CBD has received a lot of attention in Ireland over the last couple of years, not only for the multitude of research into its benefits, and the growing Irish hemp industry but also for the ongoing court cases regarding the legal lacuna of the CBD industry. With much fanfare around the product, and what may seem like an endless maze of information available, people are often left confused about what exactly is CBD, how it can be used and what the legal issues surrounding this product. Join me in this 3 part series "The CBD Conundrum", examining CBD, The Irish Hemp Industry and the legal issues currently at play.
What is CBD
Cannabidiol or CBD as we know it, is one of over a hundred cannabinoids contained in the cannabis plant, the most famous of which being delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC to us. CBD itself comes from Hemp, a form of Cannabis plant which contains low amounts of THC. CBD is mainly available in 3 ways, Full-spectrum, Broad-spectrum, and Isolate. The main difference between full and broad spectrum is the compounds, such as terpenes and cannabinoids they contain, while both are similar only Full-spectrum CBD contains THC (usually less than 0.3%). Isolate on the other hand contains no other compounds or cannabinoids. CBD is not intoxicating or psychoactive
How does CBD work?
CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a complex system which was only beginning to be discovered in the 1990s. The ECS helps the nerves in our brain, spine, and elsewhere to communicate which each other. While still a relatively new area of discovery, we know there are many receptors, with CB1 and CB2 being the most important.
These receptors are found in the brain, the spine and in the immune system. Researchers believe the main function of our ECS is to maintain a homeostasis state in the body, optimising the way your body functions. Studies have shown that our ECS can be linked to the functioning of our appetite and digestion, mood, sleep, metabolism, and motor control.
What are the benefits of CBD?
Research has shown that CBD can be beneficial in many ways, which is difficult to summarise in one article. In 2017 a study showed that CBD can help to reduce blood pressure and stress. A study published in the Neurology journal Frontiers also found that CBD can greatly reduce seizures in treatment-resistant epilepsy. More recently there has been an increase in people using CBD to treat anxiety, The Cannabidiol Youth Anxiety Pilot Study found that young people with treatment-resistant anxiety had an average 42.6% reduction in anxiety severity and impairment. Researchers are still trying to discover its full potential.
These 3 forms of CBD are available in a variety of products. There are some stores that specialise in CBD, while other shops such as health food shops, chemists and even your local supermarket will stock some form of CBD.
Oils. This can be taken by placing a few drops under the tongue or adding it to your diet by adding a few drops to your food and drinks
Edibles. CBD is added to Gummies/Jellies or food. Edibles are one of the more popular ways to consume CBD.
Capsules. CBD is contained in a capsule/tablet form.
Topicals. Applied to the skin for targeted relief.
Vape liquid. Capsules are designed for inhalation through a vape pen.
Flower. Better known as “bud” CBD flower is taken directly from the plant. Raw CBD flowers can be ingested through inhalation or added to food.
How to choose what is right for you.
Deciding on a CBD product shouldn’t be hard, right? Unfortunately, with the abundance of choice and information on the product, consumers both new and old find it particularly difficult. When choosing a CBD product, I would always think of DITA.
Dosage. Choose a product that includes dosage instructions and information.
Ingredients. Choose products of the highest quality and clearly labels their ingredients.
Testing, choose a product that has undergone third-party testing.
Analysis. Choose a product with a Certificate of Analysis that shows the product's strength and composition.
First in a 3 part series. Next week I will be discussing the Irish Hemp Industry.