because it preserves the many other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and complex nutrients of the plants. The result is full-spectrum CBD oil (i.e. offering not just CBD, but a long list of phytonutrients and more than just one cannabinoid). Different strains and varieties of Cannabis Sativa L. offer different full-spectrum profiles. Certain varieties, seeds and flowers of cannabis are high in CBD and very low in THC. Those are the ones manufacturers like the ones we feature in our collections use to extract CBD oil.

How does CBD make you feel? Does CBD get you “high”?

CBD Oil - UK Guide does CBD get you highThis varies depending on the person and quantity ingested or vaporised. Our customers report a feeling of relaxation and general grounding. Most importantly, you can experience the benefits of supporting and maintaining your wellbeing as you would with other effective food supplements. In short, CBD does not make you get a "weed high", because it has no psychoactive effects. It is, however, a beneficial herbal tincture not to be underestimated.

CBD Oil for Cancer, Chronic Pain, Stress and other Conditions

As food supplement suppliers, it is our legal obligation to state that all our products promote and support a healthy lifestyle and general wellness. We are not in a position to state any medical claims, comment on ailments or provide any medical advice.

Please consult with your doctor or qualified health practitioner if you have any medical queries regarding CBD oil or any of our products. Please read our Long-Form Disclaimer for more details on this. If you'd like more information on cannabis oil and cannabis-based medicinal products, follow the latest legislative changes on an authoritative website, like the gov.uk.

How effective is CBD oil?

Like any other food supplement or herb, CBD oil will work for some more than for others and at different quantities. Many factors come into play, namely, the person’s own makeup and circumstances and the type and quality of the CBD oil you’ll be taking.

First, you need to take into account your physiological makeup and circumstances:

  • weight and height
  • metabolism
  • whether or not you’re taking other supplements or medication
  • environmental factors (stress, pollution, etc)
  • lifestyle factors (diet, amount exercise, quality of sleep)

Second, you need to take into account the quality, type, and bioavailability of the CBD product you’ll be taking:

  • type of product you’ll be taking (drops, paste, vape, tea, edibles)
  • quality of the CBD product (organic, full spectrum, natural vs. synthetic)
  • bioavailability of the cannabidiol based on the type and quality of the product

With all this in mind, you’ll be able to discover how well CBD can work for you. CBD oil is not a painkiller and does not have an immediate effect (even though some people who are very sensitive to supplementation, do report an immediate effect). It depends on many factors and the only way to find out is to try. We suggest starting with a very low dose during the first week, as explained in the next section.

4. How to Use CBD Oil

Because CBD oil is safe (non-toxic, non-addictive and non-psychoactive) learning how to use CBD products is simple. Three basic steps to ensure you do it correctly: choose the best, find the right type of product for you and figure out what the ideal dose is for you.

Organic Cannabis Sativa L. & Supercritical Co2 extraction

Supercritical Co2 extraction CBDThe best way to use CBD Oil is by taking advantage of the full spectrum properties of hemp oil extracted from Cannabis Sativa L. To be precise, full spectrum CBD Oil is recommended as the highest-quality CBD Oil available in the market today, when extracted raw using supercritical Co2 extraction and when obtained from organic crops of Cannabis Sativa L.

This cold-pressed, organic hemp oil contains CBD (cannabidiol) and over 400 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids (including CBDA, CBG, CBC), terpenes, phenols and flavonoids with a myriad of beneficial properties and to achieve the entourage effect.

Choose pure, full-spectrum, organic CBD oil

pure, full-spectrum, organic CBD oilIn its purest, full-spectrum form, CBD comes in an organic hemp oil carrier base. Check the list of ingredients before purchasing. For instance, all of the BioBloom and Biopurus CBD oils come in this form and are both full spectrum and certified organic.

You know you’re having the purest, full-spectrum CBD when the oil is thick and viscous and has an undiluted hemp flavour. When taking it sublingually*, you need to have the dropper quite close to your mouth to avoid any drops spilling off. The dropper itself holds around 5-6 drops at most so it's easy to obtain the correct dose.

Sublingual application CBD oil under tongueYou can also mix the oil with food or inside a smoothie if you prefer. Store it in an upright position, in a cool, dark place. Refrigeration prolongs its shelf life, but it’s not necessary.

*Sublingual application means taking your dose under the tongue and holding it for 60 seconds or more before swallowing with a glass of water or any other drink. It ensures the fastest bioavailability (your body’s absorption of its active ingredients) because much of it will be absorbed through your mucous membranes directly into your bloodstream.

CBD Oil Percentages and Total CBD Content

Seeing percentages of CBD oil from different brands can be confusing (5%, 15%, 20%, etc.) because the % does not indicate the quantity of CBD oil on its own; you’d also need to take into account the product volume (10ml, 30ml, etc.)

How to Select the Ideal CBD Extract for You

What really matters is the amount of CBD oil you purchase, how much you consume, and how often you dose it (see next section on dosage). To simplify the selection process, we’ve decided to organise our full collection of CBD products according to their total CBD content. This allows you to quickly figure out which product matches your desired dose best and which offers the best value for money. Compare the products their total CBD content clearly stated in the red circles above them.

CBD Oil Concentrations How to Select the Best

Of course, other factors such as whether its carrier oil is hemp or not, whether you’d like to vape it or ingest it, also come into consideration when selecting a CBD Product. If in doubt, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist with any questions you may have on the products.

Quick Guide to CBD Dosage - How Much CBD Should I Use?

CBD Oil - UK Guide dosageAs a food supplement, the maximum adult daily dose allowed is 200mg. CBD can be used at higher doses only under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner.

If you’re starting with CBD, try starting by taking 10mg twice per day and, after a week, doubling that dose to 20mg twice per day. Listen to your body and increase the dose accordingly without exceeding the 200mg daily amount. You may take the oil 3-4 times per day if needed. Once you feel the benefits, it’ll be easy for you to judge which is the best dose for you. If in doubt, consult with a healthcare practitioner.

How much CBD in each drop of CBD Oil?

How much CBD in each drop of CBD OilDepending on the concentrate and the type of product you choose, this is approximately how much CBD in each product (per drop, per spray or per pump), regardless of whether it’s a 10ml, 20ml, 30ml or 100ml bottle.

Biopurus, BioBloom, Love Hemp, Pharmahemp and Hemptouch extracts (CBD oil drops):
4% = 2mg per drop
5% = 2.5mg per drop
6% = 3mg per drop
8% = 4mg per drop
10% = 5mg per drop
15% = 7.5mg per drop
20% = 10mg per drop
30% = 15mg per drop
40% = 20mg per drop

CannabiGold extracts:
5% 12ml bottle with 100 pumps = 5mg per pump
10% 12ml bottle with 100 pumps = 10mg per pump (5mg of CBD + 5mg of CBDa)
15% 12ml bottle with 100 pumps = 15mg per pump
30% 12ml bottle with 100 pumps = 30mg per pump

Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil extracts:
Charlotte’s Web Full Strength (100ml) = 6.65mg per full dropper
Charlotte’s Web Extra Strength (100ml) = 16.65mg per full dropper
Charlotte’s Web Maximum Strength (30ml) = 30mg per full dropper
The dropper will be half full which is considered a "full dropper" (the oil does not fill the entire dropper).

Love Hemp sprays (approx. 220 sprays per 30ml bottle):
200mg spray = 0.9mg per spray
400mg spray = 1.8mg per spray

Love CBD sprays (approx. 125 sprays per 20ml bottle):
1400mg spray = 11.2mg per spray
2000mg spray = 16mg per spray

CBD e liquids
Pharmahemp’s e liquid 300mg in 10ml = 1.5mg per drop
Pharmahemp’s e liquid 500mg in 10ml = 2.5mg per drop
Love Hemp’s e liquid 100mg in 15ml = 0.33mg per drop
Love Hemp’s e liquid 250mg in 15ml = 0.83mg per drop
Love Hemp’s vape additive 750mg in 15ml = 2mg per drop

How many drops in each bottle?
According to Biopurus, BioBloom, Love Hemp, Pharmahemp and Hemptouch:
a 10ml bottle contains approximately 250 drops of CBD oil
a 30ml bottle contains approximately 750 drops of CBD oil
a 100ml bottle contains approximately 2,500 drops of CBD oil
CannabiGold extracts contain approximately 406 drops per bottle.
Love Hemp sprays contain approximately 220 sprays per 30ml bottle.

All other products, like CBD capsules or gummy bears, clearly indicate the amount of CBD in each dose. CBD balms also state the total amount of CBD content in the product description.


BioBloom Collection Love CBD collection Biopurus CBD oil UK Pharmahemp CBD oil UK
Love Hemp UK CBD CannabiGold Collection Hemptouch CBD Collection Charlotte's Web CBD UK

5. Types for CBD Oil Products

There are many types of CBD products. These vary in terms of the way you take them or apply them, and how much and how fast the CBD is absorbed into your bloodstream. Below, a short description of the many types of CBD products that are legally available in the UK.

CBD Oil Drops / Extracts for sublingual application

30% Organic CBD Oil (3000mg in 10ml) BiopurusAs explained above, the purest form of CBD oil is the full-spectrum, organic hemp oil with CBD extract. This oil contains CBD and over 400 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids (including CBDA, CBG or cannabigerol, BPC, CBDV), terpenes, phenols and flavonoids with a myriad of beneficial properties and to achieve the entourage effect.

We have selected what we consider to be top of the range CBD oil drops available in the UK: CannabiGold, BioBloom, Biopurus, Pharmahemp, Love Hemp, and Hemptouch. for the Ageless offers a manufacturer price-match guarantee and the freshest batch available. You can add aroma and extra nutrients to your oils by adding different terpenes & bioflavonoids in them.

CBD Spray for ease of use

CBD spray Love HempWhen diluted in a carrier oil like coconut oil, the CBD solution is thin enough to become a CBD spray, which many people find more convenient when on the go than CBD oil drops.

CBD sprays are also ideal for those new to CBD oil, because they are a milder, less concentrated form of CBD (containing a total of 400mg of CBD in 30ml). Being able to choose between a natural (pure) flavour or peppermint, lemon, or orange is also attractive to those who prefer to disguise the flavour of the plant.

Recently, also higher-strength CBD sprays have been developed.

CBD Hemp Tea to boost your cannabinoid intake

Hemp Tea Biopurus
A very enjoyable way of taking cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and the phytonutrients present in the plant is by brewing hand-dried Cannabis Sativa L. flowers, buds, stems, leaves and seeds. We carry a lovely selection of teas from the Czech Republic and Austria. These can also be ingested, smoked, inhaled or vaporised. Some of our customers even bake with the dry herb. Look out for our free hemp tea samples and find out more about the benefits of hemp tea

CBD for Pets (not available as a food supplement in the UK)

CBD for pets cats dogsMammal pets (cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, etc.) all possess an endocannabinoid system (ECS) as we humans do, so they can benefit from CBD as much as we do. There are no differences between human and pet products, only that pet CBD tends to be mild concentrates, such as a 5% CBD oil. According to the manufacturer Biopurus, a 5% solution would be dosed at 2 drops per 10lb (4,5kg) of pet weight, once per day. The CBD for Pets products are available in the EU only and not available or for sale in the UK. If you live in the UK, CBD for pets is considered a medicine. Consult with your vet.

CBD Skincare (balm, salve, and face cream)

CBD skincare salve
CBD creams, balms and body salves
can be applied directly onto the skin and absorbed directly into the small capillary blood vessels. Applying CBD topically with a cream, balm or salve allows you to target specific areas of your body. We feature CBD topicals with other natural ingredients that synergise with CBD oil, like coconut oil, beeswax, argan oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, CBD oil, grape seed oil, and rosehip oil. Ideal for those prone to dry, itchy or irritated skin. 

CBD Capsules are ideal if travelling or commuting

CBD capsulesIf you would rather take CBD oil as you would a multivitamin, CBD capsules will be your choice. It's convenient because they can easily be carried and taken when you’re out and about, just like CBD e liquids and edibles. If you've already purchased an oil and don't like the taste, you can get some empty capsules from your pharmacy and fill them with your CBD oil dose. CBD capsules are also the right choice when you want to make sure you're taking a very specific dose (no drop counting necessary!). CBD capsules are still absorbed through the GI tract and the ones we feature are all full spectrum and third-party tested.

 

CBD Vapes / e-Liquids

CBD vaping e-liquidsCBD vapes or e-liquids follow the same principle as CBD sprays, but the carrier here is a solution of vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol which allows the CBD to be vaped. Vaping is a pleasurable experience for many today and allows the possibility of taking CBD through the respiratory system, quicker into the bloodstream. Studies show that inhaling or vaping CBD make it highly bioavailable (increased absorption rate in your bloodstream) quickly. When swallowed the effect takes longer but also lasts for a longer period. We've just published an article on safety concerns when vaping CBD.

If you’d like to add CBD to e liquids that you already use or wish to boost your CBD e-liquid with a higher concentration of CBD, there is a CBD Vape Additive with 750mg of CBD content in a 15ml solution of propylene glycol. CBD e-liquids come in 12 flavours. The Premium Black collection by Pharmahemp offers the best full-spectrum CBD vape.

CBD vape e-liquid flavoursCBD vape e-liquid flavours

CBD Gummy Bears

CBD Gummies UKCBD gummy bears, really? The naughtiest product on the list, but why not enjoy CBD as a sweet treat. They’re made with organic ingredients and their colours and flavours are natural. CBDfx's Gummy Bears contain 5mg of CBD per bear and Love Hemp’s CBD Gummy Bears contain 10mg of CBD per bear. That’s as much CBD as one drop of 20% CBD Oil. An ideal way of taking CBD if you're tired of counting drops or want to take a break from the original flavour of the plant. Just make sure you count your bears and don't overdo it, because these gummies can be tempting.

 

Top 7 CBD Brands available in the UK

We've made a selection of the best CBD brands available in the UK: Biopurus, BioBloom, CannabiGold, Love Hemp, Pharmahemp, Hemptouch, and Love CBD. We value these brands for their high-quality standards, ethics, and for following the criteria outlined in point 1. We've created individual collections for each of these CBD brands.

If you have any further questions, contact us or check out our new FAQ on CBD oil. for the Ageless has also recently launched an in-depth CBD blog. (This guide was last updated on December 2018.)

Hemp Fields CBD Oil Guide