It’s hard to imagine that there’s anyone that hasn’t heard of CBD by now. Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, has become a health and wellness staple over recent years, owing largely to the innumerable potential health benefits that this tricky compound is increasingly being linked to. You’re most likely to have come across CBD oil, which is one of the most conventional means by which CBD is ingested. However, alongside the CBD buzz and hype, there are many more ways of taking CBD that are emerging, far beyond just CBD oil. We will be exploring the various diverse ways you can consume or absorb CBD, and what their benefits are, but not before we head back to basics and take a look at just what this compound is that has everybody’s attention
What is CBD?
Invariably shortened to CBD, Cannabidiol is a compound found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. It was first isolated in 1940 and is one of over 100 naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant. Examples of its fellow cannabinoids include CBD, THC, CBG, CBC and CBN. Among these, THC and CBD are the most probed and popular cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but the other cannabinoids are also increasingly being investigated for their therapeutic potential.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty about CBD and all of its purported benefits, let’s firstly clear up something that is undoubtedly looming at the forefront of your mind right now. Namely THC. THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, to use its full title, is the main intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and is responsible for the ‘high’ sensation associated with recreational cannabis use. Reports claim that in small doses, THC is useful for a whole plethora of conditions – both mental and physical (Webb & Webb, 2014). That said, it has also been linked to disruption and damage; THC, when consumed in large doses, has been known to cause paranoia and worsen neurological disorders in some individuals (Volkow et al., 2014).
It is important to note that there are strict regulations on the THC content of CBD products on the market today. In the UK, in order for a product to be legal, it can only contain trace amounts of THC (less than 0.2%, to be precise). The CBD in products you buy will usually have been extracted from Hemp, which is the term for low-THC varieties of the cannabis plant. These are not the same plants that are bred for recreational use, which are high-THC and low-CBD varieties that are grouped under the term ‘marijuana’.
There are three main categories of CBD extracts that you will find in your CBD products today, Full-spectrum, Broad-spectrum, and CBD Isolate. As you might have guessed, Full-spectrum CBD comes packed with all of the cannabinoids naturally found in the cannabis plant. Full-spectrum CBD has not undergone any additional processing or filtering and is associated with what has become known as the ‘entourage effect’. This effect is thought to positively enhance the impacts of CBD on the body as a result of the harmonious synergy of all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the natural cannabis plant extracts. Unsurprisingly, there are amounts of THC in Full-spectrum CBD extracts. As mentioned, however, the levels of THC are legally limited, and so should not be at levels that will cause intoxication. This, however, is very difficult to consistently control to keep to legal levels.
For those who would prefer to be confident that the levels of THC in their CBD are no more than a trace- Broad-spectrum CBD may be your best option. This is essentially Full-spectrum CBD, but where additional processing removes almost all of the THC and other potential high-risk cannabinoids, leaving behind the remaining useful cannabinoids and terpenes. As a result, Broad-spectrum products allow you to benefit from the ‘entourage effect’, with no more than a trace of THC. Alternatively, a mix can be created by combining individual cannabinoids to ensure that there are absolutely no THC or other controlled cannabinoids present.
The last of the CBD extract variants is CBD-Isolate – for those whose interest lies exclusively with CBD and no other cannabinoids.
How does it work?
CBD interacts with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is a biological system concentrated in the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Immune System. The ECS is effectively the control centre of many physiological and cognitive functions. It regulates pain sensation, mood, memory formation, appetite and other bodily functions, and is responsible for maintaining processes of homeostasis.
The ECS consists of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors, as well as enzymes that synthesise and degrade endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that are synthesised in our body and are involved in driving and regulating the systems that the ECS is in involved in. Phytocannabinoids, on the other hand, are cannabinoids that are not produced by our bodies and are, instead, found in plants like cannabis. Phytocannabinoids interact with our ECS and therefore influence the functions carried out by it. It is these interactions that are thought to impact our bodily processes and affect our health and wellbeing, and it is also through similar interactions that THC has its intoxicating effect.
Phytocannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid receptors, of which there are two types: CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are mainly located in the central nervous system and are abundant in the brain, whereas CB2 receptors are mostly located in peripheral organs with immune functions.
Before we turn to CBD’s health-upholding qualities: we know that it’s tempting to jump for joy at all the exciting possibilities that CBD seems to boast with regard to our wellbeing. Remember, though, that the research into CBD and its effects remains in its infancy. Whilst findings are compelling, we still have a way to go to verify and establish how CBD interacts with our bodies and our health.
What does it do?
CBD is thought to have the ability to support our health and wellness in a variety of different ways. As the numbers of people who have taken CBD or regularly take CBD is ever-increasing, we’re learning more about why people take CBD, and how they use it to maintain their health and supplement a healthy lifestyle and diet. One example of this is that many individuals have noted that CBD helps sustain your body’s natural processes which lead to healthy, high-quality sleep, and therefore take CBD for added sleep support. In addition to this, a lot of us also suffer from heightened levels of stress and anxiety, given the fast-paced nature of our society and careers today. As a result, we’re always looking for new ways to reduce our stress levels. Because of the way CBD interacts with our body and our ECS and can bolster our overall wellbeing, it’s becoming a popular option for those suffering from high stress or anxiety. Last but not least, pain. Medical cannabis has long been associated with pain-relieving properties that make it a useful therapeutic tool, and CBD alone is now also being investigated specifically with regards to pain management. To date, concrete findings are yet to be established, but we do know that this is another commonly cited reason people take CBD.
Next, you may have heard of a game-changing prescription drug called Epidiolex, which has been approved to manage symptoms of two strands of epilepsy in children, both of which stubbornly refused to respond to mainstream pharmaceutical drugs. These conditions are Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome, which is also known as tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in patients who are one year old and older. Wondering what the relevance of all this is? Epidiolex is the first and only FDA‑approved prescription CBD-based drug. After overwhelming evidence that this CBD-based medication had the ability to reduce seizures in these conditions by up to 40%, it was finally approved as a prescription drug. Epidiolex has been available through the NHS since the 6th of January, and it is thought that around 2,000 people in the UK will benefit from this medication.
The different ways of taking CBD
If you were labouring under the illusion that CBD only comes in those characteristic little nifty bottles with the pipette built into the lid – think again! Today, there are a myriad of ways to take CBD. No disrespect to the trusty CBD oil or its users, of course; but there are now more exciting and unique CBD products out there. Different methods include using CBD-infused skincare products; ingestible products like capsules, softgels and gummies as well as CBD e-liquids to pop into your vape pen. We will be breaking down all the different ways to get this remarkable compound into your body so that it can start doing its work.
CBD and skincare products
As we go through life, we put our skin through the mill. It is our biggest organ and perhaps the most mistreated. It is constantly subjected to nasty foreign substances including air pollution, the blades of a razor when we shave, washing up liquid when we are doing the dishes – need we go on?
Thank goodness CBD is around to save the day; which is thought to support and maintain healthy skin. That’s why at Goodbody, we have created a wide range of tailored CBD-infused skincare products. These products include balms, bath bombs, and even a CBG-infused hand sanitiser!
Still, whilst we absolutely love using CBD for our skin, there is one thing we have to consider. CBD skincare products, when applied topically, such as via our balm or hand sanitiser, only target a certain area. Whether you are spreading our balm on a specific area of your leg or arm, or on your hands, the CBD will only have an impact where it has been applied and will thus not work throughout the entire body, unlike when CBD oil is ingested or absorbed by alternative means. Whether or not the topical application of CBD suits you, therefore, depends on your personal preferences, and what you’re taking CBD for.
CBD Bath Bombs
What better way to complete your day than with a long soak in an aromatic hot bath? At Goodbody Wellness, we have dedicated a whole section of our product range to bath time with our CBD Bath Bombs. Our effervescent bath bombs are the most luxurious means of absorbing CBD into the body. We have tailored these bath time accessories with different CBD contents so you can find the one that suits you best; our bath bombs come in 20 and 25mg CBD versions.
Our bath bombs are perfect for supporting and maintaining healthy and nourished skin, muscle recovery and sleep, and are, of course, filled with other scents and essential oils for a truly relaxing experience. As such, we think any of our CBD Bath Bombs would make a lovely gift idea for a loved one; or alternatively, the perfect self-care gift you give yourself!
To use our CBD bath bombs, simply drop one into your filled bathtub and wait for it to start fizzing. In a matter of minutes, you will have a bath not only infused with CBD, but also smelling beautifully fragrant!
When applied topically, CBD makes its way into our bodies via transdermal absorption. To reap the full benefits of the CBD, oils, salts, and clays, we recommend you soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes, as this will allow for maximal absorption.
CBG Hand Sanitiser
In recent times, hand sanitiser has become something of a necessity (Yes, Covid, we’re looking at you). In a climate where we feel uncomfortable leaving our homes unarmed with these pocket-sized bottles of bacteria- and virus-killing liquid, our own hand sanitiser is a perfect, if not crucial, purchase. We offer a single 50ml CBG hand sanitiser and even a multipack, so you can select either 5 or 10 bottles at a time depending on how much space you have in your cabinet.
Our hand sanitiser contains 70% alcohol, paired with Cannabigerol (CBG), another cannabinoid that is thought to act as an antibacterial and so may provide additional antimicrobial properties to make this hand sanitiser even more effective. What’s more, this product also has moisturising properties, which has proven vital during this pandemic, where severely dry hands have become an unfortunate bi-product of keeping ourselves protected against Covid.
Some CBD oils can be strong tasting, so if applying CBD topically doesn’t suit you and you’re not a fan of the tastes of oils, ingesting CBD might be the consumption method for you. There are dozens of CBD products that you can take orally that contain the perfect amount of CBD, including capsules, softgels and CBD edibles.
Capsules and Softgels
Hand-pressed and made with pure, ground Hemp plant-matter, our Capsules are high-quality and perfect for those that are seasoned supplement-takers who are well accustomed to taking supplements in a pill format. They are also vegan-friendly and gluten-free, and so are suitable for those with dietary requirements. Each of our jars contains 14 Cannabidiol capsules with each individual serving containing 5mg of CBD and a whole host of other cannabinoids directly from the plant.
CBD Softgels guarantee a consistent dose of CBD throughout the day and have the added benefits of no flavour and none of the mess associated with the traditional tinctures. Packaged in a highly portable 30ml size jar, one jar of our Softgels contains 30 pieces, with 10mg of CBD per capsule.
If you’re not keen on taking capsules, rest assured, there are even subtler ways of ingesting CBD. CBD edibles are a relatively new addition to the Cannabidiol market and are probably the sweetest way to get your dose of CBD. Whether it is our gum, chocolate, or our gummies you opt for, CBD has never tasted so good.
Our chewing gum delivers 5mg of high purity CBD per piece, whilst also freshening your breath and keeping teeth clean and healthy. As you sink your gnashers into this fresh and sweetened gum, the fast-acting dose of CBD will quickly get to work in your system. The CBD is released into your mouth and absorbed sublingually (under the tongue). Every nine-piece pack provides approximately 45mg of CBD.
As for our CBD chocolate, we can think of no better way to indulge in a sweet treat! Infused with 75mg CBD, this is more than the daily recommended dose, so we do advise that you pace yourself and don’t eat the whole bar at once (we know it isn’t easy!). That said, eaten in the correct amount, this handcrafted bar of chocolate will provide you with the unmatched tastiness of a regular bar but with the added benefits of CBD. Its flavour? Rich roasted cocoa with a delicate, bitter and mildly floral finish. Yum!
Our new CBD Gummies are another great option for those with a sweet tooth that are seeking an edible alternative to the classic CBD oils. Each gummy contains 10mg of CBD so you can easily sustain your daily CBD levels whilst enjoying their juicy flavours as you go about your daily business. What’s more, our gummies do not contain any unnecessary, artificial flavours or colourings, and, unlike most other sweets, are gelatine-free. So for our CBD lovers who are vegan or vegetarian, these are the sweets you have been waiting for! Each jar contains 14 Gummies (ergo 140mg of CBD per jar) and looks just like any other jar of sweets for those wanting to be subtle about their CBD intake. The jar will fit easily into your bag or sit in your car, making it a perfectly portable product.
Aside from the gum, all edibles will need to pass through the digestive system. This means that the bioavailability of these products is not as high as for other modes of CBD consumption, and effects might take longer to kick in, but they should last longer too.
Goodbody Botanicals trading also as Goodbody Wellness is a UK-based retailer of premium CBD and wellness products.
Goodbody Botanicals manufactures and distributes to high street stores and pharmacies and through its brand Goodbody Wellness, the UK’s first prestige CBD wellness centre brand to the health and beauty sectors. We are owned by Sativa Wellness Group Inc, the First UK listed Medicinal Cannabis Company. All Goodbody Wellness products are manufactured in the UK and rigorously tested by PhytoVista, an independently managed laboratory currently working to ISO standards. Our quality control is therefore stringent.