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What is CBD?

CBD is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. CBD (or Cannabidiol) is one of a number of chemicals called cannabinoids which are found within hemp and cannabis. CBD extracts can be derived from most parts of hemp or cannabis plants. They are selectively extracted, concentrating CBD and removing or reducing other chemical components. This process means the final product is different from hemp. Unlike its cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC"), which is the major active ingredient in marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive.

CBD Definition, Source & UK Legal Position

CBD is one of the 113 identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and can account for up to 40% of the plant's extract. It is a non-psychoactive compound from the plant and it was made legal in the UK in November 2018. In January 2019, the UK Food Standards Agency indicated it would classify CBD as a novel food requiring all products to be validated under a novel food application with the FSA by 31st March, 2021.

How to Take CBD

CBD can be taken in multiple ways, including orally, sublingually, topically and through inhalation. Each of the different administration methods will lead to different levels of absorption in the body.

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Oral Administration

Oral consumption of CBD is an efficient way of administrating an accurate dosage of CBD. One can swallow drops of CBD oil directly or apply CBD oil to food and drink. Alternatively, oral ingestion can be achieved using edibles, tablets, softgels and capsules. Taking CBD orally sends CBD through the digestive tract and liver before it enters the bloodstream. In the liver CBD undergoes the first-pass effect and is partially broken down. Oral ingestion will usually take slightly longer to feel the effects than other administration methods, but the effects should be longer-lasting. The effectiveness of the CBD will be determined by the bioavailability of the product.

ISO CBD products that can be administered orally:

Sublingual Administration

Sublingual administration involves placing CBD under the tongue until absorbed. Sublingual application offers a fast and effective method of absorbing CBD into the bloodstream with CBD molecules passing through the thin layer of tissue under the tongue and immediately diffusing into the capillaries, bloodstream, and cells, resulting in a high bioavailability. The speed of feeling the effects is achieved as the CBD bypasses the digestive system but the effects won’t be as long-lasting as oral application. Use of CBD oils and tinctures can combine oral and sublingual usage thus combining the benefits of both application methods.

ISO CBD products that can be administered sublingually:

Topical Administration

Topical CBD products are applied to the skin and do not affect any other part of the human body as the CBD and other ingredients do not pass into the bloodstream. However, topical CBD does penetrate the epidermis of the skin to produce deeply nourishing effects via the receptors of the skin (the ECS of the skin). Topical CBD products include creams, lotions and salves which are infused with CBD and can be applied directly to the skin.

ISO CBD products that can be administered topically:

Inhalation Administration

Inhaling CBD is one of the most effective forms of administrating CBD as it passes into the lungs and diffuses into the bloodstream via the alveoli, producing near-instant effects with a high bioavailability. Inhaling CBD largely involves smoking or vaporizing which can lead to the creation of carcinogenic chemicals. Vaporization is typically favoured as it is less likely to create carcinogenic chemicals. While inhaling CBD has quick effectiveness and provides users with greater control over dosage, the effects are unlikely to be long-lasting. Due to the potential negative effects of inhaling CBD, ISO CBD do not produce any inhalable products.