Public interest in CBD products has exploded in recent years — and exciting cannabidiol products like oil, gummies, capsules, creams, vape liquids, and edibles are everywhere now.
This abundance of choice is excellent news for CBD enthusiasts, but it also poses a challenge. How do you shop for the best CBD products in the UK? How do you know which form of cannabidiol is right for you in the first place?
Start by reading this guide to shopping for CBD in the UK.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 120 components in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, CBD doesn’t create a high and is not addictive. While all Cannabis sativa plants contain CBD, cannabidiol is usually extracted from industrial hemp plants. These strains are naturally low in THC.
CBD was declared a novel food product in the UK in 2019, and authorised CBD products are legally available over the counter in the UK. UK regulations specify that CBD products may have a THC content of up to 0.02 per cent. In addition to cannabidiol, many CBD products contain other cannabinoids like terpenes and flavonoids.
Why Use CBD Products?
CBD enthusiasts have various reasons for incorporating cannabidiol products into their wellness routines, such as to support their subjective sense of wellbeing and relaxation. The many other consumer-reported benefits of CBD remain anecdotal.
People who are curious about CBD should keep in mind that research into the potential medicinal and therapeutic effects of CBD products is still ongoing, as is research into their possible side effects. Don’t use over-the-counter cannabidiol to prevent, treat, or cure specific medical conditions — and see your GP if you have any health concerns.
Types of CBD Products: What Should You Know Before You Start Shopping?
First-time CBD buyers are probably aware of the countless different CBD products on the market. Those oils, gummies, tinctures, creams, teas, vape liquids, shampoos, capsules, and amazingly-varied edibles are hard to miss!
Shoppers should know that while countless different CBD products are now available, they all fall into three broad types.
- Full-spectrum CBD products incorporate all the different extracts industrial hemp has to offer. Besides cannabidiol, full-spectrum CBD products contain terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. In the UK, full-spectrum CBD products may not have a THC content higher than 0.02 per cent.
- Broad-spectrum CBD products contain the same extracts. However, they only have trace amounts of THC.
- CBD isolates are pure CBD — no other cannabinoids are present. That means CBD isolates contain no THC.
Which CBD product is best for you? The answer to this complex question ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Some people actively seek out full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD products in search of the so-called entourage effect. They believe that CBD helps them achieve the desired effect more effectively if the product also contains other cannabinoids. Others prefer CBD isolate products, which guarantee they won’t ingest any THC.
A Look at the Different Kinds of CBD Products on the Market
You can use CBD in an amazing variety of ways. Where should you start if you’ve decided to add cannabidiol to your wellness routine? Take a look at this overview of the most popular types of CBD products to decide!
CBD oil is available in a variety of strengths, and it is sold in little glass bottles with droppers. You can use this versatile CBD product in a number of ways:
- Hold CBD oil under your tongue for 60 to 90 seconds if you want the desired effect to kick in as soon as possible, and then swallow it.
- Cook with CBD oil by adding a drop to another oil, like coconut, olive, or sesame oil and sprinkling it over your food.
- Add CBD oil to a relaxing bath.
Its versatility is its biggest benefit. However, some people might dislike measuring the desired dose themselves, while others prefer more portable CBD products.
CBD gummies are predosed sweets that make for a convenient and portable way to enjoy cannabidiol. People who want to use CBD on the go can easily slide a few CBD gummies into their bags, but you can also take a CBD gummy before starting a relaxing evening routine at home.
CBD capsules predosed softgels that look similar to fish oil supplements. Consumers swallow these capsules with a glass of water. Are you looking for convenience and portability? CBD capsules are an excellent choice.
CBD Creams and Lotions
Topical CBD products like creams and lotions are also popular. These are absorbed by the skin, and have a hydrating effect as well.
CBD Vape Liquids
Vapers might appreciate the familiarity CBD vape pens and vape liquids can offer, and CBD vape liquids are fast-acting, too. You’ll find CBD vape liquids with various flavours for sale, and they are nicotine-free.
Other CBD Products
Your CBD journey doesn’t have to end with these trusted staples. Curious consumers fond of eccentric products can try CBD tea, CBD-infused coffee, CBD bath bombs, and CBD lip balms — to name just a few.
What to Look Out for When Shopping for CBD
Not all CBD products have the same quality, and discerning UK shoppers will want to do their research before filling their baskets.
Here are some tips:
- Some CBD products are lab-tested by third parties. Third-party lab testing gives consumers additional insights into the quality of the product.
- Products manufactured in the US should adhere to CGMP standards. CGMP stands for “Current Good Manufacturing Practice”. CBD products with this label are safe to use and have the strength and ingredient list claimed on the label.
- Consumers may also want to look for third-party certifications for specific reasons. You might need a gluten-free, non-GMO, or vegan CBD product, for example, or you may only want CBD products made with organically farmed hemp.
- Consumers might want to take a look at the CBD extraction process a manufacturer uses. CO2 extraction does not use harsh chemicals, for example.
Keep in mind that US regulations differ slightly. It’s generally best to shop for CBD in the UK — locally or on a British ecommerce shop — because the CBD products you might order from the States contain up to 0.03 per cent THC.
As with all products, looking up consumer reviews can also play a role in your decision-making process. Reviews can give you information about delivery times, customer service quality, and packaging quality.
Shopping for CBD Products in the UK: Some Final Tips
Have you decided to try CBD? With so many products on the market, it’s hard to decide which CBD product is right for you.
Start by deciding whether you want full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate. Then, have a look at the different options and choose which meets your needs. CBD oil is versatile and fast-acting, while CBD edibles like CBD gummies are convenient and portable.
Buying CBD from a UK (web) shop is usually the best choice because the US has slightly different regulations. Full-spectrum CBD products from the US may have a higher THC content.
Do your research before you buy, and look for CBD products that adhere to CGMP standards and have been lab-tested by a trusted third party. Some people will also want to look for CBD products with non-GMO, vegan, or gluten-free labels.
Experimenting with different CBD products can help you discover which ones you prefer, so don’t be scared to branch out and try different forms of cannabidiol.
We hope this guide makes your CBD shopping experience easier!